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Will the real India please stand up?

Uncertainty is perhaps the reason why millions watch every India match, writes GR Viswanath.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2007 05:07 IST

Following Indian cricket is not an easy thing to do. Like most other matches, in the ongoing ODI series against England too, there is a big question about which Indian team will turn up on the day — a good one or one that will just make up the numbers. But this uncertainty is perhaps the reason why millions watch every India match.

We are a team of extremes, brilliant one day and not figuring at all the next. The reason behind these fluctuating performances is difficult to point out. While batting, bowling and fielding all play their part (or not), at the end of the day, it is our batting that makes the team tick.

It is our batting that makes or breaks the day. Our bowling is dependent on helpful conditions, and otherwise any useful contribution is a bonus. It is almost as if no one can be a good bowler in typical one-day conditions. Our batting has always been our strength and our batsmen have to come good in all conditions — except maybe batting under lights — which is why I have always stressed on batting first in a day-nighter. Even in day matches it is always advisable to set a target rather than chase one under pressure.

That brings us to the balance of the team. We may have got away playing just four bowlers on Sunday but we can’t be sure that is the way to go. It only shows the importance of genuine all-rounders. As far as spots go, I am of the firm opinion that a specialist should stick to his position. And it is perhaps time Rahul took up his spot at slip again. I understand he’s trying to stand close to the bowler and guide him but he can do that from slip too.

But as for the ball repeatedly going in between the ’keeper and first slip, the two must have an understanding. It is usually the wicketkeeper that goes for the ball but it is always better to have discussed it earlier.