Home > Features >

India’s strategy to stack team with all-rounders may not be solution heading into ICC World Cup 2015

Ravindra Jadeja has been termed as a genuine all-rounder for India © Getty Images
Ravindra Jadeja has been termed as a genuine all-rounder for India © Getty Images

By R Vishal

India’s woes abroad rolls like a juggernaut from one generation of players to the next. The recent loss at Hamilton against New Zealand ended all hopes of the visitors salvaging anything out of the series and even a major shuffle in the batting and the bowling line-up fell flat on skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s face.

The team management had decided to go with three all-rounders in the fourth One-Day International (ODI), a move that raised questions if that was the way forward or just another experiment, with desperate times driving the team to somehow eke out a victory.

Stuart Binny, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin were stacked in the middle-order to lend a rather thin-looking batting line-up. Has Dhoni lost his trust in his aides in the middle-order? The ICC World Cup 2011 had Yuvraj Singh rolling his arm and getting crucial breakthroughs whenever the team needed one. With the Indian bowling looking toothless and impotent in wickets away from home, who does the Ranchi man turn to?

The lower middle-order of Jadeja and Ashwin has exceeded expectations with their big-hitting prowess in the ongoing series in New Zealand but the pace attack of Varun Aaron, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami (is it necessary to add Ishant Sharma’s name here?) combined with Ashwin’s ineptitude with ball, the bowlers have been carted over the small boundaries of New Zealand with minimal fuss. So much so that it drove the helpless Indian skipper to ask his bowlers to use their brains.

One of the most intriguing topics of an Indian cricket aficionado is trying to dissect the thoughts running in the Dhoni, the cricketing marvel’s mind over a cup of coffee. At some point the topic of the Ranchi dasher having a trusted core and backing them to the hilt is sure to crop up.

It is only too well documented how Dhoni has backed the nucleus of Suresh Raina, Ashwin and Jadeja in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and at international level to elevate the trio to who they are today despite having being under immense scrutiny at different junctures in their carrier.

If the fourth ODI is anything to go by, Binny was given a raw deal with the ball (of course, he could not do anything about giving him a bat) — a clear indication on the level of trust that the skipper has on the Karnataka all-rounder’s abilities.

With the bowlers and the middle-order faltering at every turn, the team management might just cave into the increasing calls from experts and commentators to integrate Gautam Gambhir and Cheteshwar Pujara at the top of the order.

Alongside Virat Kohli, Pujara has been the cornerstone of India’s batting in recent years and the top-order batting has been the brains behind India’s victories in the recent past. While Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have had troubles with the rising ball, the year ahead with the upcoming Tests against New Zealand in February and the lengthy tour of England would definitely shape their technique over the next few months. Then there is the ICC World Cup 2015 to look forward to.

(R Vishal is a journalist and an alumni of the Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Jan 2, 2015 (14:00 IST)   at Cape Town

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Jan 3, 2015 (03:30 IST)   at Wellington

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Australia won by 4 wkts

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Centurion

South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Ind vs Aus: Dhoni analyses the 4-wicket loss at Brisbane

ICC World Cup 2015: England announce 15-man squad

India’s collapse against Australia on 2nd Test at Brisbane: Did the visitors really bat badly on Day 4?

India vs Australia 2014-15, Brisbane: India marks out of 10

Live Cricket Score India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 4: Australia win by 4 wickets, take 2-0 lead in the series

Anil Kumble Australia India Moments in history Ricky Ponting South Africa

New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2014-15: Brendon McCullum returns as middle-order batsman

South Africa vs West Indies 2014-15: Leon Johnson urges Windies batsmen to perform better

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: MS Dhoni says there was miscommunication regarding Shikhar Dhawan’s injury

Alastair Cook: I’m gutted to be left out of the World Cup squad

Sourav Ganguly praises and thanks fans for their over-whelming reception to ISL

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Highlights

India’s collapse against Australia on 2nd Test at Brisbane: Did the visitors really bat badly on Day 4?

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Marks out of 10 for the hosts

India vs Australia 2014-15, Brisbane: India marks out of 10

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Marks out of ten for the hosts

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here