The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Stop these idiots, stop the trouble

The only thing one can say about the person who threw the missile that caused the stoppage of play when Virender Sehwag was blazing away and India were well placed to win the match is that he must have a pea-sized brain.

Why else would he deprive, not just himself but also the thousands at the ground and millions watching on television, the thrill of watching one of the most destructive batsmen in the world taking apart the West Indian attack.

It also speaks volumes of the ‘intelligence’ of those sitting next and around him that he was not handed over to the authorities so that he could have been evicted and the game carried on to the finish so that the crowds could have seen 600-plus runs scored in a day.

Yes, it is the reluctance of the majority to stop the minority of the mischief-makers in the crowd that leads to the situation we have seen not just in these three matches but also in the past.

The thing to remember is that basically the mischief-maker is a coward and he prefers to do his mischief in the anonymity of the crowd and therefore if he is isolated and identified by the others then he will not be able to get away. It is invariably somebody trying to be a ‘hero’ to his friends that starts the disturbance and that too because he has the crowd to get lost into.

I hope the idiot realises what an image of India he has presented to the millions watching around the globe.

There must have been millions glued to TV sets for India had made a spirited reply to the daunting West Indies total of 300. That total was built around the fine contributions from the in-form Gayle, Sarwan and Chanderpaul. They toyed with the Indian bowling and with the fielding too being a bit slipshod there was hardly any pressure on the batsmen.

It was good to see Sourav bowl himself.

But with the West Indies not all that comfortable with the ball that doesn’t come onto the bat the Indian captain must look to use Yuvraj too along with Sehwag.

Having said that on pitches like the ones that have been on offer, there is not much a bowler can do anyway for there is neither any lateral movement nor the awkward bounce that can make life tough for the batsmen.

The same was the case when it was the West Indies’ turn to bowl and after a few watchful overs where he did not venture too much on the frontfoot, Sehwag just took off.

Drakes looked the best of the West Indies bowlers with his ability to mix the deliveries as also vary the length he bowls but the two main bowlers Dillon and Cuffy looked clueless as Sehwag and Sourav plundered them at will.

Dillon looks tired and jaded and the length that makes Cuffy’s economy rate look terrific in Tests is the ideal length for the batsmen to score off in the one-dayers.

Just as batsmen need to make the adjustments in their approach and stroke making and running between the wickets from Tests to one-dayers, so also the bowlers need to vary the speed as well as the length they bowl.

Neither Dillon nor Cuffy has been able to do that and the West Indies would be well advised to look at other options.

Though India’s team for the next match has not been announced at the time of writing this, it won’t be a surprise to see some changes to the attack.

India need to know very quickly their bowling options for the World Cup and there aren’t too many opportunities left to try others out.

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