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India v Australia, 6th ODI, Nagpur
Rameez Raja: 'Yuvraj would have been ideal at No. 3'
October 14, 2007
Rameez Raja analyses the sixth ODI played in Nagpur between India and Australia
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Players/Officials: Irfan Pathan | Yuvraj Singh
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of India
Teams: Australia | India
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After Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar had laid the foundation of the chase, the middle order did not have the muscle to finish the job © AFP
Australia, once again, wriggled out of a tight corner courtesy Andrew Symonds, who blasted a memorable century under pressure. Sreesanth missed him fresh at the crease at square leg and that turned out to be a big folly, and the turning point of the game.

India were inconsistent, once again, in the field with both bat and ball, and against Australia, such inconsistencies get exposed further. Their performance was patchy and when a big effort was required from the 35th over onwards, they capitulated and gifted Australia easy balls to hit. The story was similar when they went out to bat. After Sourav [Ganguly] and Sachin [Tendulkar] had laid out a near perfect plan to damage Australia, the middle order did not have the muscle, neither the flow, to finish the job. [Though] 317 was a big total, this pitch was made for the home team - no pace and true bounce. In the end, 12 an over was a little too much even for the Twenty20 champion hitters [Mahendra Singh] Dhoni and [Robin] Uthappa.

India will have to think deep and correct a few things straight away. They have not yet given the new ball to Irfan Pathan in this series. Australia have dented India technically and mentally with their top order and Pathan would be a worthwhile gamble, with the amount of swing he gets, to give India a chance to pick early wickets.

They also need to find a spot for Rahul Dravid, for as a floater he has unfortunately looked lost and has fallen short of expectations. They also need to play spin better and try to read [Brad] Hogg off the hand. Pathan's promotion today to No. 3 raised a few eyebrows, as Yuvraj [Singh] would have been an ideal option for the position, after Tendulkar and Ganguly had seen off the burst from the Australian new-ball bowlers. It would have given him time and breathing space at that position and would have been a secure and long term option for India, rather than Pathan.

India put in the effort and went down fighting. Their fans would be proud of them. [Even] if they can't beat Australia on a permanent basis, at least they can challenge them till the end and this is exactly what they did today. With the series lost, India can now provide a bit of hit-out for [Subramaniam] Badrinath and possibly [Dinesh] Karthik.

Ramiz Raja is a former Pakistan batsman, former CEO of the Pakistan board, and currently a commentator and presenter

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Posted by Coolest on (October 17, 2007, 6:25 GMT)

NO I DISAGREE ...ROBIN UTHAPPA must OPEN the batting. He is a opener, who has opened batting all his life in domestic cricket. He is the BEST in the Power Plays overs period.

Posted by badal on (October 16, 2007, 6:01 GMT)

Australian cricket is on another planet. It will take years and lot of hard work, before India or Pakistan can come close to their cricket. With emotions and aggresion, you can win few games against a quality team like Australia, but not all the time.For that, you have to have a quality playing system, like they have.Our grass root is rotten, first, we have to fix that, then we can look further ahead.

Posted by Arun on (October 15, 2007, 16:40 GMT)

As far as the last match was concerned the match was won by the confidence of the Australian team, not exactly by the team confidence but by confidence on each other. Another probable reason for the loss is Indian captain's control over the team with the inclusion of the seniors into the side which was evident in the T20 cup series. Indian team is missing the spark which they need to get over Australia but with the experience they can catch up even the best team on their off day definitely not the when the team is in a good streak. Surely the team will loose a lot off matches but that will provide the experience to the youth and make them mentally strong, looking up at the experience will never make just as strong. Talking about zaheer he is definitely calmer than but he is not trying to making things happen while sreesanth is trying too much too soon. This says Think-tank is not thinking it is just doing damage prevention instead of thinking about moving forward.

Posted by Bal on (October 15, 2007, 16:29 GMT)

I respect the hard work Dravid has done over the years, but I feel for the One Day game maybe it's time for him to make way. Tendulkar and Ganguly are doing Perfect but I feel Dravid should concentrate on Tests as his game is more suited to Test Match cricket and I would replace him with Sehwag.

