India need to fix chinks in their armour

MELBOURNE (TIP): There are chinks in India’s armour that need to be fixed before they take on South Africa in their second World Cup match at the MCG on Sunday. The Men in Blue have been found wanting more often than not in the first 10 overs of Powerplay , while batting or bowling. That is a crucial phase in the game where a team can either stamp its authority or allow the other to run away with the match.

Losing too many wickets or conceding too many runs in those first 10 overs can set the team back, forcing it to play catch-up. Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been vocal about this problem, especially on the bowling front. India’s new ball bowlers have often been guilty of giving away too many loose deliveries, leading to a spate of boundaries when there are just two fielders outside the circle.

Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami have the tendency to bowl either too short or too full for the opening batsmen to take advantage. During his interaction with the media in Adelaide, Dhoni had said that this is one area where the team needs to improve. “Our bowlers tend to give away too many boundary balls in the bowling Powerplay . They need to hit the right line and length to put the rival batsmen under pressure. Let them come to you rather than giving them loose balls.That is the only to force the batsmen to make an error,” Dhoni had then said.

In the opening match against Pakistan, Shami bowled an excellent short delivery to get rid of Younis Khan and push the rivals on the back-foot. But at the other end, Yadav bowled too short too often and was taken apart, which forced Dhoni to change his plans and bring in third seamer Mohit Sharma early into the attack. “I had to take Umesh off early as he was giving away runs. It was only when I brought him back in the middle overs that he maintained a good line at a decent pace to keep the batsmen in check,” Dhoni later pointed out.

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