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‘Men in Blue’ beaten Black & Blue!

‘Men in Blue’ beaten Black & Blue!
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India Vs South Africa ODI Series: ‘Men In Blue’ Beaten Black & Blue!, South Africa Beats India. Considering the gloomy track record that the Indian...

Considering the gloomy track record that the Indian cricket team traditionally clings to in the matches hosted away from the sub continent, rarely anyone anticipates much when they are on foreign tours. And more such, when Sachin Tendulkar, the batting hope of a billion Indians (for over the last two decades) and Rahul Dravid, the ever dependable Indian batting trump card on the foreign soil, are missing from the ranks too.
This proffers out a perfect recipe for an ideal catastrophe. As expected, our youthful team didn’t dishearten us and submitted without even showing an iota of resistance in front of South Africa. Fortunately for them, the throbbing comes at a time when entire nation is busy deciphering AAP’s reverberating conquest in the Delhi Assembly elections. Otherwise, cricket followers and media would have thrown more brickbats at them.
It was the girlish looking Dale Steyn in his pink jersey (supporting the cause of breast cancer) running riot along with his fellow pacers after Proteas spanked listless Indian bowlers all over the park in the first two One Day Internationals (ODIs).
‘Men in Blue’ beaten Black & Blue!
While the trouncing in the first ODI could be attributed to the generosity of our ‘ultra slow’ fast bowlers, which helped the opposition stockpile a colossal target of 359, it was our batting failure that led us down in the second, chasing otherwise a manageable 281 for victory.
The ongoing series has revealed that our middle order is too frail and lacks sturdiness. Back in India, it was the trio of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan who led the batting honors in almost every match they played in.
This left our middle order untested. Moreover, it’s not only the short ball but the moving ball on the green tops that has done in Indian batsmen who have always been labeled as poor players of rising and swinging deliveries. Against exceptionally weak West Indies our batsman didn’t think twice before stepping out against the ‘odd’ short ball and smacking it into the stands.
The other interesting point is that BCCI was so overconfident with their boys that it didn’t arrange for warm up games before the ODI series.
Although, every single Indian batsman looked scratchy facing South African pacers including newly evolved run machine Virat Kohli who has been touted as next Tendulkar in India, Rohit Sharma seemed the one most out of place.
The sight of him struggling to even put a bat against ball in Wanderers during the first ODI, pained countless Indian cricket enthusiasts considerably. And, the kind of mocking ovation he received after eventually getting a feel of the ball on his bat subsequent to missing 16 deliveries was unspeakable.
Our young batsmen who twirled their spunky moustaches after scoring big hundreds back in India while playing on dead tracks, appear absolutely indolent and clueless against Steyn. The way he is tossing thunderbolts at 150 kmph doesn’t show any respite in store from his side for the spine-less Indian bating line up even in the third ODI. And the picture doesn’t seem much rose-colored in the upcoming test series as well for the Men in Blue.
Grippingly, Steyn has bowled 15 overs till now in the last two ODIs and scalped 6 wickets for an average of 7 and an economy rate of 2.8. And, he has rarely bowled below 145 kmph in both the encounters. There is not much to talk about our bowlers especially the pacers. Excluding Mohammad Shami everyone else has failed to bowl yorkers in the death overs. The speed at which they bowl is so pitiable that De Villiers and company don’t mind playing them standing out of their creases.
It’s so disheartening to learn that in a nation of over a billion people, we are unable to find a tear away express bowler up till now. If we were to exclude Shami, the rest of the lot only possesses three stock deliveries namely “Slow, Slower, and Slowest”. Even former Indian leggie Anil Kumble was far faster off the pitch than these youngsters who don’t even come across as feisty fast bowlers either in their attitude or body built.
The way Indian seamers have bowled so far only shows lack of ideas and application. As the tournament has already been lost, nothing much can be done here, but going by what Anil Kumble suggests, fielding Test XI in the third ODI will undeniably be a prudent idea.
Taking up the third ODI in form of a practice match can help the beleaguered Indian team in regrouping and coming up with a better strategy for the forthcoming test series.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of our organisation.
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