It's no secret that India's Achilles' heel in the World Cup 2011 so far is their bowling. Though incisive in short bursts, the bowlers are for the most part inconsistent and their final figures reek of a mediocrity unbecoming of title-favourites.
Throw a blistering Kevin O'Brien into the equation and the home team has real problems. After all, this player subjected the English bowlers to such a scornful display of batting on Wednesday, that he could well stir up a similar attitude against the Indian "attack" on Sunday.
Slow left-armer, right arm off-break, and four seamers tried their hand at dismantling O'Brien, but he ended up dismantling them. Confident bottom-hand hoicks over midwicket, powerful heaves down the ground and strong cover-drives highlight his armory. So, the Indian bowlers will have to be right on their mark against O'Brien. Also they can't accord him any reprieves through slip-ups in the field, the way the English did. One error and he could make the Indians pay heavily.
The fact that Bangaldesh made 283 against India (albeit in a losing cause) and England stampeded its way to 338 to force a tie against india, exposes the dire condition of India's bowling. In the latter encounter, three Indian bowlers (Munaf Patel, Piyush Chawla and Yusuf Pathan) leaked 7 runs an over while India's most economical bowler, Harbhajan Singh conceded 58 in his 10 overs. These statistics only drive home the point that India will have to put the screws on their line and length.
Indeed, the home-team will have to bowl out of their skin if they are to contain, let on alone scalp the likes of Kevin O'Brien. One might argue that his performance against England was a flash in the pan and that it will be hard to repeat that sort of showing versus India. But the momentum is clearly with him. Plus, he has acclimatised to the conditions of the Chinnaswamy wicket on which he will take guard against India on Sunday. Watch out India, danger is afoot....