Two teams from the sub-continent are in the semifinals but India are not one of them. More so, it is the only team in the Super Eights, which is without a win.
Among all the issues confronting the team, the biggest, to my mind, is bowling. It’s well worth now to invest in youth without any fear whatsoever.
There are plenty around who deserve an opportunity in this version of the game. Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Sidharth Triwedi, Ashok Dhinda, R. Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Piyush Chawla just to name a few should be given regular opportunities. Since Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra aren’t getting any younger, the gravity of the situation is apparent.
India need a bigger pool and bowlers need to work out their cycle of work and rest in order to last longer and avoid a ‘wasteland’ for the country. Spinners aren’t such an issue at the moment provided right horses are put on course.
Batting, though, again is a concern. The last week has been cruel to them. Nobody likes fast bowling but good batsmen tend to work out a plan to come on top of it. India’s plan relied more on hope than on a calculated judgement.
Merely throwing your bat around wouldn’t take you far against quality fast bowling. It’s time to revamp the entire batting line-up with the focus on fielding and youth.
India cannot perform worse than they have in last two World Cups. It’s also worth grooming a young captain for this format. Investing in youth will allow you to keep the seniors fresh for the 50-50 and Test versions. With exposure, these youngsters will keep the seniors on their toes.
I would have preferred India to chase against Sri Lanka, for batting is their strength. By having the target in sight, you would know how to plan your chase. However, while bowling, you aren’t sure how the batting line-up can be asked to dance to your tune in a mere 20 overs.
This World Cup has been deflating for India. It’s a big stage and everyone expects his or her team to do well. On the face of it, the team didn’t look too prepared and some of the selections were appalling.