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Yuvi the bowler key to India’s success

india Updated: Nov 29, 2010 00:56 IST
Ravi Shastri

The young India team lost its lower half in a blink. There were meaty stands in the upper half - even though only Virat Kohli turned it into anything substantial - but nothing thereafter.

A 300-plus was definitely gettable. A couple of things could be held up as reasons for the under-300 total. One, without MS Dhoni and the pyrotechnics of Harbhajan Singh, the young Indians were unable to press on the pedal. Two, Kyle Mills and Andy McKay hustled them into submission with their angles and pace.

With Ashish Nehra coming up so high in the order to bat, the tell-tale signs of a paperweight lower half were apparent. Two men in this line-up held special interest.

Looking to reclaim their slots, Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan had a decent outing with the bat.

They were good in the field to make up for the all-round presence which the selectors hope them to provide during the World Cup.

Kohli though has clearly made the most of his recent chances. He is consistent and is invariably providing big scores. He is looking to bat long, which is a good sign for a youngster.

The fact that he has stayed at No 3 for a while has helped. It's the ideal number for him.

New Zealand still had a formidable chase. Not many back them in the one-day format, certainly not their batting, after what happened in Bangladesh.

Their true test was going to be against the slower bowlers on a wicket which tended to slacken after a while.

So it was. Even though Ross Taylor and Ken Williamson hung around for a while, Yuvraj was too much in the middle overs. He turned the ball and at times darted it in to keep the batsmen guessing. India should get at least eight overs out of him in every game leading into the World Cup, especially in Indian conditions.

New Zealand have serious issues with their one-day side. They have done well in the bigger tournaments and have usually made it to the last four, but this one might be tough.

Losing to a young home team, a virtual 'B' side, wouldn't be a nice feeling.