India v PNG, ICC Under-19 World Cup, Townsville August 16, 2012

Batting blips a good lesson - India coach


India are in the quarter-finals of the Under-19 World Cup but their progress has not been smooth. After one hot and one cold performance in each of the warm-ups in Brisbane, their batsmen have been unable to find collective fluency in Townsville and had three underwhelming innings. They now face Pakistan, who topped Group B emphatically in Brisbane.

"There have been a few hiccups, but we've come good," said India's coach Bharat Arun after the victory against Papua New Guinea at Endeavour Park. "More or less as planned, but we'd rather face these hiccups early in the tournament than in crucial games in the future."

India's batsmen struggled against the pace and accuracy of West Indies' quicks in their first game, making 166 for 8 at Tony Ireland Stadium. A day later, they made a solid start against Zimbabwe but lost ground significantly before a last-over cameo lifted the score to 261. The most surprising performance, however, came against Endeavour Park, after India had won the toss.

"The idea of batting first [against PNG] was because we may get to face fresh wickets in future matches," said Arun. "Some of the batsmen, who haven't been in the runs, this was a wonderful opportunity for them to have a hit. But I guess this is something we did not make use of. So from the batting point of view it was quite disappointing."

India had only one partnership of more than 50 - between Vijay Zol and Smit Patel for the sixth wicket - and then lost five wickets for 24 runs to be dismissed for 204. They left 29 balls unused. The most striking sound on the day was the heightened whooping of 11 Papua New Guinea cricketers as wickets fell.

"The same problem, losing wickets at regular intervals, just as a partnership begins to blossom, we lose a wicket," Arun said when asked what the problem had been today. "Except for Smit and Zol, who put up a good partnership. But, if you look at it, a rather rash shot by Smit at that stage.

"In a way it's okay that they are not peaking too early. If they can realise the mistakes they've done today and in one or two other games, it's a good lesson for us."

India's captain Unmukt Chand said the batting would get stronger in the knockout stages because this team had taken time to adjust in previous tournaments as well but came good eventually. When India played the quadrangular series in Townsville earlier this year, they lost three league matches before winning the semi-final and the final.

India have a three-day break before the quarter-final and their coach said they would use the time to get some "positive practice". "It's too short a time to work on anything. Maybe just about the mind. Make them feel good about themselves."

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Satish on August 17, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    @crindo77 : On further look at stats, i get to see diff picture.. First test, 3-76 where both teams played only one innings each - such a flat track. He was the highest wicket taker.. Second game, 1st inns, 13 overs 1-26 and second innings bowled only two overs - Spin was the weapon in final innings.. Certainly not a bad record to dismiss a player from test cricket.. I would rather give it to internal politics or him as a interim replacement but his stats doesn't warrant a wipeoff..

  • Dummy4 on August 17, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    India's Under-19 players have same weakness, what seniors fearing (in Australia, West Indies, South Africa and England). In fast pitches they are nothing; even everybody predicting India's future star batsman U Chand too (against West Indies we saw that one). Even though Indian Cricket Authority not thinking about fast pitches. Not for international use, if we use for international matches sure we will lose that match also. Need to make fast pitches internally, otherwise Indian cricket future very difficult.

  • Satish on August 17, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    Well.. To be frank, this is expected the batting collapse but against the newbies, they should have performed better is my view.. Anyway, we are through the initial round and any mistake now will cost the cup.. Blips are good lessons but whether they learnt the lessons will be seen from now.. Pakistan remain firm favorites for the QF but as we know, any team can beat any team on their day.. Wish it is our day..

  • Dummy4 on August 17, 2012, 3:06 GMT

    Till now the batting performance has been ordinary.Except few of them showing talent .They need to watch what Virat Kohli and his team did in 2008 winning from close matches .Captain and coach has important role her to build the confidence in crucial matches ,as far as Pitch is concerned that`s the pain of the sub-continent team throughout .

  • Jawwad on August 17, 2012, 2:49 GMT

    Townsville, it's a pacy wicket. Whoever handles fast bowling better will win the contest. We saw what happened to India when they last played WI here.

  • debarata on August 16, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Bharat Arun; I fell off the sofa when i heard he was the coach. No wonder the U19 team looks shell shocked. He has no doubt brought the experience of his all 4 Test wickets. Good preparation.

  • Dummy4 on August 16, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    when is the QF of Ind vs Pak ????

  • Avais on August 16, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    India-Pak is a highly anticipated match, will be a good one only if Indians raised their level. Its a good team but has not played to their potential, as yet. They will find Pak new ball bowlers, much taller and paciernot so easy to handle. Pak have three good spinners but Indians should not have a huge problem against them. 20 overs of pace, all they have to negociate. Chand should send someone else for the toss, b'cause losing toss and batting first will be a problem for Indians. Pak batting has been OK, so far. Their captain is amonag the runs, so as is Inzi's 16 year old nephew, Imam. Other opener, who scored two centuries in Malaysia recently is playing like an Indian batsman, not handeling the pace well.

  • Dummy4 on August 16, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    time and time again indians are showing theire weakness on seamer friendly tracks at england,australia,south africa. IPL isnt helping them a lot.

  • Sachin on August 16, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    Best of Luck guys and play for win: Make some changes in batting order, ecuae Aparjith and Vihari are wasting the opportunity and Nath has forget his role in the team, Why Zol is send down the order he should be no 4. atleast. Just plan one thing if anyone gets set play 50 overs you will score a century and have atleast 3 good partnerships, so score will be more than 250-260.

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