Third ODI: India Spineless

India put up a spineless response to Pak’s 319. Veeru failed and India collapsed barring a decent show by Pathan with the bat. For an ardent Indian cricket fan, it was disheartening but nevertheless familiar sight of a procession of Indian superstars walking in and out after failing to settle in and dominate the Pak bowling. For the third consecutive time Sachin returned with a single digit score. For all the pressure on Ganguly to perform, Sachin, Yuvraj, Kaif are not far behind.

Dravid was out to a nasty delivery. The rest had no excuses. Dhoni threw his wicket away to a poor shot just when he looked set for a big score. The sad part is that for once the famed middle order got a golden opportunity to build a score because of the early loss of wickets and simply failed to deliver.

Pathan could use a break?After his dismal show with the ball, Pathan had to redeem himself somehow and he certainly managed to do that with the bat. In any case, Pathan’s bowling seems to have completely lost its venom. In a relatively short period he has regressed from being India’s lead strike bowler to a potential weak link in the bowling. In short, I think he could use a long break, a la Zaheer Khan. The break certainly helped Zaheer regain his bowling form at least to a certain extent.

The Wicket: The Jamshedpur wicket was certainly not a bad one, in that it wasn’t a batting paradise like the earlier ODIs. The truth is that the Pak bowlers exploited the pitch while the Indian bowlers simply failed to. It won’t be a stretch to speculate that India would not have put up a big score even if India had batted first.

Changes in the Pak team: Younis Khan was reduced to a mere passenger (he did manage a catch or two) while Danish wasn’t really tested given the way the Indian batting collapsed. The true test is when Viru starts slogging him at the top of the order, just as Pathan did to him at the end.

Thank God, no Agarkar: Dada’s choice of Pathan over Agarkar shows how little confidence he has in him. He clearly prefers an out of form Pathan over Agarkar. Wonder who is behind Agarkar’s selection when the captain has so little faith in him. The next one day might unfortunately see Agarkar in action after Pathan’s poor show with the ball.

Overall a very convincing victory for Pak. The Pak bowlers bowled well and the batsmen had no trouble scoring against the Indian bowling. Hopefully, the next one day will be hard fought and won’t see another “wuzzy” performance from the India superstars.

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

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