Another game, another loss. It really is incredible that the world champions are snatching defeats from the jaws of victory in the limited-overs series so far. Perhaps their fortunes will change if they are chasing rather than defending a score but to do that they have to win the toss and give themselves that option but that also is not happening and luck just seems to have turned its face away from the Indians.
In all the games so far they have managed good scores only to find the bowlers have not been able to keep the lid on the scoring. In conditions where seam and swing bowlers should prosper India's bowlers have been wide off the mark and have offered scoring opportunities so that England's batsmen don't have to look to create them.
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The conditions at the Oval were perfect for swing and seam and young Rahane found that out when a 'pearler' from Anderson consumed him for his first failure in international cricket. It is a learning curve for him and if he spends a lot of time with Rahul Dravid he will learn a great deal about batting, not just the strokes aspect but how to build an innings, when to go for the big shots, when to wait a bowler out.
There has been no better builder of high rise cricket innings than the man from Karnataka and luckily for Rahane he can also speak his language. It is for the young man to learn that and create prose or poetry of his own. It is the same for the other young batsmen in the team like Manoj Tiwary, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina who by spending time with Dravid and Tendulkar will learn more about batting than from anywhere else.
Unfortunately the same expertise and experience is not available to the bowlers with Zaheer injured and out of the team but he is another whose inputs have been invaluable in the development of Ishant Sharma and others. What would Praveen Kumar give to open that attack with Zaheer but even he is looking a bit jaded and tired now.
India vs England
Fielding though is another matter and here the person must want every ball to come to him like Suresh Raina does. He is worth his place in any team for the enthusiasm and energy he brings to the task. The one thing that the fielding coach must tell his excitable youngsters is not to throw unnecessarily. The T20 effect means that fielders throw the ball even when there is no realistic chance of a run-out and that could result in overthrows and upsets the captain and the bowler and makes the bowler lose his focus for the next few deliveries.
Ravindra Jadeja picked up the man of the match in his comeback game. He has always been more of a batsman who could bowl and his batting performance was not a surprise but the way he exploited the turn was great to see and he will have more confidence in his bowling now and that will give Dhoni some flexibility to shuffle his attack. What the beleaguered Indian captain needs though is some fresh ammunition and not the spent bullets he has with him now.
PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT GROUP