Time has arrived for some serious introspection. With hardly any worthwhile victory in the last few months, Team India takes on South Africa in a must win game. The second match of the summer series will throw further light into where this side is heading. There has been too much talk and very little action and it is time for the side to redeem itself.
The batting that has been India’s saviour on more occasions and its base strength has to look at momentum right from the word go rather than wait for too long as it happened in the first match against Kallis’ men.
Batting against South Africa after one gets his eye in is not a tough task as the attack is one-dimensional. There is not too much of variation and the biggest problem for the batsmen might come against their tight fielding. This is the area where India’s task is cut out. The running between wickets must be hard and the middle overs should be busy. Rotation of strike is of paramount importance and these areas were not concentrated upon.
A target of 243 if the fielding was a little sharper might have made things difficult for Kallis and company but Team India was found short on that account too. The only area where the Indian’s came out with their head held high was the spin bowling department.
Piyush Chawla and Ramesh Powar bowled with craft and assurance. They bought India back with a sustained effort and they were also largely helped by a set of batsmen who refused to use their feet. India should continue with the two slow men, whatever might be the confidence. Their confidence and rhythm should not be fiddled with.
Zaheer Khan and R.P. Singh seem to the only new ball pair Dravid has at his disposal at the moment and might be forced to continue with them. As far the changes or change in the team is concerned I can see M.S. Dhoni coming in for Gautham Gambhir. Dravid should bat at three.
The new members who have been rushed to join the team need not be rushed into the playing XI as it would be expecting to much from them straightaway, they can get acclimatized and probably play the third game. There must be a spring in the step and the ground fielding that was slack should pick itself up then India might have a good chance of making the third game worthy.