Time for Indian batsmen to redeem their flair

Published: Saturday, October 28, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Mohali:The crucial Champions Trophy match against Australia here tomorrow give the 'celebrated' Indian batsmen an opportunity to salvage their reputation and come good.

Of the top six batsmen in the Indian line-up at present, just two has a three-figure aggregate for the season. Not surprisingly, Sachin Tendulkar leads the pack so far in 2006-2007 with 286 runs at an average of 57.20 that include a century and one fifty.

Dashing Mahendra Dhoni is barely there and has scored 101 runs in six matches.

But others have been disaster to say the least. Virender Sehwag - six matches, 54 runs. Yuvraj Singh - four matches, 54 runs.

Rahul Dravid - six matches, 92 runs (inclusive of his 49 against the West Indies at Ahmedabad two days ago). Suresh Raina - six matches, 91 runs.

In the current Champions Trophy, India made such heavy weather of chasing down the 126 needed to beat England that in other circumstances the storm warning bells would have been ringing very loudly.

For one reason or the other, however, this team management does not seem to have heard them. With no runs at the top of the order, and an insistence on Irfan Pathan being sent in at one-drop regardless of the situation, India have struggled to come to terms with both setting a target, or even chasing, their forte not long ago.

The showing of Suresh Raina along with state mate Rudra Pratap Singh has been poor. Raina has a career-best of 81 not out (against England last season) in his 32 matches with an average of 28.60.His string of scores this season read dismal 34, 1 not out, 11, 26, 0 and 19 between Kuala Lumpur and the Champions Trophy.

And while all these players get repeated chances, on the bench sits Mohammad Kaif, India's key batsman on the tour of the West Indies earlier this year.

In 2006-07, he has played just twice - in the DLF Cup at Kuala Lumpur - and does not have a look in for this tournament. Warming the bench with him is another India's top-scorer at the Malaysia tournament, Dinesh Mongia. Given the situation, it is very much on the cards that both will play against Australia in the shootout Group A game tomorrow.

The situation requires, as Dravid said, the players to perform, stand up and be counted other wise a defeat here will have a cascading effect on the morale of the team with World Cup barely four months away.


Write Comments