Melbourne, March 13: India doesn't look like a World Cup winning unit and a "stubborn" M S Dhoni at the helm isn't helping matters, is the expert opinion of Australian commentator and columnist Dean Jones. In his column in a leading Australian newspaper, Jones says that India might very well be considered the favourites to win the Cup and may be one of the most eager title-contenders, but M S Dhoni has not hit upon the right combination to achieve that objective. Jones draws on the history of the World Cup's champion teams to make his point.
"The three main common denominators consistent with all World Cup champion teams are: Your top four batsmen must be of a high quality. They must have the technique to play the new ball, as well as have the power and stroke play during Powerplays. They also must have the fitness to bat through the whole 50 overs. Your top four bowlers must be of high quality, able to absorb pressure and bowl defensively in Powerplays. If you can't field, don't bother turning up!" he said.
Given India's below-standard fielding and its shoddy bowling at the death as well as some inconsistent batting from the middle-order, Jones feels India will not be able to wrest World Cup glory.
"India have struggled to bowl out Bangladesh and England. Ireland troubled them, but Dhoni won't budge. India's main weakness is the form of Chawla and Harbhajan. Chawla is being smashed and was brought in by the strong backing of Dhoni after two years in obscurity. There are three leg-spinners who have won World Cups: Mushtaq, Warne and Brad Hogg. Is Chawla as good as those three? No, he isn't," he said.
Jones also pointed out that Harbhajan's record in World Cups is a concern.
"Harbhajan has struggled in all World Cups and has only taken six wickets in eight matches against the Test countries at an average of 58. His 10 overs are going for around 50," he said.
So, will Dhoni take heed of Jones criticisms and marshall his resources accordingly? Or he will he stick to his present, rather impotent combination?