India Must Make Early Inroads In Order To Fancy Their Chances




Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan

Though a lot of naïve followers rated the game against Pakistan was the toughest, it was emotions that ran the show against Pakistan. The team has dealt with it quite comfortably. It is now time for them to handle pressure. The word ‘FINAL’ itself would crop up a lot of nerves and given India’s reputation of underperforming in the finals, it is not going to be a cakewalk for them here at the Wankhede stadium. And that is why the Indian skipper was wary about the players insulating themselves from the external world and focus hard on their game.

More fittingly, they ought to win the toughest team to inscribe their name in the World Cup. The predictions have favored India but it has largely understated and overlooked Sri Lanka in the tournament. Except the collapse against Pakistan, the Sri Lankan batsmen have stolen the show every time when it comes to chasing a big target or setting one.  Dilshan and Tharanga, arguably the best opening pair of the tournament, have made tricky targets look like a cinch. With Sangakkara and Jayawardene to follow, the Indian bowling is sure to be interrogated with a lot of questions.

Their vulnerability lies in their lower middle order, no. 5 and no.6. So it is essential for the Indian bowlers to make some early inroads. Exposing their middle order soon would leave them almost disarmed; however, the skillful finisher in Angelo Mathews can’t be discounted.

To the team’s delight, India’s bowling has improved as the tournament progressed.  370, 338, 296, 268, 260 are the scores the batsmen have made in this World Cup which is an indicator of how the team has improved on its weaker link.

I don’t endorse the move to leave out R Ashwin, given the way he has bowled in challenging situations, even as Dhoni confessed that it was because he didn’t read the pitch well. The conditions in the Wankhede stadium are said to assist the spinners and so I won’t be surprised if he operates with the new ball at one end.

Another important aspect of Dhoni’s captaincy that deserves a praising was the way he used Munaf Patel in the last game.  He was taken for runs in the game before when he was introduced against settled batsman, when the field was more spread.  His accuracy and control works best against batsman who are trying to get their eye in. His immaculate length and pace variations, often understated, make it increasingly difficult for the batsmen to settle.

Yuvraj, as he has done in recent times, has earned the captain’s trust as the fifth bowler, the development that has allowed Dhoni to give Raina, the finishing cloak. Zaheer Khan’s role in the side has been inexplicable. He has handled the pressure of expectations in a laudable manner.

If India has to win this, Zaheer and Yuvraj’s role with the ball will become inevitable.

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Gautham S.

Author:

Hi Folks! This is Gautham from Madurai, Tamil Nadu. I'm 20 and doing my final year in Mechanical Engineering at Thiagarajar College of Engineering. I'm a self confessed Cricket lover and I have a great fervor towards writing about the game. In the generations I've come across, I've loved watching Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid bat. Besides writing, I have great interest in singing and I'm a great fan of Hariharan and A.R.Rahman sir. I would like to be remembered as one of the greatest sports journalists who changed the way their profession is perceived. I set myself performance goals and believe in giving a hundred percent in whatever I do. I thank God for giving me an opportunity to work with sports mirror so early in my career. I also thank my friends who made me believe in what I do and gave honest comments about my writing. God is great :)

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