HT Image
HT Image

Tense & sensibility

Indians must swiftly change gears on Tuesday when they lock horns with Sri Lanka, reports Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.
By Atreyo Mukhopadhyay | Hindustan Times, Adelaide
UPDATED ON FEB 19, 2008 02:09 AM IST

One good thing about this Indian team, or any team in international cricket for that matter, is that they don't live in the past if it doesn't evoke good memories. This is not to suggest that they prefer resting on their laurels. But certainly, when it comes to looking ahead after a setback, they are ever so prompt.

Monday was bright and hot. Those who could afford to stay indoors didn't venture out and after the match against Australia, practice was optional for India. Just five of them came to the Adelaide Oval in the evening after a team meeting under a sun that was still strong and they looked relaxed, doing some light training or playing tennis. There was a team dinner after that.

Professionals that they are, the Indians must swiftly change gears come Tuesday when they lock horns with Sri Lanka. Australia have 17 points, are looking good for a few more and it's a two-horse race now for the other berth in the finals. Mathematically, there may still be some margin for errors, but practically, it's time to get rid of them.

Patience still a virtue

India had started the series with a big concern that has grown bigger despite some encouraging signs in between. Needless to say it is batting and the application or the lack of it shown by the men in the team to look after this department. It starts at the top and like running through a funnel from the narrower end, keeps getting wider.

None can say there is an alarming lack of talent in India's batting. At the same time, none can say with conviction that on a given day, at least two or three of them will dig deep and make sure that the team bats solidly for the full 50 overs. It hasn't happened in the five matches so far and more than technical inadequacies, this has got a lot to do with poor shot selection. There have been exceptions, which are not enough.

A big total is of course the name of the game, but history will show that not all such totals were made with big shots all through the innings. There is need to occupy the crease, spend time there because it's impossible to dominate all the overs against the kind of opposition India are facing here. This means resorting to the tried and tested virtues of the game instead of relying solely on firing from the first ball and keep pulling the trigger.

Less tinkering preferable

With due respect to Irfan Pathan's allround skills, at a time when things are not clicking collectively, sticking to a fixed batting line-up seems to be the need of the hour. Pathan is a capable batsman but India have not won many games by sending him ahead of the established batsmen.

He said on Monday his job was to “bat normally and not go for big shots when the team isn't chasing a big total”. If that is the case, then by denying the other batsmen a chance to play more balls, the team is actually not paying too much respect to their abilities. For a team in transition, this is not a good sign because it doesn't send right signals.

What about Sehwag?

The captain said Virender Sehwag wasn't 100 per cent and that's why he opted for five bowlers on Sunday. There can be arguments for and against that ploy without a clear winner. The catch is that Sehwag insists he is fully fit. He has given India two decent starts in this tri-series so far and Adelaide Oval is a ground with small square boundaries where he scored 150-plus in his last Test innings.

Against a team with a few left-handers in the top-order, Sehwag's off-spin may not be completely dispensable apart from his ability to kick-start the innings with some lusty hits. Five bowlers isn't a terrible idea given that Pathan gives the team that additional batting option, but against Sri Lanka, Sehwag may be a costly omission.

Get the big three

One feature uniting the three teams in this competition is their batting frailties. There are big names in all but the scores have been small and given the way Sri Lanka have batted, India can be hopeful of making serious inroads if they get the better of Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara and Jayawardene.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Former England captain Michael Atherton(Reuters)
Former England captain Michael Atherton(Reuters)

'I felt for Ollie Pope': Atherton picks 'ball of the game' from Ahmedabad Test

UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 01:13 PM IST
  • With as many as 28 of the 30 wickets to fall to spin, it can get difficult to judge one ball that stood out in the match.
Close
Axar Patel appeals successfully. (BCCI)
Axar Patel appeals successfully. (BCCI)

‘That’s something one would want to repeat’: Tendulkar’s message for Axar

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:55 PM IST
  • India vs England: Picking up a five-for in three innings in a row is no trivial feat, and Tendulkar expects left-arm spinner Axar Patel to once again deliver the goods in the fourth Test.
Close
Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - Sri Lanka v India - Headingley, Leeds, Britain - July 6, 2019 Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews reacts after losing his wicket Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith(Action Images via Reuters)
Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - Sri Lanka v India - Headingley, Leeds, Britain - July 6, 2019 Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews reacts after losing his wicket Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith(Action Images via Reuters)

Mathews to captain Sri Lanka in T20s as visa issue grounds Shanaka

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:04 PM IST
Shanaka was named Sri Lanka's new Twenty20 captain last week but the 29-year-old could not board the flight that left with his teammates on Monday after failing to arrange a new transit visa to the United States.
Close
Sune Luus of South Africa congratulates Moseline Daniels(ICC Photo)
Sune Luus of South Africa congratulates Moseline Daniels(ICC Photo)

