Though Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh are world class, they don’t have much qualitative © Getty Images
Though Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh are world class, they don’t have much qualitative © Getty Images

 

By Faisal Caesar

 

Since 2007, the Indian cricket team has gone from being good to better to being the best. In the 2007 World Cup, the men in blue were out of the World Cup in the first round, triggering a wave of disappointment in India. But since then, the Indian team has transformed into the best Test and ODI side in the world.

 

After four years, the World Cup caravan halts in the sub-continent. Indians fans are upbeat – almost overconfident – that their team will win the World Cup after 28 years. The current Indian team is perhaps the most balanced side amongst the 14 teams participating in the 2011 World Cup. Expectations are thus sky high.

 

But such expectations could boomerang than a boost. Hot favourites often crumble under pressure. Though the current Indian side is well balanced in terms of their past and recent records, but there are a few vulnerable areas:

 

1. Their running between the wickets is atrocious.

 

2. The Indians conventionally tend to ignore the old fashioned virtue of stealing five or six singles every over.

 

3. In the middle-order they don’t have someone like Rahul Dravid who is master at rotating the strike and keep the scoreboard moving.

 

4. The Indians depends more heavily on the top order to fire or their No. 7 or 8 to produce a blitz.

 

5. The India team tends to concede 20-30 runs through sloppy fielding. In major tournaments such extra runs can be the thorn in the throat.

 

6. Their bowling lacks depth. Though Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh are world class, they don’t have much qualitative.

 

1. Their running between the wickets is atrocious.

 

2. The Indians conventionally tend to ignore the old fashioned virtue of stealing five or six singles every over.

 

3. In the middle-order they don’t have someone like Rahul Dravid who is master at rotating the strike and keep the scoreboard moving.

 

4. The Indians depends more heavily on the top order to fire or their No. 7 or 8 to produce a blitz.

 

5. The India team tends to concede 20-30 runs through sloppy fielding. In major tournaments such extra runs can be the thorn in the throat.

 

6. Their bowling lacks depth. Though Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh are world class, they don’t have much qualitative.

 

India had been winning bilateral series despite these shortcomings – something that will get magnified in a mega event like the World Cup. If this Indian team has to emerge supreme, then the weakness would have to be addressed. The fielding has to be sharp, Zaheer and Harbhajan would have to get meaningful support, the running between the wickets must be flawless and one batsman has to play like Dravid in the middle-order.

 

Lastly, I think Sachin Tendulkar must bat in the middle-order. The Indian opening pair is good hands of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. Virat Kohli should come in at No 3 and Tendulkar at No 4. The team needs his enormous experience in the middle-order. He is the only person to me who can bring in the value that Dravid provided.

 

(Faisal Caesar is a doctor by profession whose dream of becoming a cricketer remained a dream. But his passion is very much alive and he translates that passion in writing about the game)