SPORT

Indian bowling shown in poor light

It would not be wrong to say that the Indians suffered a humiliating defeat in the second ODI in Nagpur. The ease with which the West Indians got to the target meant the Indians were outplayed.

India's inadequacy in bowling was completely exposed. Like I have said earlier, our spinners appear so ordinary on placid tracks, and the time has come for us to take some drastic steps. We cannot sit and wait for things to happen.

We have to consider whether Anil Kumble, in his present form, can hold his place in the team. It was baffling how a non-regular bowler like Virender Sehwag could control the flow of runs better than our regular spinners. After a splendid Test series, Harbhajan Singh too is being picked for runs at will. The consoling factor for India was the bowling of paceman Javagal Srinath, coming back into the side.

A target of 280 in 47 overs can be a tough ask, but the West Indians reached home without a sweat. At no point did they seem under any pressure, and this shows the Indian bowling in poor light. It is time we have a rethink on our strategy since India certainly cannot allow things to drift.

Chris Gayle's century was an outstanding effort. The effortless manner in which he struck the medium-pacers over the infield was quite stunning, and it indeed was a match-winning innings.

I was puzzled why Ajit Agarkar was once again sent in at No. 3. Even though he may have got the runs last time, the ploy should only be used as a surprise move. Harbhajan Singh being promoted ahead of Mohammed Kaif and Yuveraj Singh just did not make sense.

I wonder what must be going through the minds of Kaif and Yuveraj, who have both done exceptionally well for India in the last six months, but have hardly got the opportunities that they deserve in this series. We definitely cannot afford to demoralise our youngsters.

Rahul Dravid too appears to be struggling to cope with the dual role of being a frontline batsman and a wicket-keeper. The strain is telling on his body, and he cannot be blamed if he is making mistakes with the gloves for this role was forced upon him. With the World Cup approaching, we have to give a serious thought to certain key areas and this includes wicket-keeping.

However, we have to first get back in the series. From 0-2 down, things are going to be extremely difficult for India.

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