Saturday, January 16, 2010

Indian Team in New Year

Ian Chappel says that India are not a long term no.1 because they don't have the bowling firepower to take 20 wickets against top notch sides. M S Dhoni was quick to retort by saying they can prove otherwise by staying no. 1.
So how good is this Indian team? I believe an all rounder's absence is not a problem in test matches. I don't remember a genuine all rounder in both the great sides West Indies (75-90) and Australia (99-07). If there is one format where specialists thrive it is test cricket. As far as batting is concerned India have problem of plenty. Even when Dravid and Sachin were not in good form India didn't perform poorly. I believe replacing batsmen is not as difficult as replacing bowlers is. Remember Aussies had no problem replacing the likes of Waugh brothers while the struggles of Aussie bowlers after departure of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne are there to see. So it all boils down to champion bowlers as pointed out by Chappel. Yes we do not have any great bowler currently. Take it with a pinch of salt but Zaheer and Harbhajan currently are not greats even when compared to Indian greats only. However one thing which is good is that we have 4 bowlers available all the time. In 1990s we had hard time finding the third seamer to accompany Srinath and Prasad. We played ordinary bowlers like D Ganesh, David Johnson, Paras Mhambrey etc. That changed with the advent of Zaheer and Nehra. Later on we got Irfan, Sreeshanth, Munaf, RP Singh and Ishant. None of them have been consistent but at different times one or two of them have been in superb form to provide us with necessary sting to dismiss opposition. Ishant and Sreeshanth look to me as genuine world class bowlers in Test Cricket. So, my point is even if we don't have someone of the ilk of Kumble now, we still have 4 men who can combine well to give desired results. Well I agree that this requires proper selection and intelligent manoeuvring of bowlers when taking the field. Yes an auto pilot luxury is still not available to Indian Captain and Coach.