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Counterpoint! Up to our bowlers

The way I see it, the series will be a contest between the Indian bowlers and Pakistani batsmen, writes Sandeep Patil.

india Updated: Nov 05, 2007 02:00 IST

Many believe Shoaib Malik stated the obvious when he declared that the one-day series would be a contest between the Pakistani bowlers and Indian batsmen. The way I see it, the series will be a contest between the Indian bowlers and Pakistani batsmen.

Pakistan have some quality batsmen in their ranks, but they will not be able to get going if the Indian bowlers maintain their form of the previous few months. But I feel the Pakistanis are slightly ahead in bowling, despite the absence of Asif. The fact that most matches will be played in the north will work in Pakistan's favour.

The Indian bats will have their task cut out. All of the defeats in the previous few months were a result of ordinary batting. Who will bat for India at no. 3? For the past year or so, everybody from Pathan to Karthik has had a go at this position. But the question remains unanswered. I would like to see Dhoni bat one down.

A settled batting line-up will facilitate success in the 50-over format, as it did in the T20 format. It remains to be seen what the think-tank has in mind. The youngsters should utilize the opportunity to cement their places. The decision to drop Dravid, whether right or wrong, has been taken, and it is time to concentrate on existing resources. There is no doubt that Rahul is a class player, but even he will find it difficult to return if one of the youngsters comes good.

A lot has been made out of another statement of Malik's, wherein he has described Yuvraj Singh as the biggest threat to his side. I would like to think of it as a psychological ploy. The fact is that Yuvraj has been a threat to his opponents ever since his debut.

I have been to Guwahati a few times, and there is no doubt that the wicket will be a belter and the cricket attractive. The players will do us a favour if they ensure that the aggression they display is 'quiet' rather than 'vocal.' Positive body-language can be a lot more effective than cursing and screaming.

PMG