Dilip Vengsarkar - Colonel's Commandment

Young batsmen need to learn from seniors and be more consistent, feels Vengsarkar

Wednesday, February 24, 2022
'India must win convincingly'

The way Mahendra Singh Dhoni heaved a sigh of relief soon after the first One-dayer against South Africa at Jaipur was there for all to see. At the same time one could also sense the anger on the Indian skipper’s face, and understandably so, for India could’ve executed the finish in a much better fashion.

It was a tense one-run win all the same but I expect Dhoni to command more professional and emphatic performances from his men in the remainder of the three-match series.

The mistakes of Jaipur shouldn’t be repeated. To begin with, the young batsmen in the middle-order like Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik should come up with more consistent and dominating performances. A strokeful 40 or 60 is not good enough, more so when the team is aiming at the World Cup in the next 12 months.

It’s been long enough since these guys hit the international scene and they would do well to pick up cues from their seniors in the side. Once in the groove, a batsman should look to carry on for long and most importantly anchor one end up.

The classic example of this was South Africa’s Jacques Kallis who showed how an innings can be built even when wickets fall regularly at the other end. I’ve always emphasized that we have some exciting talent, but it has to be backed up with good work ethic and mental approach.

On the bowling front, India was one man short but Dhoni managed his resources well. Also the emergence of Ravindra Jadeja as a man with a golden arm should augur well for India in the near future. This youngster with his slow left-armers is a great weapon towards the middle of the innings. He has guile and ability to use the pace of the pitch to good advantage. Besides, he has been able to do well against both Australia and South Africa, which speaks for his control and confidence.

Yusuf Pathan too did well with the ball. It was the bowling of these two bowlers, which in a way pulled the game back for India at Jaipur. Pathan though needs to explode in a calculated manner with the bat. He also needs to play according to the situation and ensure that we don’t run out of good batters in the middle while trying to force the pace of run-scoring.

Gwalior should be a good One-day track and the Indians would aim to seal the Micromax Mobile series on Wednesday night. Let’s hope they do so in a much more convincing way.