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Cut out emotions

cricket Updated: Jun 16, 2009 01:16 IST
Hindustan Times
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India’s ouster will no doubt bring the knives out and there will be endless discussion on the batting order and team composition. Still, the fact remains that India are a very good team and as can happen in this format, England were temperamentally better if not entirely so on the skill front.

MS Dhoni will bear the brunt of the attack, especially after his earlier skirmish with the media, but is there anybody better to lead India than him? Dhoni is young and is still learning the trade, so he will get it wrong sometimes.

Instead of getting emotional, let’s be rational and accept that England were charged up, had a plan and executed it very well. They dropped leg-spinner Adil Rashid and included new-ball bowler Ryan Sidebottom to bring in a bit of variety in the attack.

What the two losses have shown is that some of our young batsmen have little clue on how to deal with short-pitched bowling and both the West Indian and England quicks came hard at them.

This was also evident during the IPL in South Africa, where the ball bounces a bit more and the quicker bowlers can be a handful. That's why the par scores there were in the region of 140.

More than the shortcomings with bat and ball, it was lackadaisical fielding that cost India the 15-20 runs that eventually made the difference and also questions the team’s fielding ethic. This is one aspect where minnows like Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands have progressed but India are still lagging behind.

India play South Africa, who along with Sri Lanka have been the most consistent, in their last match. They will play with nothing to lose, but as always there is pride to be regained.