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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014
Root cause: India dragged a few players for too long
Ian Botham
January 11, 2013
First Published: 00:47 IST(11/1/2013)
Last Updated: 00:50 IST(11/1/2013)

India's prolonged poor run has prompted the selectors to make a tough call and drop Virender Sehwag. I was looking forward to some more changes in batting, but that didn't happen. India have a new-look bowling attack, which has done a decent job against Pakistan. To make a judgement, we would need to see how they fare over a period of time.

The young England T20 side impressed in both the games they played and the new India attack didn't pose much of a threat to them, so I don't think England would be much worried about India's bowling.

The Indian team management is under pressure, but still on paper, they are a better ODI batting side than England. It's a bit surprising that India haven't fared very well in this format despite playing it often, and the World Cup win wasn't too long back. But, then, to point out the reason, I feel, they have dragged a few players for too long.

Fit men needed
This game belongs to fit men and ageing is a natural process. Over the years, they have produced champion cricketers, but we must understand that after a while, one must also look beyond. They needed to phase out players and they didn't do that well, and that's why they are finding themselves with new faces. It doesn't make sense losing with older players. Rather, blood youngsters.

Every team goes through this and, I think, the Indian fans must be patient. The likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara certainly look to be long-term solutions, but they need to prove themselves. Also, the ones they are replacing are great names, so there will be added pressure on them. Dew will play a key role in today's game and Rajkot being a batting paradise, the team batting first will gain the advantage.

PMG

The writer is a former England captain


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