AHMEDABAD: The only thing wrong with the current Indian team is that they cannot bat or bowl or field. Almost all these inadequacies were apparent in the five-wicket trouncing at the hands of arch rivals Pakistan in first Twenty20 International at Bangalore. As the teams progress to Ahmedabad for the second fixture on Friday, their lots couldn’t be more in contrast. While the home team seeks to remedy the several maladies that plagued it on Christmas Day, Pakistan can afford to sit back in the comfort of a deadly, diverse bowling attack.
Trouble begins right at the top for India, although that wasn’t quite palpable in the last game. Ajinkya Rahane sparkled with 42, but Gautam Gambhir consumed 41 balls for his 43 and looked distinctly uncomfortable against a quality Pakistan attack. India fell from 77 for no loss to 133 for nine in the space of 10 overs, as their vaunted middle order perished to a rash of shots. Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina were the only other batsmen to reach double figures as the hosts struggled to last their entire quota. Although debutant Bhuvaneshwar Kumar brought India back into the game with a three-wicket burst, none of the others stood up to be counted on a day when the part-timer bowlers cost the home team dear.
Pace bowlers Bhuvaneshwar, Ashok Dinda and Ishant Sharma picked up all the five wickets to fall and bowled economically, but the pie-chucking trio of Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and Yuvraj Singh were massacred by Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. Dhoni’s decision to give the last over to Jadeja, who replaced R. Ashwin and conceded the winning six to Malik, also came in for a lot of criticism, as did they captain’s call to omit seasoned off-spinner from the playing eleven.
Dhoni’s captaincy across formats has been under suspicion of late and this latest defeat to the arch rivals only fanned the fire. His counterpart Hafeez said an Ashwin-less India had bolstered his team. “Ashwin was not there in this team. So our plan was that if we play out the new ball, then their spinners are not world-class; I know Yuvraj is in great form, but when you don't have a world-class spinner then we can dominate,” he said.
Aside from the Chennai bowler, India also have the option of including the dashing Ambatti Rayudu to beef up the batting and stake a claim on a series-equaling win. Pakistan’s bowling cupboard appears to be spilling over. In the gigantic Mohammad Irfan and the wrong-footed Sohail Tanvir they have a deadly left-arm pace bowling combination. Umar Gul as first change is always dangerous with his yorkers, and Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Hafeez round up possibly the most effective bowling attack in the world.
But Pakistan’s batting is prone to collapse. At Bangalore, they lost openers Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad, and motor-mouth Umar Akmal cheaply. They were reeling on 12/3 before Hafeez and Malik launched a comeback. Once Hafeez was out, Pakistan looked set to implode again, before the last-over six saved them the day. Anything can happen in a format such as this, and whichever team wins, the spectators can expect another cracked at Motera’s Sardal Patel Stadium on Friday.
Lacklustre India look to bounce back
The hosts will have to contend with a strong Pakistan bowling attack.Yahoo! Cricket – Thu 27 Dec, 2012 7:50 PM IST
- HYD won by 5 wkts.vs. KOLHYDMatch 72Sun, May 19, 2013Hyderabad, IndiaIndian Premier League, 201...
- vs. PAKSCO2nd ODIMatch abandonedSun, May 19, 2013Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPakistan in Scotland ODI S...
- PUN won by 38 runsvs. DELPUNMatch 71Sun, May 19, 2013Pune, IndiaIndian Premier League, 201...
- No live matches are in progress.
- Upcoming matchvs. MUMCHEQualifier 1Tue, May 21, 2013Delhi, IndiaIndian Premier League, 201...
- vs. HYDRAJEliminatorWed, May 22, 2013Wed, May 22, 2013Delhi, IndiaIndian Premier League, 201...
- vs. PAKIRE1st ODIThu, May 23, 2013Thu, May 23, 2013Dublin, IrelandPakistan in Ireland ODI Se...