My One Day batting line up would be as follows:

Ganguly Tendulkar Pathan/Sehwag Uthappa Yuvrag Sehwag/Pathan Dhoni

Posted by Umer on (October 15, 2007, 16:26 GMT)

Wohooooooo! Ausses did it. How was dat India? They have beaten Indian in their home. I'm so excited. Indian were lucky to win the 20t final. It's a divine gift from God to Ausses (Never say die lol) A game which Indians should have won, they r the ones who won it. Unbelievable! They have paid India back. Well what I thought India would be on top after winning the 20t Cabot they played as they were the runners up. Ponting was right (Forget Indian 20T) 50-50 game is different ball game altogether. To win a series in India is a hell of a job. I congratulate Australians for such a remarkable achievement. "Chak deh....Chak deh Australia" lol

Posted by Coolest on (October 15, 2007, 16:05 GMT)

YES, Irfan Pathan must be given a NEW BALL, and ROBIN UTHAPPA must OPEN the batting. He is a opener, who has opened batting all his life in domestic cricket. He is the BEST in the Power Plays overs period.

Posted by Devan on (October 15, 2007, 15:10 GMT)

I don't understand why people give suggestions after the match.. and that too on matches that we have lost? Where were the experts after the 4th ODI or after 20Twenty final ??

What i feel is that trying out Pathan as 1down was a gamble worth taking. the asking rate was high and with a strong batting line up (on paper) asking pathan to go and hit out with nothing to loose was a fair deal. I think the droppped catches and a run out chance by Dhoni cost us the game .. And the failure of Yuvraj, Sreesanth, RP talks abt just one thing - India still needs senior players in their team. Three cheers for Sachin, Saurav and Uthappa. I feel Uthappa should be given more chances and should bat before Yuvraj. Uthappa has shown on several occassions the variety of shots he has and how he can adjust to the asking rate. He does needs to work on his leg movements (gets lbw more times) and he too can score big

Posted by AMAN on (October 15, 2007, 13:51 GMT)

India,s defeat in the 6th OD can be maily attributed to first wasting 32 balls for merely 9 runs by Dravid and then dropping the catch of inform,excellent hitter of the ball Symond by Sresanth. Well done is done and this is all part of the game. It was the most excitting thriller of the series which better team won. India must improve their bowling and fielding and rest senior players to give chance to the youngsters to expose their worth. The 7th OD should be taken by India most seriously to put them on winning track before meeting Pakistan with more confidence. India at this time is a much better and balanced side in compare to Pakistan.India must win the series as from the lopeholes in Bating,bowling and almost all departments of the Game in pakistan side.

Posted by alok on (October 15, 2007, 13:43 GMT)

Yes we got a tremendous start but lost the momentum in 30-40th overs. No doubt ganguly is playing very goog innings but Running between the wickets is bit of concern as with him running between the wickets ia always going to be slow. It is very difficult to hit boundaries in each over against quality bowling attack. They left many single and twos which could be taken.If fielding and running between the wickets improves, this team can easily fight against Australia and South Africa.

Posted by Ninan on (October 15, 2007, 13:36 GMT)

Rameez's analysis is spot on. What i would like to add is that one should remember that Australian Cricket is played at another level. As an Indian team supporter i wouldn't entirely blame the dropped catches,the runs conceded at the death by our bowlers and slow runrate of the Indian innings between overs 30-40. These things with lesser teams would not have even mattered. What makes Australia world champions is exactly this. You can't afford to give them even an inch and you should be at the top of your game for 100 overs. Rather lets give credit to the Indian team for having picked themselves up after the hiding received at Vadodara and putting up such a strong fight. Even reaching close to 300 looked distant to me, but credit to Sachin & Saurav for braving the huge pressure of a run chase and doing so well. As Rameez says, they went down fighting and did us proud. Dhoni is an excellent captain, he is young and will definitely learn from the tactical errors made in this match.

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