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A relief, not a victory

The victory must gladden the heart, but lessons from the escape are equally important, writes Atul Sondhi.

india Updated: May 12, 2007 23:27 IST

In the end, it was a tremendous escape to victory engineered by glovesmen. But the sense of relief can at times percolate into sense of satisfaction. India must guard against that feeling. Steps are needed to cash in on the morale-boosting win.

Rotate between keepers

Sreesanth and Dhoni are among the young players in the team. If they are getting the cramps and injuries, it shows testing conditions at this time of the year can beat even those in the India side, whose bodies are generally fit enough to take any punishment.

So it would be better to rotate between the keepers when India is fielding first. That normally does not happen in international matches and few errors from the replacement keeper might get some unwarranted attention for the experiment, but it will be worth taking. Coach has hinted at the possibility, and the next two matches can be the perfect time to experiment with this philosophy.

Five bowlers versus four

Considering the amount of injuries taking place, India needs to go to the field with five bowlers – preferably four pacers and a spinner. With Sreesanth out halfway through the innings and Zaheer woefully out of sorts, India were left with virtually one paceman to keep the things moving. RP Singh does need a quick look in.

If we chose to go in with four bowlers, then unfortunately, Ramesh Powar may have to be left out. Again, that is only because India can’t afford to operate with just one or two pacers with third out of the equation due to injury or lack of form.

The way Dinesh Mongia and Virender Sehwag bowled in the first match, does give confidence that our part-timers can be good enough in the Bangladesh conditions.

Going with six batsmen might weaken the batting a bit. But Indian batting, despite a failure in the first match, is still quite formidable. Only if it gets over its occasional lapses in application.

Practice with third runner

Calling when running between the wicket needs special attention. Sehwag and Karthik were dead ducks yesterday without opening their account, but it was just Bangladesh’s bad luck, which had saved them.

Ideally, India should also practice moves to take care of the situations when an additional runner is required. Such situations, where one more runner is required, might occur again on Bangladesh tour. Yesterday, so many times Dhoni or Karthik could have been run out, which would have taken victory out of India’s grasp.

Dravid’s position

Dravid is still the most precious Indian wicket. But if he has to come after the fall of third wicket, that is bound to create lots of pressure. He is the ideal number three. At least he should be there before Yuvraj Singh, who has been struggling so much in recent times, despite his exceptional record against Bangladeshis.

Partnerships

Building partnerships than scoring fours and sixes is extremely important. Opening pair of Sehwag and Gambhir needs to take special precaution. Their wickets are extremely crucial if India are to romp home with a 3-0 verdict.

That scoreline is possible against this Bangladesh Side, but this side has been made quite tough by Whatmore.

Talent wise, and man-to-man, they are no match to India with or without Sachin or Sourav. But in terms of self-belief even in their limited ability, they can match any side.

That self-belief can be only bullied by application, which Dhoni and Karthik showed, than by flurry for fours, which Sehwag and Gambhir had attempted earlier in the day.