Sune Luus to lead SA women in India; Niekerk, Tryon still out due to injuries

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 11:55 AM IST
South Africa retained most of the players in the 18-member squad which had won the ODI and T20 series against Pakistan last month. Van Niekerk and Chloe Tryon were not part of that series.
Close
File image of Imad Wasim.(Getty Images)
File image of Imad Wasim.(Getty Images)

‘Even on flat tracks, he's bowling so well':Wasim names best bowler in the world

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 11:55 AM IST
Babar led Karachi to its second win in three games with a six and two fours in succession against fast bowler Sohail Khan in the penultimate over.
Close
Wasim Jaffer and Ravichandran Ashwin
Wasim Jaffer and Ravichandran Ashwin

Jaffer reacts to Ashwin's fiery press conference ahead of IND vs ENG 4th Test

PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 11:31 AM IST
  • India vs England: “Ashwin taking English wickets both on and off the field,” Wasim Jaffer tweeted quoting Ashwin’s reply to a question from an English journalist about the Ahmedabad pitch.
Close
*Indian bowler R Ashwin celebrates the dismissal of England's J Leach on the first day of the 3rd cricket test match between India and England, at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.(PTI)
*Indian bowler R Ashwin celebrates the dismissal of England's J Leach on the first day of the 3rd cricket test match between India and England, at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.(PTI)

Who defines good pitches, asks Ashwin

By N Ananthanarayanan, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 11:11 AM IST
  • Ashwin is an angry man over what he sees as too much importance being given in India to criticism of the pitches prepared for the second Test in Chennai and the pink-ball game in Ahmedabad.
Close
Australia's Nathan Lyon shows the ball as he leaves the field following his 6 wicket haul on day four of the first test match between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, Australia, December 9, 2018.(REUTERS)
Australia's Nathan Lyon shows the ball as he leaves the field following his 6 wicket haul on day four of the first test match between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, Australia, December 9, 2018.(REUTERS)

As soon as it starts spinning, everyone seems to start crying about it: Lyon

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 11:59 AM IST
  • Australian spinner Nathan Lyon has lent his support to the pitch as he said that 'everyone in the world seems to start crying’ when the ball starts spinning.
Close
Indian bowler R Ashwin celebrates the dismissal of England's Ben Stokes with his team on the second day of the 3rd cricket test match between India and England, at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.(PTI)
Indian bowler R Ashwin celebrates the dismissal of England's Ben Stokes with his team on the second day of the 3rd cricket test match between India and England, at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.(PTI)

'Why would you talk about the surface and sell that to us time and time again?'

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:00 PM IST
  • Several former cricketers including Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, and Michael Vaughan have criticised the pitch, but off-spinner R Ashwin believes that the conversation about the surface is getting out of hand.
Close
File image of Dale Steyn.(Getty Images)
File image of Dale Steyn.(Getty Images)

'No time for you as human': Steyn slams commentator for 'mid-life crisis' remark

UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 11:05 AM IST
  • Miffed with the remarks, Steyn took to Twitter and asked: "Question Which commentator said I have a mid-life crisis?"
Close
Mohammad Azharuddin had to face ‘humiliation’ at the hands of Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), after he was made to stand outside for an hour before being allowed to attend the Special General Meeting (SGM).(Twitter)
Mohammad Azharuddin had to face ‘humiliation’ at the hands of Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), after he was made to stand outside for an hour before being allowed to attend the Special General Meeting (SGM).(Twitter)

Mohammad Azharuddin's interesting idea to help batsmen on 'rank turners'

UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:14 PM IST
  • Batsmen from both India and England struggled on the spinning surface of the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, the venue which hosted the third Test of the series.
Close
File image of David Lloyd(Twitter)
File image of David Lloyd(Twitter)

Huge ramifications for Test cricket if Ahmedabad pitch is acceptable: Lloyd

UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 11:05 AM IST
  • The third Test match between India and England ended in two days with India winning the contest by 10 wickets to take a 2-1 lead in the four-match series.
Close
Pakistan Cricket Board's managing director Wasim Khan.. File(AP)
Pakistan Cricket Board's managing director Wasim Khan.. File(AP)

PCB CEO Wasim Khan likely to get extension at BOG meeting

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 09:57 PM IST
Although the BOG has a long agenda to deal with one of the main items is giving an extension to Wasim Khan, who has also expressed his interest in continuing as CEO.
Close
India's Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates.
India's Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates.

Ball makers SG to conduct more trials after two day pink ball Test

By Rasesh Mandani, Mumbai
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 10:05 PM IST
India vs England: Ashwin says players will take time to adapt, as BCCI confirms pink ball Tests here to stay
Close
Jonathan Trott.(ECB Media)
Jonathan Trott.(ECB Media)

We would be doing ourselves a disservice by blaming the pitch: Trott

PTI, Ahmedabad
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:56 PM IST
The pitch of the Pink-ball Test here received a lot of flak from some quarters after England were bundled out for 112 and 81 in the two innings during their 10-wicket loss on Thursday.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP