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Young guns’ lack of application cause of worry for India

india Updated: Nov 03, 2009 23:48 IST
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It would be an excuse to point at the absence of Gautam Gambhir, question M.S. Dhoni's choice at the toss or the unfortunate dismissal of Sachin Tendulkar.

In essence, India failed as a batting unit in Mohali. Nobody took charge and the buck kept being passed. It would seem the lessons of the skipper was lost on his younger mates.

At critical moments, young guns Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Ravinder Jadeja floundered.

Kohli had an excellent start to build upon, while Raina had an opportunity to hold the lower order together. For Jadeja, it was a moment to show that bowling alone hadn't got him four consecutive matches against the world champions. The sooner they mature and assume command, the better it would be for an already formidable Indian line-up. It's time one of the top-order bats accepts more responsibility.

The bowlers, but for Ishant Sharma, had an excellent day and the effort in the field was the best in recent years — it doesn't get better than four run-outs against the world champions, who are excellent runners between the wickets.

Yet, India dithered under lights. Australia seized their big moments like true champions. Ricky Ponting finding Yuvraj Singh short of his crease with a sharp throw was as decisive a moment as they come. Doug Bollinger then put the skates under the Indians' feet on his return in the 32nd over.

Nathan Hauritz compensated for lack of turn with clever variations in pace. Someone or the other always puts his hands up at critical moments for Australia.

Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar can still give a fright in the lower half. Yet, the issue in Mohali was different. It was a case of missing application and that's a serious matter.

The task was well within India's reach — the number one spot was there for the taking. India took their eyes off the prey and paid with a loss that could be critical.

From now on, it would be interesting to see the response of the youngsters.

They must be thrown at the deep end. The better ones would survive; the lesser ones must go back to the domestic circuit.

Still, India would be difficult to beat in this series. But my eyes would be on the young talents.