Dropped catch proved costly: Srinath

The defeat against hosts Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final on Sunday will give rise to many questions about the Indian team management.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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New Delhi:

The defeat against hosts Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final on Sunday will give rise to many questions about the Indian team management. The team think-thank will also have to face the harsh realities of cricket. The Indian team that came back from the death on Tuesday was viewed as a resilient side only to be proved wrong on Sunday. While making an honest assessment about themselves, it is important for them to take into account the growing worthiness of the Sri Lankan cricket as well. Today, the Indian team members must stand up to take the responsibility and accept the defeat. But the amendments that the team would be doing in terms of chopping and changing the players have to be closely monitored. Any defeat would call for some drastic measures. There are experts who may come out with some strong opinions. But one should not give too much importance to these alarmists and rather look for more positive solutions that would help the team do better. A missed opportunity After the fall of Sangakkara's wicket, the hosts could manage only 70 odd runs for the last seven wickets. It indicates that the dropped catch of Sangakkara proved too costly for the Indians. In any match, the horses for the courses remain the basis of selecting the team. On a square turner at the Premadasa Stadium, there was not much to differentiate between a regular off spinner like Harbhajan Singh and the non-regulars like Virender Sehwag or Sachin Tendulkar. The way Sachin bowled his leggies would have made Shane Warne watch him in awe. But it also leads to the debate whether excluding Anil Kumble out of the playing eleven was the right decision. Skipper Ganguly had somehow reposed more confidence in the combination of three seamers and one spinner. It works well in most parts of the world. But the last ICC Cup in Sri Lanka provided ample evidence why the team could have relied more on spinners. After all, the team calling the coin right always holds the advantage in these grounds. I think the team management should have done their homework better. No one to blame Sunday's match reminded me of the 1996 World Cup semi-final in Kolkata. We hoped to win as long as Sachin was there at the crease. The Indian batsmen have only to blame themselves for the defeat. It only required a game of singles and twos to win the match. The Indian batsmen should have realised that scoring shots would be dangerous on such tracks. The focus from ones and twos shifted to the scoring shots because of some acrobatic and agile fielding by the Lankans. It was the Sri Lankan fielding that really put the pressure and forced Indian batsmen to commit mistakes. Learning from mistakes Yuvraj and Kaif always come at the crucial stages of the game. They can only do their job better if the top order batmen have laid the right platform. Blaming Kaif for his dismissal is not the right way to assess his efforts. It is natural to see the positive side and ignore the blunders when the team wins. Similarly, a defeated side mostly fail to see the positives and get too immersed in their own cup of woes. Indians must be serious about Balaji and proper care should be taken to improve his fragile confidence. The youngster should also take lesson from Pathan's progress to sustain himself at the international level. Virender Sehwag by now, I am pretty confident, must be doing some introspection about his own batting. Indian team has some time before they embark for the tri-series in Holland. The time is ripe for the team to make the necessay corrections. (PTI)