Parthiv, Rahane have ensured India didn't miss Tendulkar and Sehwag

Parthiv Patel (left) and Ajinkya Rahane have provided confident starts to India in the first two ODIs © Getty Images

 

By Dhananjay Devasper

 

One demoralising defeat after the other. That seems to be the plot of India’s story in England. Even the Gods don’t want the Indians to win, or so it would seem. When you track the omens, you’ll find that the days were bright and sunny when England was batting, and overcast when India was in the Test series. In the first One-Day International (ODI), when India was in a favourable position, the rain Gods came down heavily and washed away any hopes of a resurrecting victory.

 

The spate of injuries with each passing day, have not helped matters either. Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma are out. Manoj Tiwary and Subramanian Badrinath are the latest in the list of players to come in as replacements. It reminds one of the movie “Hot Shots”, where the Colonel informs Charlie Sheen that he was the “Best of what’s left” for the mission. The Indian team finds itself in a similar situation.

 

For a change, the Indian batting showed some spunk in the two ODIs that went by. Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane have not let us miss Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. Parthiv’s innings in the first ODI was a treat. He cut and hooked anything that was short and laid waste to the English plans of bowling short. The opening slot for now seems to be safe. Suresh Raina is a completely different player in the ODI and T20 formats and it shows in the way he has batted.  If there is a critique of the current batting, it will have to be of Dhoni not coming up the order. But the batting looks to be fine, for now at least.

 

The biggest cause of worry is India’s depleted bowling attack. India has never had a good set of back-up bowlers, and here’s where you need to make the best of what you have. Vinay Kumar is an extremely over-rated bowler, who was carted around mercilessly in the T20 and second ODI. It’s time to relegate him to the sidelines and bring in some variety in the bowling attack in terms of pace, by giving Varun Aaron a few matches. Pravin Kumar had a rough day, but we can expect him to bounce back. The rest of the bowling looks very shoddy and wouldn’t be able to threaten a baby on a good day.

 

What India seems to be lacking is in leadership and good coaching and it might be needed now, even more than ever. The Indians don’t seem to think differently when they are being hit, like bowling a slower ball, or a bouncer just to mix things up. We can always crib and complain about the fact that we are missing our best players. But we also have to look at this as an opportunity to make the best of what we have, and ensure we inspire our fringe players in the best possible manner.

 

Else this could turn out to be the start of yet another whitewash.

 

(Dhananjay Devasper is an “IT guy” by profession and a sports fanatic at heart. He has an unbridled passion for sports and Indian achievements in sport. Extremely opinionated, he attempts offering perspectives around sports which are simple to understand and easy to relate with)