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Exploring the fifth avenue

cricket Updated: Mar 04, 2011 01:47 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

How situations alter plans! After the riot of runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in the last two games, there is talk about India planning to use five specialist bowlers against Ireland on Sunday.

This might not have been the ploy even after the tie against England, but the way Ireland overtook Engalnd's 327 on Wednesday is causing a rethink.

Members of the Indian think tank are neither confirming nor dismissing this. “We’ve not decided but it’s an option,” said coach Gary Kirsten after training on Thursday. Bowling coach Eric Simmons also said this was an option, before adding: “We have to see that the balance of the team doesn’t get upset. Gary and the skipper (MS Dhoni) will take the final call on this.”


After the turning pitches laid out for the India-Australia and Australia-South Africa practice games, the tracks for the World Cup games have turned out to be heavily batsmen-friendly.

The teams have amassed 338, 338, 327 and 329 in the two games and bowlers of all kinds have conceded runs heavily. There was neither movement with the new ball nor was there any noticeable turn.

“The wickets here have been very, very flat. We’ve easily got 300 in two games here. It is hard work; certainly the two wickets we’ve played on here haven’t suited any one particular bowler. All bowlers have suffered at the hands of the wicket,” said England captain Andrew Strauss after the Ireland debacle on Wednesday.

“It’s very hard to get people out on these flat wickets.”


The problem for Kirsten and Dhoni is — if they are to field five bowlers — who to drop. With Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam

Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni set to occupy the top six slots, the axe, if it does, is likely to fall on Yusuf Pathan. In the 11 for his hitting prowess, Pathan has hardly got any time to bat in the two games, which makes him somewhat redundant at the moment.

Considering the conditions, the No. 7 batsman is unlikely to get to bat for any length of time because those going ahead of him will use up most of the overs. In such a scenario, an extra bowler is expected to contribute more than Pathan’s part-time off-spin.http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/040311/04_03_11-metro-16c.jpg

Three all-rounder, two bowlers ideal

PTI adds: Kapil Dev said on Thursday that a combination of three all-rounders and two genuine bowlers would have been an ideal combination.

“We dont have a potent bowling attack but that does not mean we cannot win,” Kapil said. “We have to work hard.”