Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Second One dayer at Vizag - Will India Beat Aussies

The second ODI is to be played at the scenic Vizag. Visakhapatnam is a major port and large city in Andhra Pradesh on east coast of India. Cradled in the foothills of Eastern ghats, this city is nestled among hills and faces Bay of Bengal to the east. It also houses the Eastern Naval command. It is the jewel of the east coast. It has a nice weather and was a popular holiday resort of the erstwhile Vizianagaram kingdom.

The picturesque ground, set on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam amidst scenic hills, is a happy haunting ground as India has won both the matches played here. In 2005 India beat Pak by 58 runs when Dhoni belted one of his better innings on his way to 148. In the next Lankan lions were wounded by 7 wickets in Feb 2007.

Today it is to be a day night match and there is lot at stake for youngsters from both side. Shikhar Dhawan in all likelihood will make his ODI debut – when will the day of reckoning for Saurabh Tiwari comes remains to be seen, perhaps during this series itself, which will be good for the team. The probable Indian Team : : 1 Murali Vijay, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Virat Kohli/Rohit Sharma, (I would have Tiwary here) 6 MS Dhoni 7 Ravindra Jadeja (how and why ???) 8 R Ashwin, 9 Praveen Kumar, 10 Ashish Nehra, 11 Munaf Patel(never my favourite – touted as someone who can bowl fast but bowls military medium and never takes crucial wickets)
For the visitors the tall left armer Mitechell Starc is about to make his debut, if Bollinger is declared unfit. Aussies line up could be : 1 David Warner, 2 Tim Paine (wk), 3 Michael Clarke (capt), 4 Shaun Marsh/Callum Ferguson, 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Cameron White, 7 Steve Smith, 8 James Hopes, 9 Nathan Hauritz, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Doug Bollinger/Mitchell Starc.
The crucial all rounder spot is constantly going to Ravindra Jadeja who seemingly has great backing but no performance to reflect his so called potential. Already he has spoiled a couple of matches.. This is about the right time for lesser players to grab the opportunity – Ravichandran Ashwin must cement his place with good performance following his stellar role in CL for CSK. Jadeja continues to bemuse – a bowling average of 41.55 and a batting average of 31.47 at a strike rate of 76. Understand that he walks in at a stage when a finish or some quick runs are required. That spot should go to somebody like Yusuf Pathan who can smack a quick fire 30 and liven the crowd with a couple of huge sixes. For somebody who is not contributing and who is not a big hitter, the no. of opportunities continuously provided is baffling. My son says he would have Irfan Pathan at this spot even for his batting prowess and his bowling would only be a bonus.

Ashwin is known to be a good bat also in local level – he has wide variety including the carom ball and looks a more mature and complete bowler. Besides he has the brave heart to bowl whenever the captain wants him – whether at the start of the match or at the death – both not natural for a spinner.We are yet to see the potential of dangerous Warner who can turn the tide with lusty hitting. Shaun Marsh also could prove to be more than handy, if he plays. My son again feels that Aussies would prefer Calum Ferguson (have you heard of him !)

Aussies most unusually have lost their last 3 one dayers whilst if has been LWLWL for India in the recent five. Nehra is back with confidence flowing and could prove to be the potential lead bowler in the build up to World Cup line up. If he succeeds, he will be bowling at the batting powerplay and in the slog – he is also a wicket taker, an aggressive bowler at that.
Cricinfo stats reveals that India is not all that good in chasing against Aussies having lost 34 and won only 17 while batting second. After the Test win, this is going to be different.

As usual we want another good Indian win, for which there are enough pointers

Regards – Sampathkumar.S

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