I don’t care about 350-400 plus totals. My concern is why wasn’t Australia able to defend them. The fact that ODIs are batsman dominated doesn’t change the fact, that it shouldn’t be so hard to defend a 350 plus total. And perhaps the addage, line-and-length may not be as simple as it seems.
I think, if India successfully makes 250-300 plus totals every time, and keeps the average of all five bowlers down to under 5, we WILL win (Agarkar you listening?)! Of course this whole thing about wicket taking bowlers is being trumpetted… but we need wicket-takers + restricters… and when we find them, we will see that restricters will take wickets… see Pollock and McGrath!
Therefore, I’m not too keen on seeing Sreesanth playing too many games. He needs to learn discipline… not devastation.
I think Agarkar has improved recently because he is trying to simplify his bowling yet invariably he tries to BOUNCE his opponent… and is invariably hit for Four.
Zaheer Khan, I can remember the last world cup final. His desire to win the world cup in the first over was so evident… what was it? 18 odd runs were leaked in the first? He is truly our ‘strike’ bowler… but his leadership must not be viewed as only taking wickets without the responsibility of bowling a disciplined line that does not enable batsman to hit too often.
Irfan, Irfan, where art thou Irfan? Oh, if only you retain the gift of leaking less runs, you will do well.
Munaf… the new great hope. I am just wishing that he makes it… and stays fit… in this stage. If he can be accurate… and stoic (not get discouraged if he is whacked)… he may just be the Pollock that we need.
And of course Bhajji… Harbhajan Singh… has been critiqued for not taking enough wickets… but he has done a very good job restricting opponents. And a 0-35 is as important as a 50 by a batsman. Isn’t it???
So this is what I think (emotionally)…
We always give glory to the batsmen, but sadly, the bowlers are getting more and more neglected. What we need is matchwinner bowlers… in both ODI and tests. In tests we have Kumble. But in ODI’s? That’s what we need more talk about. We need to view our bowlers as the most precious commidity… good bowlers are so rare… in all nations. We NEED them.
Therefore, I wish more power to Zaheer, Munaf, Agarkar, Bhajji, Kumble, Pathan and Sreesanth… may they get many man-of-the-match awards this World Cup!!!
This reaction was written in reaction to yet another Ganguly-oriented blog entry that reminded me that we talk more about ‘batsman’ than bowlers… perhaps that’s why even Australia, lost, lost, lost.