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Steady hands were missed

Two successive top-order failures shut the door on India. It wasn’t the only reason as fielding and bowling in the slog overs was also an issue in both the Super Eights matches. Ravi Shastri comments on India's batting woes.

cricket Updated: Jun 16, 2009 01:25 IST
Ravi Shastri

Two successive top-order failures shut the door on India. It wasn’t the only reason as fielding and bowling in the slog overs was also an issue in both the Super Eights matches.

It was inconsistency which proved to be India’s bane, and that can happen when you are not consistent with the top four in the batting order. If the openers did well in the two league games, they failed in two critical matches.

Yuvraj Singh alone looked in sublime touch but he was done in by a clever piece of bowling by Graeme Swann.

The short ball was used effectively to keep the top order on its toes. Both West Indies and England possessed good men of searing pace. Ryan Sidebottom and James Anderson had the Indians hopping on the back foot. Suresh Raina, for the second match running, lost an opportunity to make the number three spot his very own.

The Indians did miss steadying hands in the batting line-up and the explosive Virender Sehwag was sorely missed. The vice-captain is exceptional in his stroke-play but injury kept him out. Gautam Gambhir would also be disappointed with his effort.

The theory of keeping your explosive bats for the slog overs is a sound one provided your top order gives a steady start. In the absence of it, India needed their experienced men on the burning deck. Instead, they chose to send Ravindra Jadeja at four. Yuvraj Singh was the man needed at that stage.