Wednesday, June 17, 2009

India's 20-20 Performance

Since every one seems to be having a view about why India did so badly in the T-20 World Cup. I thought I would add my view to all the ones floating around. Right now I'm watching India getting spun out by South Africa and one of the commentators just said, "India has been found lacking in handling the short pitch delivery by West Indies and England and now they are finding it hard against the spinning ball." What an apt statement ! The only countries we beat were Ireland and Bangladesh and that too those wins were not really convincing. So what went wrong after such a successful experience in the IPL?

I don't think it was fatigue as the coach put it. I don't think it was infighting in the team as some of the columnists have been suggesting. I don't think it is the lack of ability as all of them are good cricketers. I think it has to do with what each player learnt about other players from other countries in the IPL and brought back the knowledge to the national team and whether they used that information to plan against the opposition.

West Indies, England and South Africa seemed to have understood the weaknesses of each of our batsmen and they exploited those weaknesses in the conditions that prevailed. They exploited these weaknesses so well that the batsmen found it hard to score runs and very quickly got frustrated and got out. Gambhir, Rohit and Raina were peppered with the short ball and they danced about; Dhoni, Yuvraj and Yousuf were not given width to free their arms and hit the ball. At the same time we just did not have any plans for Peterson, Bravo and AB. These guys were scoring freely and we just did not have an answer. These 3 guys played in the IPL too. Didn't any of our guys identify what is their weakness. I don't believe they do not have any weaknesses. That just cannot be possible. We just did not find them and exploit them.

So is IPL good ? I think yes. It makes business sense. It also makes sporting sense. Its important for us to gather information about each player and make plans for them and practice to exploit those weaknesses. Is it the end of the road for Dhoni's success as captain. I don't think so.  He is an excellent captain and these are external factors that influence the current environment of Indian cricket which he will learn to cope with and underatand and get the better of.

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