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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

Cricket Columns

Indian think-tank not addressing core problems
Inzamam ul-Haq, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 05, 2013
First Published: 01:03 IST(5/1/2013)
Last Updated: 01:05 IST(5/1/2013)

It was a wonderful series win for Pakistan and, I hope, it puts Pakistan cricket on the right track. The team management and the young players too can start believing that they are on the right track. But, I am surprised by India's performance and the state they are in. I attribute this failure to some reasons, which are cricketing and difficult to accept.

I was surprised by Dhoni's decision to field first. All those who have played at the Eden know that the wicket gets low and slow as the game progresses.

Dhoni was, perhaps, guided by the fact that in Chennai under overcast conditions, his batting failed.

But a captain must remember that when his batting unit is not in great form, chasing becomes extremely difficult. And, if you are to chase on such a slow track, you are bound to be in trouble. Somebody who is captain of the national side for five-six years and doesn't seem to be aware of the domestic conditions, then there is real trouble.

BATTING WOES

Then, look at the batting lineup. Sehwag, Gambhir and Kohli are not in form, but are being persisted with, while Rahane, who got runs in T20 and looked in good touch, is warming the bench. Yuvraj batted at number four, but if I remember right, he has always batted at 5 or 6, when the ball is old and not doing much. You send a man in at four when the ball is still doing its bit knowing well his shortcomings against the moving ball, then there is bound to be problem. The captain and the team management definitely did not do their homework well.

WHERE IS BHAJJI?

Coming to bowling, India have a new-look attack, which will take time to shape up. But then where is Harbhajan? I don't remember Ashwin troubling batters or getting wickets by the ton. Harbhajan bowled well in the T20 World Cup and got wickets against England in Mumbai, but is not in a side where other spinners are not doing anything! That means the Indian think-tank is not really doing its job.

One really doesn't understand the thought process of Indian cricket. Whatever it may be, they need to think fast and different.

The writer is former Pak captain. 360 Corporate Relations


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