Home > Features >

Bowling continues to be a worry for India, but team can take positives from defeat in first ODI

Bowling continues to be a worry for India, but team can take positives from defeat in first ODI

Not much should be expected from new entrants like Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (L) and Shami Ahmed (2R) right away, and the head honchos must be prepared to give them a longer run © IANS

By Karthik Parimal

Credit must be given to England for registering their first One-Day International (ODI) victory in India, in a bilateral series, after seven long years. They batted diligently and fielded well, and although their bowling — with the exception of James Tredwell — wasn’t up to the mark, it was enough to trump the Indians in their own backyard. The win would certainly rank high considering the fact that England was without the services of several first-rate players. The same can be said about the Indian side in transition, and they can walk away with quite a few positives despite having lost the game.
 
For starters, the openers offered resistance and dragged India back into the game. Ajinkya Rahane, who was drafted into the side in place of the non-performing Virender Sehwag, justified his inclusion and has strengthened his case for a longer run. Gautam Gambhir too was back among the runs, but it remains to be seen if he can build on this start and refrain from a relapse, as has so often happened in the past. The said partnership of 96 between Rahane and Gambhir was India’s first fifty-plus stand in 12 ODIs and highest since the last one year. This statistic sheds enough light on the conundrums India faced at the top.
 
In the middle-order, Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are the only batsmen whose performances have stood out since the last few ODIs. They’ve consolidated, attacked and played as per the demands of the situation. Although their strike-rates tell a completely different tale, one cannot deny the fact that the Indian batting line-up would have been in a deeper predicament but for the duo. At one stage during the Rajkot ODI, when the two were at the crease, it certainly looked as though India would make mincemeat of the English total. “I won’t sound arrogant, but it seemed easy when I and Raina were in, with five fielders in the circle,” Dhoni aptly stated after the match.
 
At No.3, Virat Kohli’s last few games have been a sombre affair. With scores of 23, 0, 6, 7 and 15, he has looked a completely different batsman since the series against Sri Lanka. But having seen his attitude towards the game in the past and his undying appetite for runs, one feels that it’s only a matter of time before he dons the role of a protagonist in the batting line-up yet again. Yuvraj Singh’s scores of 72, against Pakistan at Ahmedabad, and 61, against England at Rajkot, show signs of recuperation. He was India’s highest scorer in the previous game but succumbed against the run of play. That’s an issue that needs to be addressed for India to have a sturdy middle-order in the remainder of this series.
 
India’s area of worry continues to be its bowling department. In the absence of Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav, the brittle attack was surely going to be tested. Not much should be expected from new entrants like Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed right away, and the head honchos must be prepared to give them a longer run despite their sporadic performances during initial days. However, the responsibility lies on the shoulders of Ishant Sharma during this tentative phase. Injuries have forced him in and out of the side more often than not, but the fact remains that he has failed to grab the opportunities presented to him. As someone who was expected to fill Zaheer’s shoes a couple of years ago, Ishant has rarely advanced since then.
 
Ashok Dinda was drafted into the side in place of Shami Ahmed for the Rajkot ODI, and Dhoni justified the former’s inclusion on the basis of his ability to bowl yorkers in the death overs. While the reasoning could probably be true, it must be realised that frequent shuffling of bowlers in and out of the side is only going to hamper their progress. It could have augured well to field Shami in the first game, considering the youngster’s recent exploits against Pakistan. Nevertheless, there is a high possibility of Ishant making way for Shami during the Kochi ODI.
 
In the first game at Rajkot, there wasn’t much to choose between the batting of the two sides. Both line-ups got starts but none carried their bat till the end. The difference was undoubtedly James Tredwell’s inspired spell of bowling. Unfortunately for India, none of the bowlers, barring part-timer Suresh Raina, managed to perplex the English batsmen. If that aspect of the game can be bettered during the next ODI and games after that, then India could still script a roaring comeback in the series.

(Karthik Parimal, a Correspondent with CricketCountry, is a cricket aficionado and a worshipper of the game. He idolises Steve Waugh and can give up anything, absolutely anything, just to watch a Kumar Sangakkara cover drive. He can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/karthik_parimal)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Bristol

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (00:00 IST)   at Basseterre, St Kitts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Hambantota

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Cardiff

More

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 23, 2014  at Hambantota

Pak won by 4 wkts (D/L method)

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 22, 2014  at St George's, Grenada

West Indies won by 177 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 21, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 20, 2014  at St George's, Grenada

West Indies won by 3 wkts

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 19, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 61 runs

Photos

England Women vs India Women 2014, 1st ODI at Scarborough

Videos

Morgan talks upcoming ODI series and World Cup

Virat Kohli’s knock against Middlesex could be start of his resurgence ahead of ODIs against England

England Women vs India Women Live Cricket Score, 2nd ODI at Scarborough: India lose Mithali Raj

India tour of England 2014: Visitor’s recent record in overseas ODIs a cause for concern

India tour of England 2014: Is county cricket really the answer for Indian batsmen?

India vs England 2014: Ideal opportunity for Sanju Samson and other youngsters to shine

England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe

Rajasthan could miss out on playing in the upcoming Indian domestic season

Virat Kohli may be the brand ambassador of ISL’s Goa franchise

IS Bindra’s career in cricket administration comes to an end

Charlotte Edwards creates world record of most centuries in Women’s ODIs

Sohaib Maqsood, Fawad Alam take Pakistan to victory against Sri Lanka in thriller

Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014: 1st ODI Highlights

Virat Kohli’s knock against Middlesex could be start of his resurgence ahead of ODIs against England

India vs England 2014: Alastair Cook, MS Dhoni, pigeons and pressures — the demands on cricket captains

When Devon Malcolm made South Africa ‘history’

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014: Younis Khan’s ODI comeback brings hope to Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

660 Posts | 6 Fans

Funny Cricket Wonders and Blunders

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan, 1st ODI at Hambantota

Latest Ebola News: UN pledges to support fight against Ebola in West Africa

Virat Kohli may be the brand ambassador of ISL’s Goa franchise

Priyanka Chopra: My world is incomplete

सौन्दर्य टिप #34: दूध से लायें तैलाक्त त्वचा में निखार

Belgian Grand Prix 2014: Nico Rosberg starts on pole position

Asus Zenfone 4 – A450CG with 4.5-inch display to take on the Xiaomi Redmi 1S, pre-bookings go live on Flipkart at midnight priced at Rs 6,999

Flipkart to launch an Intel-powered Android tablet on August 27

Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut and Parineeti Chopra appear on Aamir Khan’s show!

Shastri Sisters: Vijayendra Kumeria to make an entry in the show!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here