India need to rethink on seniors

India were outperformed by Australia in every department of the game, but the hosts need to fix few glaring problems quickly.

updated: October 16, 2007 13:25 IST
  • Total Shares


India were outperformed by Australia in every department of the game, but the hosts need to fix few glaring problems quickly in order to put their ODI team in place.

Fielding is one area where India stood thoroughly exposed and was visibly the biggest difference between the two sides.

India also need to work out how to use the trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and Rahul Dravid in a better way.

The ODI series was lost with the defeat in a high-scoring sixth game on Sunday, but India need to learn the lessons provided by the rubber.

Australians have more players in the 30s than their Indian counterparts and some of them even older, but the fitness level of their players is way apart.

"The Australians saved 10-15 runs in the field and, taking that into consideration, we were chasing not 318 but more like 330 or 335," skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said, indicating one big area of concern for the team.

The Indian XI on Sunday had just over 50 per cent players in their mid or late twenties with the rest in their 30s.

Even the visitors were feeling the strain of playing in the heat and humidity of the sub-continent in spite of their superior fitness, and the Indians especially the seniors like Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid and Zaheer Khan were no different.

Tendulkar displayed glimpses of his prime in his last two innings. The master batsman's dismissal after having put on 140 runs put the skids on the Indian run-chase with the asking rate having gone just beyond 7.

Ganguly too visibly slowed down after hitting a spate of boundaries in the initial stage of his knock.

The decision of sending in a pinch-hitter at Tendulkar's fall was, however, negated by the surprising one that followed of replacing him with an out-of-form Dravid at two down.

Dhoni defended what many felt was a blunder he had committed by saying that his predecessor had been padded up for a long time to go in at one-down.

But the asking rate climbed with the two slowest runners in the Indian top-order at the crease.

Confronted with the steep upward movement of the run-rate graph, Ganguly fell in trying to clear fielder Brad Hodge.

The series, with one match in it left to be played at Mumbai on Wednesday, has clearly showed that bunching of the three senior batsmen at the top could lead to difficulties.