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Bat for an extra bowler now

England tied the game against India while chasing a mammoth 338. Bangladesh also managed to score nearly 300 albeit in a lost cause. Aakash Chopra writes.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2011 13:12 IST

England tied the game against India while chasing a mammoth 338. Bangladesh also managed to score nearly 300 albeit in a lost cause. If these two performances are anything to go by, it's not unreasonable to assume that India's lack of depth and quality in the bowling department has shown up.

With the tournament progressing, there'll be sterner tests and better oppositions ahead, it's only wise to find ways to improve the weak link of the team. It isn't just about hitting the ball all over the park, but also putting the same in the right areas and, more importantly, taking wickets.

FIVE-BOWLER THEORY
India's strength lies in batting and the first two matches have shown evidence to validate this. We decimated the Bangladesh spin attack. Sehwag and Kohli went berserk and tamed the Bangla tigers.

The depth in batting is such that Yusuf Pathan is still to get a decent opportunity and even Yuvraj wouldn't have got his chance if he wasn't promoted against England.

Aren't we playing a batsman too many? It's common sense to beef up your bowling on flat surfaces since the top six batsmen should do the job. And if the quality, which India possesses in the top-six, can't do it, it's worth believing that number 7 and 8 won't either.

In the sub-continental conditions it's a given that bowlers will go for plenty and hence need more support. What if Zaheer or Harbhajan have an off day?

BATTING SECOND
If we are not willing to compromise a batsman for another bowler, then doesn't it make sense to put the opposition in to bat first after winning the toss? The weaker section of the society deserves subsidy and bowlers, on flat sub-continental tracks, seem to be living below the poverty line.

It's only logical to allow the bowlers to have the first crack, for that would take a lot of pressure off them. While bowling first they won't have to keep an eye on the asking rate all the time which could intimidate and often paralyse lesser bowlers. On top of that our fielding isn't helping them either. Good fielding can make a mediocre bowling unit better, but ours is not the best in the world.

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