2nd ODI: Problems aplenty for India as bowling flops again

Posted: September 7, 2011 by Editor in Cricket, India in England 2011
Tags: , , , , , ,

Goutham Chakravarthi

It is hard to judge the quality of the English one-day batting given the appalling standard of Indian bowling. None of their front line bowlers had a clue in a shortened game, flat tract, with the night chilly winds and near freezing temperature. There was no swing on offer for Praveen Kumar and Kieswetter and Cook took the Indian bowling apart – walking inside the line and tucking it over fine leg, or giving themselves room to smash it over the off-side. Given what was on offer, England romped home chasing a stiff target with plenty to spare. They were close to 60 without loss after 5 overs and close to 100 after 9 overs. The game was over!

India’s reluctance from moving from their preferred combination of 7 batsmen and 4 bowlers is hurting them more with none of the part-time bowlers good enough to bowl more than a couple of overs unless the conditions favour them. India’s best hope with this combination is to chase.

Bell feasts on Raina's part time offies

Dhoni’s reliance on the skill of Ashwin is coming to a nought in these conditions with the wickets greasy and not providing enough bite for the Chennai spinner with the new ball. Kieswetter went after him straight away and tonked him for 16 in his first over and with it Dhoni seemed short of bowlers and ideas as all bowlers and combinations he tried didn’t work. Perhaps, it is time he played Jadeja in the side at seven for it gives him some tight overs from the left-armer in the  middle overs and he is a fair tonker of the cricket ball down the order.

The sameness of the Indian bowling in their seam department in terms of pace (or the lack of it) is making it easy for batsmen to line them up on good wickets. There is little chance this bowling side will bowl decent batting sides out on good wickets. It may not hurt them to give the leg-spinner and Varun Aaron a go in the remaining matches as they tend to be wicket taking options.

There is no such problem in the batting. Parthiv Patel looked poised for another big score as he went after the English bowlers who can’t seem to shed their love for short-pitched bowling. Parthiv cut and pulled with great relish. For second time in successive games, Anderson got him on the drive. Perhaps there is a lesson in it for Bresnan and Broad.

Ajinkya Rahane is doing his reputation no harm. There are enough talks going on back home that he should be the reserve Test opener going forward with Cheteshwar Pujara being the first choice no.6 batsman. He has looked at ease playing swing, pace and spin and again showed why he is rated so highly in the Indian domestic scene. He has made the most of his opportunity at the top of the order. In this form, it will be difficult to leave him out even in a full strength Indian side. It has been quite an impressive start.

Suresh Raina has to be among the most impactful limited overs players. To do what he does and with such consistency at the end of the batting innings takes for great confidence and skill. His cover drive for six off Bresnan is testament to his skills of ball striking and improvising abilities. There is little doubting his reputation or his future in this format.

It is a case of issues for both teams. England’s victories will for the moment hide their light batting with their middle order not being tested as India continues to find it difficult to get their batsmen out. England’s bowling lacked planning and imagination it showed in the Tests.

Truth is to say that Indian batsmen would fancy their own attack and England’s bowling attack would definitely test their own top order. Two teams working out a combination for the moment and the future might still churn out a tight series. Only if India pick enough bowlers to pose a challenge.

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