Cricket: World Cup Lessons Not Learned

The Indian team does not seem to have learned from its disastrous world cup performance. The 7 batsmen formula has simply not worked consistently for India in ODIs and seem unlikely to work even in the long run. Team India’s best bet is to go with six batsmen and five bowlers and pray and hope that one of the bowlers evolves into a batsman without losing his bowling (remember Irafan Pathan?) skills. Both Romesh Powar and Piyush Chawla are capable batsmen in their own right and it won’t be far fetched to expect them to come good with the bat over time.

In the first ODI against England dropping Powar, who has been a consistent ODI performers and most importantly a wicket taker, was a poor decision. Three seamers and two spinners (Chawla and Powar), followed by the part-time bowlers would give the bowling a better balance. As for the batting, Gambhir at number 3 is a needless re-adjustment for someone who is essentially an opener. The team can better served at this spot by either Dinesh Karthik, Yuvraj Singh or M.S Dhoni.

The 7-batsmen formula is a product of the Saurav Ganguly era. It worked in the 2003 World Cup but almost never thereafter. It’s time for Rahul Dravid to break out of the past and develop a new approach. Hopefully, the Indian think tank will re-evaluate its strategy for the second ODI else the euphoria of the Test series victory might soon be forgotten giving way to cries for more young blood in the ODI team.

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

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