Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Look at the Indian Top 6

A new year has started with the same storyline of the Indian batting being made to look very average by excellent Australian fast bowling. It made you pay homage to the class of the bowling, but also start to believe that over a decade of Indian batting mastery is coming to an end.


This in the view that the current Aussie trio of James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle are very big hearted and accomplished performers. That work so cohesively as a unit, but the names in this batting line up have made more accomplished units look very clueless against them. Namely three such as Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee.


Lets look at this top 6 in greater depth


Gautam Gambhir:


The truth of this fine player is he has struggled mightily since his year of dominance in 2009 where he averaged 90.87. His figure since do not lie with an average of 31.06 from his 34 innings since with just one century and 8 50's. 


More worryingly for India is that since arriving in Australia Gambhir's form has gone from bad to worse. In respect to his struggles to adapt to the bounce that has seen him join the Phil Hughes club of giving slips practice. Three innings and three dismissals behind the wicket is never a good sign for an opener and their future prospects.


Series Potential:


In truth, if he fails again in the 2nd innings of this match and the Team is defeated. The likelihood is that he will be dropped with Ajinkya Rahane replacing him at the top of the order.


Virender Sehwag


The truth of Sehwag is that he is a freak of  Cricketing nature that somehow has dominated in the game with no footwork and very little technique. Just the eye of a Hawk that allows him to see ball and belt ball.


Duly he lives by the sword and he dies by the sword with his cavalier play.


In this series, he has threatened at times but never delivered. Always being found out in the conditions or being the architect of his own demise with his flashy strokes.


Series Potential:


He has excelled in Australia before against greats of the game like Warne, Gillespie and McGrath. Allowing us to still have faith in Viru's ability to make a decisive contribution in this series


Rahul Dravid


The man known as the Wall arrived in Australia after a 2011 that saw him average 57.25 with 5 centuries. Also a series performance in England that was viewed as one of the most accomplished performances by a batsman from a technical and temperament sense despite huge odds against him.


Strangely as soon as he arrived in Australia he has been marked by a real fragility. That saw him look technically frail in the 1st Test in getting bowled comprehensively 3 times in his two innings ( once to a no ball ). Then a meek dismissal in the first innings of the 2nd Test


Series Potential


To doubt Dravid is never a wise idea, but there is just something lacking in his batting that makes you doubt his ability to rise in this series


Sachin Tendulkar


All we are hearing in regards to the Little Master is when will he score his 100th International hundred.


Which has been a perfect distraction from Sachin's recent struggles in the game. Since his iconic century in South Africa against the mastery of Dale Steyn & CO. He has threatened but never quite delivered with a characteristic decisive innings.


His average of 40.61 with just 5 half centuries shows this well down on his career average of 56.


In this series he has had chances to play that game shaping innings with him being set on all the times he has batted. Only to succumb when his Team most needed him. All of his dismissals being born out of lapses of concentration that make you question whether Father Time is starting to impact on his game


Series Potential


Tendulkar is one of the greatest batsmen in the game history, and though he has struggled of late. Only a fool would doubt his potential to play a master class sometime soon


VVS Laxman


I am the hugest Laxman fan, and watching him here and in England has me fearing the end for him.


Bill Lawry in commentary summed him up perfectly when one of the first balls he faced drifted juicily onto his pads by saying 'My word the Laxman we know would have caressed that to the boundary'


Instead this Laxman missed it by a good long while with it rattling into his pads.


The fluency so associated with his career has been replaced by him even struggling to find his next run. Which does not inspire hope in his future in Test cricket


Series Potential


Fans of Laxman will hope lightning strikes twice for him in Sydney. In respect to his career was given real birth with his masterful 167 in 2000, and he might indeed be fighting to save his career in the 2nd innings of this Test.


It breaks my heart to say this, and I sincerely hope he proves me wrong, but I think he is finished


Virat Kohli


A truly awesome player in ODI/T20 Cricket where the conditions are so in the batsmens favour.


Though in Test Cricket, and particularly away from the batting friendly tracks of India he has looked like a fish out of water.


An average of 13.75 in his 8 innings in foreign conditions shows his obvious inadequacies.


Series Potential


Selecting ODI players in Test Cricket is never a recipe for success, and though the lad has talent. At present he is not a Test players bootlace, and should be replaced by Rohit Sharma.


Summary


The Indians have huge issues, and a further failure in the 2nd innings here from the trio of Gautam Gambhir, VVS Laxman and Virat Kohli would justify in all of them being axed.


Gambhir is the key concern for with his failures it has so exposed the middle order to the new ball which has facilitated many of India's current issues.


Away from these three under the hammer. There is not one batsman in the line up that you at present have complete faith in to perform in the conditions against this Aussie attack.


Even Sachin, has dazzled us with some of his masterful play, but then got out without making a decisive contribution to the Team. 


In truth, the bold statement by Glenn Mcgrath about India being whitewashed 4 nil in this series was just laughed off as gamesmanship from the Aussie immortal. Though if the batting continues with their struggles it might actually come true...................

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