Aus game reveals worrying signs for India

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Published: Monday, February 14, 2011, 11:48 [IST]
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Aus game reveals worrying signs for Ind

After all the hype and hoopla surrounding this high profile match where the World Cup favourites were to be taking on the World Champions, the end result at Bangalore's Channaswamy Stadium on a dreary Feb 13, somehow managed to live up to expectations.

Fans turned out in force, renting the air with supportive slogans.Cheering faces were blotted with banners and posters and Indian tri-colours. However, despite all that encouragement, the signs from the Indian camp for most of the match, were worrying to say the least.

As India slid from 63/3 to101/4 to 113/5, the message was loud and clear that the side had failed to shirk off the the batting woes that had hounded and beleaguered it during its recent tour of South Africa. Once again the line-up had been rendered lop-sided with the entire responsibility of rescuing the inning, let alone taking it forward, falling on the shoulders of the latter order.

Once more the technical flaws that spelt the downfall of several batsman during their tour of the Rainbow Nation began to play out on even the chaste wicket of Good Ole Bengaluru. Yuvraj couldn't counter the bounce that Mitchell Johnson was able to extract, Suresh Raina once again played away from his body to Brett Lee's off-cutters and Dhoni left a glaring gap between bat and pad to be bowled by John Hastings.

Sehwag, was the lone figure of resilience and defiance, but even he played one shot too many when he was bowled by arguably the weakest link in the Aussie attack - off-spinner Jason Krejza. Given the circumstances of their untimely entries, Yusuf Pathan (32 off 39) and R Ashwin (25 not out, off 47), and Ashish Nehra (19 off 24) did an admirable job at effecing some semblence of a recovery to take India to the barely respectable 214 all out in 44.3 overs.

But if the batting was pitiful, the fielding intially was atrocious. Nehra's slip-up when he lackadaisically attempted to cut off a Watson drive at mid-on, summed up the opening overs of Australia's innings for the players in the field. There is no alternative, but to trash the efforts of the pacemen, whose line and length had the consistency of spaghetti sauce. Only Sreesanth showed some intent, but even his performance suffered due to a lack of support.

Of course, it is easy to condone the flaws of Team India today in the face of such a splendid showing from the spinners, especially leg-break Piyush Chawla. After all, he and Bhajji and Ashwin got India out of jail and saved the day. But India would do well to consider this turn-around effected by them as an anomoly rather than a trend that the side can rely on.

India will have to take stock and get their act together pretty damn fast if they are to approach this World Cup with the appearance of potential champions. The clamour for victory from the fans will only get louder. Team India have a job not to silence them into disappointment.

Oneindia Cricket

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