Don?t forget the bigger picture
India were found wanting as the roles reversed at Rawalpindi. It's now obvious that this series is all about sustaining pressure. If the intensity continues in the same manner, then both teams will be completely stressed out before the Test matches start.
Winning is extremely important in such pressure-cooker situations. When some fail to deliver their best in this situation, then issues like self-doubt, insecurity, and trying to find escape routes to miss out the games start popping up. The team management should be extremely vigilant to ensure that players are counselled to get on with the game and remain in a positive frame of mind.
There are many youngsters in the Indian side, who have still to come to terms with the pressure and expectations of cricket. Players like Hemang Badani and Irfan Pathan, who are frequently in and out of the playing XI, are the ones at high risk. Pathan, who is tipped to play in place of Ashish Nehra, should be handled with care. One thing I must point out is that in the quest of winning games, the team-building efforts should not be forgotten. Results follow only when you have a good team.
The return to form of Zaheer Khan is important for the team to do well. The bowling department can operate effectively only when it locks on to playing the same three fast bowlers in all the games. Chopping and changing will not give the team a proper measure of its bowling resources.
Nehra's consistent breakdowns and injury problems is baffling. This only adds to the problems of Indian bowling. A bowler learns a lot from each game and he has to carry forward the experience of the previous game. Nehra's exit will bring Pathan, who now has to start from the scratch to understand the nature of the wickets and the batsmen. The time is very short for this young lad to comprehend all this.