Dilip Vengsarkar - Colonel's Commandment

In the presence of experienced players, the likes of Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will excel all the ...

Monday, June 07, 2021

'India's major concern is bowling attack'

It’s unfortunate that the Indian fringe players failed to grab the opportunities offered to them and it seems it’s a long way off for the youngsters before they expect to consider themselves to be included to play at the highest level.

I also feel the selectors will do well if they apply their minds more practically to get the right combinations in future.

It would be better that we forget the past but learn from it and move ahead. The big men of Indian cricket will be back for the Micromax Asia Cup and so will be the interest of the followers of the game.

Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and most importantly skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be back where they belong. And so would be, Zaheer Khan, Harbahajan Singh, Ishant Sharma and maybe RP Singh and S Sreesanth.

I’m not predicting the Indian line-up but only the stature of players who will provide strength to the team. With the presence of the much experienced stars, the ones like Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will excel all the more.

An ideal mix of youth and experience provides for the best combination. And if you happen to have that man Sachin Tendulkar in there, then the team stands out like any other top side in the world.

Similarly, the Sri Lankans will call upon their rested stars while Pakistan has already called back Shoaib Malik and Shoaib Akhtar. The return of the latter will provide for some riveting contests, provided he's fit and finds his line and length. Captain Shahid Afridi has a fiery pace attack as he has Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, besides Akhtar.

In the spin section there’s Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman. So you don't need to guess that the Pakistan-India match on the 19th of June will not be just another encounter. Who can forget? Misbah-ul-Haq caught by Sreesanth at fine-leg for the World T20 finals in 2007. I am sure we shall have another humdinger this time around.

While the Lankans would bank on the mix of their pacemen and spinning stars Muthaiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis, there shouldn't be much worry for India on the batting front, as the masters would take their appointed places.

It is the suspect and now somewhat brittle bowling that should be the bigger concern. Not just reputation but form and freshness should also be looked at before they are put on the plane to the Emerald Isles.

There are a few spots in the middle-order too and a few spinning all-rounder could fancy their chances. Ravinder Jadeja though did redeem himself in Zimbabwe after his forgettable outing in the West Indies.

Pragyan Ojha, Piyush Chawla, Amit Mishra among others are there but then again form, fitness and performance should be weighed along with the combine that would suit the conditions.

The challenge is quite big and tough for India, as they would first need to conquer the Micromax Asia Cup before setting the sight on the World Cup in February.

Time to do it now. Over to the selectors.