MORE TOP STORIES TODAY
Hyderabad enter the play-offs on the back of a nervous five-wicket win over Kolkata. More » Sunrisers show Bangalore the door
Spot-fixing Scandal: No decision on life ban yet, Royals to file case against tainted trio More » Srinivasan: We can’t control bookies
Stuart Broad bowled England to victory in the first Test as New Zealand suffered a dramatic fourth-day collapse at Lord's on Sunday. More » Seven-up Broad leads England rout of New Zealand
Warriors avoid last-place finish with big win in last game. More » Pune banish Delhi to the bottom
India, May 19 -- There is a clear sense of disbelief at personal and team level in KKR at the events that have taken place over the last three days.To say the least, I am shocked to learn that Sreesanth, … More » Gambhir: Trio should be punished
REUTERS - Australia opening batsman David Warner will face a disciplinary hearing for his Twitter outburst against two senior Australian cricket journalists, the country's cricket board said on Sunday. … More » Warner to face disciplinary hearing over Twitter rant
New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) Three more people have been arrested in the Indian Premier League spot fixing case, Delhi Police said Sunday, taking the number of arrested to 18, including India fast bowler S. … More » Ex-Ranji player arrested for IPL scam
[ROUND-UP] Srinivasan refuses to blame the IPL; Shukla promises strong punishments. More » Police seize Sreesanth's phones, laptops
RCB prevail in curtailed, eight-over shootout at the Chinnaswamy. More » Bangalore hammer Chennai, stay alive
Tim Southee bowled the Kiwis back with a dramatic late burst on Saturday. More » Southee treble rocks England
Hyderabad, May 19 -- If the Indian T20 League were a drama, the Sunrisers Hyderabad would be its standout artist. For, at the start of the season, only the optimistic fan would have given the team a chance … More » Hyderabad's sun shining bright
The Indian pacer was lodged in the retiring room-cum-office chamber of slain inspector Badrish Dutt. More » Hell in a cell: tears, regret and no sleep
Dharamsala: Mahmood and Marsh power Punjab to 183/8 More » Farewell win for Gilly
If the life ban was a big stigma, it did not stick. More » Lesson from the sport's past
Sreesanth was paid Rs. 40 lakh to concede 13 runs in an over during the ongoing T20 League. More » Sreesanth wanted half in advance
The Delhi Daredevils and Australia batsman directed some foul-worded tweets to a journalist. More » Warner in trouble after Twitter rant
The England pacer completed 300 Test wickets on Friday. More » Heroes' praise too much for Anderson
The globe-trotting Azhar Mahmood has defied age. More » The Pakistani journeyman
It needs more than BCCI's lip service to rid cricket of match-fixing. More » [VOX] Zero tolerance? Right!
Skipper Misbah top-scores with 83. More » Pakistan win Scotland warm-up
This music band and restaurant chain failed to take off. More » Sreesanth's business innings also failed
Sreesanth and Chavan admit to wrongdoing; Police to widen probe. More » Cops turn their focus on team owners
Big win over Royals keeps Sunrisers alive. More » Hyderabad remain on track
New Zealand 153/4 at the end of the second day. More » Anderson bowls England back into Test
Management of the controversy-hit franchise releases official statement. More » Royals' official stand
Hyderabad, May 17 -- By the time Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals headed for practice on Thursday evening, dark clouds had gathered over the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Uppal. Apart from posing a rain … More » Post scandal, RR banking on Dravid
The problem with IPL cheats is their greed for money can never be satiated. More » It’s time for the closing ceremony
Kings XI register seven-run win to stay alive. More » Punjab beat Delhi
Three Rajasthan Royals players have been arrested for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing scandal. Here's the list of cricketers were involved in compromising the integrity of the game. Take a … More » Cricket's hall of shame
Hyderabad, May 16 (IANS) Sunrisers Hyderabad will focus purely on winning the game against Rajasthan Royals Friday, without bothering about various calculations to reach the semifinals, chief coach Tom … More » Will focus purely on winning: Moody
The Delhi police revealed that specific on-field signals made by the three Rajasthan Royals players arrested for spot-fixing in the IPL, proved to be the clincher in establishing their connection to the … More » Signals from players gave them away