India will have to get a lot of things right if they are hoping to salvage the one-day series against Pakistan. The Eden Gardens has been a good ground for the visitors, with wins from losing positions in previous Tests and one-day internationals that they have played at this iconic venue. Sometimes some grounds just give you that good feeling and Chennai and Kolkata does it for the Pakistanis.
They have discovered a fine prospect in Mohd Irfan, who delivers the ball from such a height that it is not easy to pick up its length, though as a batsman settles down he maybe able to do so. He is also pretty sharp off the pitch and creates an awkward angle to right hander’s getting the ball to leave them.
He as yet does not have the ball that comes into the right hander’s because of his wrist position at the delivery time, but a few sessions with the legendary Wasim Akram will no doubt put it right and when that happens the batsmen of the world will have to beware. Pakistan will have to use him intelligently because of his build and ensure that he is not overused. Quick bowling has its inbuilt hazards and overuse can bring an injury very quickly indeed.
The other left hander Junaid also was very impressive in the manner in which he adjusted his length in Chennai after the first over and made the batsmen come forward and commit to a shot. It was as fine an exhibition of seam bowling as has been seen in a one-day game in recent times.
Those early five wickets helped Pakistan get through with its spinners quota without much damage and though the Indian skipper played one of the finest century innings in the game, the Indians simply did not have the kind of score needed to put pressure on the opposition.
India will have to get the openers to fire, for without a good start the batsmen below are feeling the pressure. They will also have to remember that it is now a slightly longer version of limited overs cricket where they can afford to settle down and then accelerate as Dhoni showed in Chennai.
Ajinkya Rahane, who has shown some touch in the T20 games should be in the team, for what good is a batsman in form if he is in the dug-out counting the runs others are not scoring for him. India's strength is spin so another spinner in the ranks should be looked at. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a good addition and Dinda is a trier, but Aswhin ploughing a lone spin furrow is not helping the cause.
The whole of 2012, India refused to wake up to realities stubbornly refusing to look at the approach, attitude and work ethic which had failed them. If they continue to dream and not wake up then Indian cricket fans will have to endure another nightmarish year.
Professional Management Group