Should Yusuf be promoted up the order?

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Published: Friday, January 21, 2011, 9:21 [IST]
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Should Yusuf be promoted up the order?

Seeing as how prone India's top order is at falling in a heap, it might do the think-tank some good to throw in a booster .i.e. Yusuf Pathan. By now the dashing allrounder has more than earned his stripes in the Number 6 position and compounded with the fact that he is one of the few Indian batsmen apparently equipped to take on the South African pace-battery, he could be a viable candidate for a higher slot.

Murali Vijay is evidently struggling in the opener's position. But it would be imprudent to expect Yusuf to open the innings. Perhaps, if Vijay can muster up all his gumption and tact to see out the new ball, then he could open the way for Yusuf at No. 3 or No. 4. This way, Yusuf will have more time to get a feel of the situation, rather than coming in in an emergency like he did on Tuesday.

But there seems to be something in the present Indian mentality where in the face of adversity, the team calls up all its reserve strength and takes the fight to the opposition. Is it only dire straits which can spur India onto brilliance in resolve? Or is there a method to India's madness? But perhaps Yusuf is too well ensconced at No. 6 to consider usurping the place of a top-order bat. He has played in his trademark position for all the sides he's represented - be it Baroda or the Rajasthan Royals. Never has a captain felt the need to use him as a bolster.

But with just two games left for India to hit home and win a series, they are running out of options for their largely lacklustre batting. It's a crunch situation for M S Dhoni. Will he be inclined to fidget with the magic equation or will be go with a more traditional approach and allow India's batting to unfold in the inconsistent way it has over games two and three? We will find out today...


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