Friday, 23 March 2007

Double Or Nothing For Team India

The men in blue will know for sure their homecoming will not be a happy one if they are unable to put it across to Sri Lanka. Time to throw the defeat against Bangladesh to the trash can and get on with the job in hand. The situation for Dravid and his boys is not dissimilar to what we faced in 1983. Luckily for India the net run rate is no more a concern, and all they need is a win and if they can do it they will go to the super eight as one of the strong forces to reckon with.

The psychological edge India have over Sri Lanka should stand them in good stead. The recent victories, even though they were achieved at home, suggest the Indians have a fair measure of the Islanders. The Indian attack, that has looked pedestrian in parts, will be up against a set of batsmen who are oozing with confidence.

Sanath Jayasuriya looks dangerous and it is important for India not to feed him on his strengths. Bowling close to his body and tucking him for space is the key. He is going to be murderous on anything that allows him to free his levers, but if he can be tied down initially with disciplined bowling, he is likely to succumb.

The team that played Bermuda looks like the closest the think tank could get at in terms of balance. But I would like a solitary change – in Irfan Pathan coming in for Ajit Agarkar, who has looked patchy. Pathan stretches the batting, and depth is very important in a crunch game. Pathan has always done well against Lanka, and if he can slip in six to eight overs without being bled for too much and chip in with some useful runs, he will have done his job.

The most important phase of the match is the middle overs. Sri Lanka have the knack of getting through this period quickly with some tight slow bowling backed up by some athletic fielding inside the cordon. India should graft and ensure a minimum of four singles are obtained every over and keep the scoreboard ticking.

The batting order should not be tampered with. Robin Uthappa should open in Sourav's company. Dravid at three and Sachin at four gives an opportunity to the best batsmen in the side to stay until the end. Shewag at five brings in the ammunition to counter the spinners who will be doing the bulk of the bowling at that stage. In Dhoni and Yuvraj, the team is equipped with two fantastic end game players and paper the batting looks a solid bet.

Anil Kumble will be the better option against Lanka, as his pace does not allow the batsmen to use their feet. The likes of Jayawardene and Sangakkara are nimble footed against the flighted delivery, and would be more at home against Harbhajan. Sehwag with his control and Yuvraj with his new found flatter trajectory can make up for Harbhajan.

With Sri Lanka already certain of their spot in the next stage, India also stands to carry points if they win. It is blessing in disguise for India: they stand to gain everything if they win. Team India would have ideally liked their spot in the super eight booked before their last preliminary match, but having got in to this hole, they should show resolve to take this game that means double or nothing.

image courtesy

My XI (in batting order): Robin Uthappa, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, M.S. Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble and Munaf Patel.


A couple of notes: One, Thank you for all the feedback and responses. I’ve been reading them with interest, and begun responding to select comments on past posts, so keep checking back to see if you have an answer (try this or this or this for starters).

And two, Cricket Zone With Krish Srikkanth also has a Google feed now, so the ‘Add to Google’ button you see on the top right of the page should allow you to add this blog to your personalized Google homepage or Google Reader with little to no trouble.



Anirudh said...

you are right can be counted as blessing in disguise for the Indian.

However I disagree with final team you have chosen. I have also listed my final eleven

Anonymous said...

Krish, One member of Team India who still remains a mystery is Ajit Agarkar. I think the most inconsistent (equally talented) of the players in today's cricket. Sometimes, he bowls extraordinary deliveries and manytimes, he short pitches the balls giving away too many runs. But If I remember correctly, I have always seem him bowling well against Jayasuriya (He dismissed him many times in ODI's). So I think he should be bowling against Srilanka.

So what is your take on Ajit Agarkar in Indian Team(the most permanent member of the team)?



Aswin Kini said...

Hi Krish, i tend to agree with the Xi that you have selected. But i honestly feel that we should have a bowling attack of 2 pacers and 2 specialist spinners.
We have seen pace bowlers struggling to contain the batsman. If the pitches are not conducive, the size of the West Indian grounds might actually help the batsmen to wack the pacers all along the park.
We should play Kumble and Harbhajan together in this match.
Yes i agree that Kumble has a poor track record against Lanka, but we need to take risks and we can't take Agarkar who has this habit of boiling 5 good boils and goofing it up with one bad ball.

Srilanka have a formidable batting line up. Jayasuriya's form and his track record against India just emphasises the need for spinners. We also have to dismiss the other batsmen such as Tharanga, Jayawardane, Sangakkara etc. So we need an accurate and penetrative attack. A very Strict NO for three pacers. As for the Indian batsman, they should be positive, stay at the crease, and rotate the strike punishing the odd balls.
I feel this would be a 250-270 match. Hope it is a thriller.

