It’s the same old story – what a pity! In the first ODI against New Zealand, 5 Indian top order batsmen got out courtesy of short balls! In the very beginning of this much awaited series, there were apprehensions about the adaptability of the comparatively new Indian bowlers on the pacy tracks. But on the contrary, bowlers were not as bad as many of us presumed. Especially, the tight bowling and controlled economy rate from Bhuvneshwar Kumar was a bit of a soothing effect. Shami Ahmed really does not have anyone else to support him, otherwise the result would have been favorable for team India. But today the focus is the terrorized Indian batsmen.
Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Rohit Sharma – all of them have got a track record of having difficulty in facing short balls, but now Dhoni and Dhawan have also started falling to the short balls. It appears quite amazing. In fact, this particular weakness of the Indian batsmen is well known across the globe and now it seems any attack can bowl them out any time. It seems a little surprising that our coach does not appear to have taken remedial measures against the failure of our skilled batsmen. The same issue was encountered in South Africa as well!
Until a few years back, we used to suffer from the disease of poking at outgoing deliveries. On a countless numbers of times, I have heard commentators repeating the dialogue that the batsman has made the same silly mistake of fishing at the outswinging ball and has given an easy catch. But this habit has receded somewhat. Regular net practice has ensured that Indians are not so vulnerable outside the off stump now. Experience of different conditions has also helped. But the short ball has remained a big issue.
What I really do not understand is that after having so much of experience of batting in the different conditions, how our learned batsmen fail to judge the short delivery? I believe that one has got to synchronize the whole action of reading the ball, position himself through good footwork, lean downwards to play the ball, and that’s it!
Virat Kohli has shown the skill of playing the short balls a number of times. Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman all had mastered the art of handling short deliveries. I have not mentioned Sachin Tendulkar – who also played well in testing conditions many times.
We really hope that a solution is found. The coaches need to sit together and brainstorm. I am sure Indians are capable enough to master short bowling. Hopefully, we will see improvements soon!