Rahul Dravid’s inclusion in the ODI and T-20 squad has greatly boosted India’s chances in the shorter versions of the game despite injuries and loss of form to key players.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that if Dravid can take his Test match form into the limited overs versions, “this Indian team will be very difficult to beat.”
The Unreal Times presents the Indian teams batting strategy for ODIs in case India bats first. The whole idea of course will be to play the full quota of overs so that the Indian bowlers have something decent to defend for which Rahul will have to deliver.
First 10 overs
Dravid and Virender Sehwag will open the batting. Dravid will of course bat sensibly and leave everything outside the off-stump and not get tempted by those silly “only two men outside the circle” fielding restrictions to go for risky, technically-incorrect lofted shots. Even as hell keeps things tight at one end, Sehwag can go for his shots at the other end with freedom. This will ensure that the run-rate remains healthy – not too high and not too low.
For instance, a typical sequence can read:
Bresnan to Dravid: Dot, Dot, Dot, Dot, Dot, Dot
Anderson to Sehwag: 4, 2, Dot (Single Refused), Six, 3, Dot
Of course, with Sehwag anything can happen so the leadership has wisely refrained from assigning the mercurial “Nawab of Najafgarh” with any responsibilities and told him to do whatever he wants.
Middle Overs: 10-40
In all likelihood, the Indians middle-order batsmen will come in and play little cameos while Dravid holds the other end up. He will play percentage cricket in that he might take a few risks – the odd reverse sweep or upper cut – but nothing too extravagant to be called a non-Test match shot. It will all depend on how many wickets are in hand what the run-rate is. Dravid may also decline to rotate the strike in case the batsmen at the other end is:
a. All at sea
b. Playing ugly slog strokes that may force the purist in Dravid to look the other way
End Overs: 40-50
If Dravid has to bat with the tailenders (the Indian tail now begins with Mahendra Singh Dhoni) from the 40th over itself, then he will farm the strike. So expect another grim Test match-like session where “The Wall” will frustrate the bowlers with his obdurate defense while stealing a single off the last ball to retain strike and shield the fledgling Indian tail-enders from raiding by those mean English bowlers. In the last over, Dravid has graciously agreed to play a few slog shots, but nothing too ridiculous. Even that will be eschewed if the score is healthy, in which case he will continue to play “within the V” and not poke at balls outside the off-stump during the so-called slog-overs.
(Reproduced with permission from http://www.theunrealtimes.com/ The UnReal Times is one of the top websites for satire, spoof, parody and humour in India)