Bowling worries trouble India: Srinath

Indian team has every reason to feel better after their clinical approach against Bangladesh.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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Indian team has every reason to feel better after their clinical approach against Bangladesh. After their defeat against Sri Lanka, I was not sure whether skipper Sourav Ganguly was more concerned about the rustiness of the top order batsmen or the penetration of the bowlers. But once Ganguly won the toss and opted to field, it was quite clear that he was more concerned about bowling. Sending Bangladesh to bat first was a conscious decision to get the bowling combination right before the all-important game against Pakistan on Sunday. The team think-tank decided to go even further to rest Anil Kumble and give both Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra a good run. Fitness factor Even if Zaheer Khan is declared fit by physio Andrew Liepus, the team cannot afford to take the risk of playing him in such crucial encounters. Although, Bangladesh is considered minnows, the performance of Ashish and Harbhajan has furthermore given the captain a good measure about their form and fitness. With Anil coming back into the side, the game against Pakistan will be a toss up between the third seamer and a second spinner, much depending on the nature of the strip. For some strange reasons, the extras have been playing havoc in this tournament. It's not only the Indians, even the Pakistani bowlers are equally at fault. Indians gave away a staggering number of 37 extras out of which 23 were wides and four no balls. That happens to be the second highest score in the Bangladesh scorecard. Equally baffling were in the manner the Pakistan bowlers conceded 17 wides and four no balls. The Indians will have to get better in this area. After all, in tight contests, discipline makes a major difference. Cautious Sachin Sachin's cautious approach was quite understandable since it is always important for the batsman to spend time in the middle. Still a keen student of the sport, Sachin plays the game according to the merit of cricket. He, perhaps, showed maximum respect to weak Bangladesh attack to derive the best for his batting. The mind and the body co-ordination are so important in this game that even an ounce of arrogance and recklessness can bring down the greatest of batsmen. It was a lesson for the youngsters to learn from the way Sachin went about building his innings. Ganguly followed the same pursuit to be among the runs. Dismal Pak Pakistan's dismal show has once again exposed their brittle batting line up. Their lack of experience is very much evident in recent games. The argument to induce fresh blood into the team does not necessarily always bring victories. The truth is that not much importance is given to the fact of blending youth with experience. The problem is that too many youngsters in the side automatically lead to the delay in maturing at the international level. Pakistan s idea of having a foreign coach is a benign departure from conventional routine, which has failed more often than not. Bob Woolmer at the helm of affairs certainly has a far better grasp of things. He transformed the South African team into a good side and proved that one need not be a great international player to be a good coach. (PTI)