Aswin Kini said...

I agree with Anonymous that Agarkar has dismissed jayasuriya manytimes, but Srilanka, unlike India, don't depend on Jayasuriya alone. They have talented batsman like Atapattu, jayawardane, Chamara Silva and Sangakkara. So we don't need Agarkar, we need a bowler who can take wickets at regular intervals.

Satz said...

hey krish...pathan should be playing as his temperament is very good & he doesnt wil under pressure...I can remember during India's dream run over 2004-05 in ODIs ,umpteen number of times in close matches where he has delivered with both bat & ball...Agarkar has his performances to blame & although he would be a good prospect against left handers like Tharanga & Jayasuriya,Pathan has that spunk in him (albeit its not visible now ) .its would be gr8 opportunity for him & I think he will stand up to be counted...

The Indian team faces a great situation where all they have to do is play their "A" guys play to the best of your abilities & make us proud...

murlidhar said...

I guess Agit Agarkar should not be dropped since he is one the experienced bunch. Though he appeared patchy in the last outing he can bowl cleverly. He has improved a lot since last world cup. I can bet on him. Regarding to batting depth, i think,we already have a deep batting order. If on one particular day the batting collapses we can't do anything a single all rounder(pathan),cummon all you guys he is still young. He can't handle pressures. He can't turn the things around though i am his fan. But my country comes first.

Aurindam said...

All the best "Team India".

Coimbatore Guy said...

Krish your option of playing Pathan in place of Agarkar sounds good. I believe Mumbaikars just give enough to regain their spot nowadays.

Talent and performance are two different issues. Agarkar, Tendulkar, Zakhir, are spent resource in international cricket. The performance in the field can be related to just pass in exams and hold no distinction these days. In recent times I have not seen one outstanding innings or bowling.

Now Agarkar has removed Jayawardene to a bad ball taken splendidly by Dhoni!

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone

Please forward this email to as many as possible

I urge every Indian to follow this PLEASE :-

If this is done then India will never loose another cricket game again:-

If India looses any match from today, please do the following:-
- We Indian will ban/boycott all products for which Indian cricketers advertise
- We Indian will not fill petrol or diesel in your vehicle for 3 days
- We Indian will not go to any cinema to watch any movies for 3 days
- We Indian will not go to any MALLS or do any shopping for 3 days

This enough will give enough shocks to every one responsible for Indian team to play like losers.

I sincerely hope this is followed

If its just a Game then let the crickters be only players and not Stars on TV or any kinda of a STAR Except Sports Star


Sifar said...

Once again, a very dismal performance by the Indians. Nothing like the team of 70’s and 80’s India had. I doubt if India will ever again take home any of the ICC World Cup.

Sandy said...

I don't get it with the indian team...looks like all of them are enjoying their ferraries back home ... they just seem like hollow stars at the moment. i hope this match wakes up the nation and it realises that way too much emphasis has been given to cricket and everything has been blown out of proportion.

i'd be better off playing out there with a bunch of highly spirited individuals, they lacked that...the spirit, seems like everyone was just so petrified to play out there, where's the team ...its just a bunch of big worthless names thrown together on a cricket field

Anonymous said...

Sour grapes....keep on whining, and while your at it throw in a little rice and curry with it! India entered the tourney with a bloated ego and will leave the WC with their tails tucked firmly!. Bangladesh does not belong in the WC, and definitely not test status. Hence the question begs to be asked......who got paid when so that India loose a WC game to Bangla.

Anonymous said...

Hi Krish,

Why are old players still on the team like SACHIN TENDULKAR, GANGULY they should be retired. Sachin has started the same sequence like Gavaskar end days as a batsman. hitting ducks in important matches. The older generation should give way to the newer players. We as a country with more than 1 crore people can we not create a good team?? we are ending up in the same situation as hockey. those were the good old days when you used to play, i have enjoyed the ultimate blasts in some your matches.
The older players should gracefully give way to new players.

Carlos said...

Indyank said...


It is all cup 1983 actually looks like a Sergei Bubka record :)

IMHO here are the top ten reasons why world cup 2007 saw the exit of the cricket crazy nations like India and Pakistan -

Ranjeet Adkar said...

Hi Krish,

My team chosen for this match was the same as yours!

Unfortunately, they did not select our team, however they still hadall the 'greats' in there, who just failed to deliver! Spineless performance really, a loss does not hurt as much as a spineless performance does!