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Javagal Srinath - Castled

With better shot selection, India should make it to semis, writes Javagal Srinath



Sunday, June 14, 2021
'Now, every match is a final for India'


Indians while batting first were little too early on the shots. Having played the minnows Bangladesh and Ireland who were quite innocuous; with the ball, this West Indian bowling posed definitive threat with the pace and bounce.

Fidel Edwards and Jerome Taylor clocking 140+ km, it was risky to pull the short pitch at will. Three wickets falling for short pitch
balls might prompt few ideas to the bowling coaches of the other teams. I feel the Indian batsmen should retain wickets till the first 10 overs. If not for Yuvraj’s blitzkrieg; Indians would have embarrassed themselves badly.

Indian bowling worked well for the first 8 overs. Gayle’s fell for the spin trap and honestly Harbhajan should get the credit for his tight spell. But Bravo’s strong technique to play on the offside prevented India from winning.

All bowling strategies are built around the off and middle stump. If a batsman has the capacity to hit straight and over extra covers, it is very difficult to contain that batsman. Bravo measured innings started with running 1s and 2s and continued with boundaries as the innings progressed. A risk free innings with measured approach helped West Indies reach the target quite easily.

West Indies and South Africa have gained the crucial advantage in winning the first game of the Super Eight round. After a relatively easier first round, Team India has found itself in a much tougher group. Perhaps, it is better facing the stronger teams now, in the league stage than facing them in the semis. But the teams losing the first match will be under pressure to virtually win all the matches through to the finals.

In this Super Eight, teams in each group play 3 games. Teams winning their first game will have a distinct advantage. With two teams from each group proceeding to the next round, the equation is very simple that each team will have to win two games out of three. England and India, already one down, are under pressure to win the next two games back to back to reach the knockout stage. For these two teams to clinch the cup they will have to win all the 4 games on trot from here. The point I am trying to make is about the mindset of the players at this stage of the tournament.

For the English and the Indian teams, it will be in a do-or-die situation till the finals.

Generally, teams raise their games under pressure. But to do that four consecutive times takes a huge effort. Players pressurised to win may become restless and with a few, a sense of disbelief can creep in. That is all the reason why teams winning the first game are in a better frame of mind in claiming a semi-final berth.

As far as Indians are concerned, they were in a similar situation before and have wriggled out strongly to win games. With better shot selection from the Indian batsmen, I guess this team can progress to the semis.


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