Dhoni and his boys managed to scrape through and win the second ODI! It was hardly a convincing victory, but a victory nevertheless. Zaheer Khan’s return to form was timely.
India decided to recognize Badrinath for his consistent domestic performance by giving him a chance to play in the second ODI and he didn’ disappoint. He produced two lovely catches and played a crucial knock. Most importantly he showed that he could take on Murali and Mendis.
The composition of the Indian team raises many questions. It remains a mystery as to why players like Badrinath have to wait so long while others like Virat Kohli are fast tracked to the team. Kohli might be a great talent but it makes no sense to play him as an opener when he is not one. Since he is a middle order batsman, players like Badrinath should get the nod ahead of him. Besides, why has Uthappa not been brought in as a replacement for Sehwag? Why was Yusuf Pathan dumped after one tour? Isn’t India still in search of a reliable all-rounder?
Given that Mendis is still a mystery for many in the team, it might make sense to factor form and ability to play him as criteria for going higher up the order. Yuvraj Singh seems to have serious difficulty facing the spinners. Yet on his day Yuvraj could be a winner. So it might make sense to open with Yuvraj (since there are no regular openers) or send him at number 3 so he can get his eye in well before the spinners step in. Raina and more so Rohit Sharma appear to be in poor form. On the other hand Dhoni and Badrinath seem to be better off in confidence at the moment. Re-working the Indian batting order might be the way to solve India’s batting woes. Its good to see India persisting with five bowlers in the eleven.
The best part about this series so far has been the pitches. Both pitches so far have assisted the bowlers. This ensured that runs were hard to come by, and made these games that much more exciting. Hopefully the remaining ODIs will follow the same pattern. Sri Lanka clearly holds the upper hand at the moment. Do Dhoni and his boys have what it takes to turn this around?