SPORT

Indian bowlers lack self-belief

The Indians did not project themselves in good light at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday and were a big letdown on the field.

I do not question for a moment that the Australians have a powerful batting line-up. However, the Indian bowlers are making things much too easy for them.

The Indian bowling was very ordinary even though the pitch did not help the cause of the bowlers. Left-arm spinner Murali Kartik was the only exception.

Once again, too much width was given to the Aussie batsmen. The Indian bowlers are lacking in self-belief against the Australian batsmen and have been taking a hammering mentally.

Gilchrist came up with a superb knock and showed us what an unselfish cricketer he was. Even as he approached a hundred, the lefthander, not bothering about the possibility of getting dismissed, continued to go hammer and tongs at the bowling.

Gilchrist reached the three-figure mark and also revealed that he was a complete team-man. Irrespective of which country you are rooting for, when such a genuinely talented cricketer sparkles, you have to applaud him.

Ricky Ponting grew in confidence as his innings progressed and produced some big hits. He was lucky that Rahul Dravid missed a simple stumping when he was just settling down.

Since Dravid is only a makeshift wicketkeeper, he cannot really be blamed. The poor man is making an honest effort with a job he is not too comfortable with.

It is time India went in for a regular wicketkeeper. Looking back at that missed opportunity against Ponting, had it been converted we could probably have restricted Australia to a score of around 280 to 290 and possibly gone on to win the match.

You cannot afford to miss opportunities against the World champion and hope to succeed. Even a semblance of a chance that comes your way has to be utilised.

The Indians now find themselves in a tough corner, but it is not beyond them to beat New Zealand on home turf. However, they would have to focus on running between the wickets and fielding.

The Indian fielding was way short of the mark in Bangalore. The home side will have to tighten up considerably in this vital department.

One positive for the Indians was the form of Sachin Tendulkar who is batting with tremendous confidence. The same cannot be said of his opening partner Virender Sehwag. He is depending only on the square cut when he has shots all round the wicket. Sehwag has to back himself and bat with more freedom.

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