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Javagal Srinath - Castled

Former India speedster Javagal Srinath feels Yuvraj can help India retain title

Wednesday, June 10, 2021
‘Yuvi can bring home the trophy’

Although there is hardly any change in the rules of the games between a T20 and a 50-over limited match, major changes have come in the mindset of the batsmen.

Watching Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum and Yuvraj’s brutal ways of handling the bowlers, I wonder what any bowler can even do to exercise any authority in this format of the game. Analysing the bowler-batsman ratio, teams are loaded with batsmen till number 8 or 9. Since teams bat deep, even claiming a few early wickets will have very little significance while facing just 120 balls.

Further, to corroborate my views on the dwindling number of bowlers, there is not much to take between a good and a bad ball. Basically, anything within the reach of the bat is dispatched disdainfully. Any ball which is neither a six nor a four is a good ball. Even a bad ball which is spared or missed from being scored is considered a good ball. Bowlers are happy conceding 1’s, 2’s and even 3’s as long as it is not a scoring shot. Any wicket taking strategy which runs the risk of scoring shots is hard to get any approval.

Plans and plotting fall of wickets are slowly being replaced by the containment or restrictive lines. The approach of taking wickets, which is the very essence of bowling, is already a casualty. The only obvious option left for a bowler is to settle scores with the bat. In other words, this game will encourage batsmen who can also bowl. It was always hard to be a bowler. And now in this format, pure bowlers will hardly exist.

For the Indians, the results of the warm-up games have set a perfect tone for this tournament. A soul searching defeat and a moral boosting win have brought the much required balance and confidence within the team.

Yuvraj’s brilliance, which usually comes from brutal hitting, is now even more deadly with his consistency. His fielding and much-matured bowling shows how Yuvi-dependent India is to retain the trophy.

Pragyan Ojha’s variations did ease the bowling tensions in the match against Bangladesh. One thing is for sure that a good spinner is ahead of a good fast bowler in this tournament. The batsmen seem more comfortable with pace. The slow bowlers with good control and variations are able to check the run rate. That should compel India to stick to two full-time spinners in Harbhajan Singh and Ojha.

Part time spinners are as risky as the fast bowlers. Zaheer coming out of an injury must raise his game, as he is still the wicket-taker. The key to India’s success is to find the best XI for the Super Eight. Rohit Sharma’s success needs a mention. With Indians batting deep, I am sure whoever bats at the top shouldn’t really matter.