Monday, November 26, 2012

where is the REAL PROBLEM???

We have team where openers don’t have a complete backing of the Captain, Kohli keeps throwing it away in tests, Yuvi still fighting for a place, Tendulkar past his prime, Dhoni can’t make runs. That leaves Pujara the only batsman in the team. How do we expect this team to win?

Those are the words of my friend. I’m sure many would echo this sentiment. Obviously you can’t ignore the truth in it. But there is lot more than this is my opinion. Remember, the Indian teams were always invincible at home for decades. Not because they were superiorly talented, but the visiting sides mostly played to the demons of the surface compared to the opponent. And the Indian sides gained strength after strength with the visitor’s weakness. In the past 2 decades or so, only two visiting teams (South Africa, Australia) managed to fight the demons of the surface successfully. As a byproduct, they outwit the Indian opposition of their times.

After a long time, here is an England side that is willing to fight the demons. By virtue, the flaws of the Indian Team are getting exposed. In the days ahead, more sentiments like my friend mentioned above are likely to be uncovered. This is still healthy sign for Indian Cricket. After all, our weaknesses are always buried by the success at home.

By the way, I will be a fool, if I continue to bloat “India will win the series comprehensively”. I prefer to rephrase “Can India win the series? At a future time, don’t blame if I retract “Can India save the series?

Let’s move on.

Dhoni’s says “Panesar the difference”.
Yeah, it is very true Panesar made the difference. He was easily the better of all spinners played this match. But if we dig this issue deeper, it appears Dhoni’s words appear to be an overstatement. To analyze, let’s look at it from a different perspective.

The problem of Pieterson’s weakness to left arm spinners is world renown. The ability of Indian batsman to play spin good is world renown. But, both these theories were torn apart in this test match. Let’s see how it happened. This will also help us to analyze the statement (that I term as overstatement) which will possibly expose the real weakness of Indian team (from my stand point).

In the First Test, Pieterson tried to deal the problem by taking on the spinners from the word go. He thought run making will help him to conquer the bowler. Unfortunately the approach was more about escaping from the problem, more than an approach to resolve it. As a result, Pieterson failed and it looked, left arm spinners are never ending ghosts to him. In the Second Test, his approach was stark contrast to the previous outing. Pieterson fought his way to deal the trauma. He was willing to spend a lot of time in the middle to really understand his issues. As a result, the problems disappeared like it never existed in the first place.

By the way, it was the success formula of Pujara and Cook already. Now, you know where the rest of the batsmen failed. Except Pujara and Ashwin (first innings only), none of the Indian batsman were willing to invest time in the crease. It is now needless to say, the highest wicket taker of the match made the difference. By the way, Swann wasn’t left too behind. He picked as many as 8 wickets in the match compared to Panesar’s 11. I think this is all sufficient to justify, Dhoni's overstatement.

The problems that I talked about the Indian batsmen were not the problems from overnight. It has been there for a while.  Please revisit the scorecards from the West Indies tour in 2011. You will witness, our batsman lacking the wisdom to bat sessions. Because runs came at a brisk pace, so did the results (sometimes postive, sometimes negative).

Our Technical flaws overshadowed the Temperamental flaws, when away. Opposition weakness overwhelmed our Strength, at home.  

Bottom line: Unless we don’t dissect the real problem, we will never be able to resolve it.

Cricket Lover

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