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regular-article-logo Sunday, 23 June 2024

Win fails to paper over middle-order cracks: Bowlers sharp, but batters need fine-tuning

Amid all the euphoria over India extending their dominance over the arch-rivals in World Cups, one also needs to keep in mind the pathetic shot selection from some of the Pakistani batsmen

Sayak Banerjee Calcutta Published 11.06.24, 10:04 AM
Shivam Dube (right), after his dismissal on Sunday.

Shivam Dube (right), after his dismissal on Sunday. AP/PTI

Led by Jasprit Bumrah, the bowling attack fared admirably well to make use of the slowness of the tricky Nassau County International Stadium pitch in New York and enable India to beat Pakistan by six runs despite managing only 119 with the bat.

Amid all the euphoria over India extending their dominance over the arch-rivals in World Cups, one also needs to keep in mind the pathetic shot selection from some of the Pakistani batsmen. They also got their order wrong.

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But it’s not that only Pakistan faltered with the bat. India also have some thinking to do, ahead of the Super Eight stage of this T20 World Cup. The pitch for Sunday was by no means deadly, while such surfaces aren’t completely alien for those from the subcontinent.

After Virat Kohli and skipper Rohit Sharma were undone early, Rishabh Pant’s presence at the crease kept India’s innings on track. In spite of being in a decent position with 89/3 in the 12th over, India lost their remaining seven wickets for only 30. Much of that was because Suryakumar Yadav and Shivam Dube cut a sorry figure.

Lately, Surya, the top-ranked T20I batsman, hasn’t been as consistent as he’s expected to be, with scores of 2 and 7 so far in the competition. Also, Surya takes a bit of time to tee off in these slow, sluggish wickets. That was seen on certain occasions during the white-ball leg of India’s West Indies tour last year.

Having said that, the team management ideally should not tweak Surya’s position in the batting order. Most of his runs have come battingat No.4.

To talk of Dube, who also dropped a regulation catch at fine leg to let Rizwan off early on, he hasn’t been having a great time since the last five games of Chennai Super Kings in this year’s IPL, having aggregated only 46 runs.

Does that mean Dube isn’t comfortable if the pitch is on the slower side or isn’t a belter? He suffered a soft dismissal against Naseem Shah on Sunday. In the Super Eight stage of this World Cup,all the matches will be played in the Caribbean, where most of the wickets will be slow or will slow down as the games progress.

Going forward then, should India continue with Dube? Or should Yashasvi Jaiswal or Sanju Samson come in his place? That Dube wasn’t given the ball in any of these two matches hasn’t helped his cause either.

Former India keeper-batter Deep Dasgupta feels Jai­swal should feature in the XI, but not at the expense of Dube.

“He (Jaiswal) should rather come in as a replacement for either Jadeja or Axar,who are both similar kind of players,” Dasgupta told The Telegraph from Mumbaion Monday.

“I would prefer Virat at No.3 as he’s someone who can guide the innings, especially on such tracks. Opening the innings, Jaiswal can take chances in the Powerplay,” Dasgupta said.

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