The Diwali in southern parts of the country was spoiled to some extent due to the lacklustre display by Indian Cricket Team against Pakistan yesterday. Indians squandered all opportunities which came their way throughout the day. Let it be their batting during the slog overs or their inept bowling during the end. It clearly lacked direction and it exposed Dhoni's inexperience.
1. The first mistake started with the selection of playing eleven. Murali Kartik, the pick of the bowlers in the last 5 ODI's against Australia and Pakistan was left out of the playing eleven to accomodate an extra batsman. The extra batsman was Virender Sehwag, the man who is in poor form. What a trade-off it is and only Indian Cricket team has the guts to do these things?
2. India rightly won the toss and elected to bat on a seemingly harmless track. There was not much swing and bounce which was hitherto the trademark of Mohali. But Indian top order batsmen were found wanting in the first 6 overs or so. Ganguly as usual perished to a careless shot in the very first over. Why cant he apply himself a little more and get his eye on the ball before he goes for the strokes? God only knows. Dada still continues in the team at the cost of some very young promising talent.
3. What happened to quick singles? When the Pakistani fast bowlers were trying their best Indian batsmen failed to go for quick singles. This may not be glaring when you see the score of 320 after 50 overs but it was horrible watching the Tendulkar and Gambhir scratching in the crease. Luckily Tendulkar found some form and smashed the bowlers all round the ground.
4. Yesterday we had seven specialist bastmen in the eleven but the team crashed to 266/7 in 42.1 overs from 179/1 in 25 overs. All our specialist batsmen got out within 17 overs doesnot speak volumes about our batsmen's ability to stay in the crease and build an innings.
5. Why did Dhoni came in to bat at No.6 ahead of Robin Uthappa? Uthappa is a specialist batsmen with better batting ability and we still had more than 11 overs to go, it is a puzzle why Dhoni has to promote himself above Uthappa. There was also no need to accelerate also since we were sailing comfortably.
6. Bowling department was compromised by way of only 3 specialist bowlers. I am deliberately omitting Harbhajan Singh from the list of specialist bowlers. What a fall Harbhajan has had in the last couple of years. Every over Bhajji comes up with a loose ball which were promptly dispatched to the boundary. Where is his flight, top spinners and the other one has gone? Has he disturbed/troubled the batsmen in the last 8 ODI's? I think not. I have not seen him flight the ball and the wickets he gets are mostly gifted by the batsmen.
Few pertinent questions which comes up at the end of the match are:
1. Who decides on the playing eleven for the day and on what logic it is being done?
2. If Sehwag can turn over his arms why he was not called to bowl? He would have been more effective.
3. If the question is of having only a single spinner in the eleven on what basis Harbhajan was preferred over Murali Kartik?
I dont think anybody is going to answer these questions and the Indian cricket is going to continue suffering.
MS Dhoni should not allow himself to be dictated by the so called "Indian Cricket Well-wishers" and media articles. This list includes people like Ravi Shastri & Sunil Gavaskar. In their playing days they have not done anything spectacular to come and advise all and sundry after retirement. (I started reading in Newspapers two days before the Mohali match that Sehwag should get a look in ahead of Murali Kartik. It is like the Egg and the Chicken story, which came first, is still unknown)