Recent form in ODIs
3 match ODI series v Bangladesh (Away), July 2014 – Won 2-0
5 match ODI series v England (Away), Aug-Sept 2014 – Won 3-1
Curtailed 5 match ODI series v West Indies (Home), Oct-Nov 2014 – Won 2-1
5 match ODI series v Sri Lanka (Home), Nov 2014 – Won 5-0
India’s performance in the shorter format of the game, barring the recent failures in the tri-series in Australia, has been quite satisfactory in the last couple of years. And there are strong reasons for that, too. One of the most energizing factors in the Indian cricket team in recent days has been the emergence of a crop of exuberant youngsters. These players are always ready to shoulder all kinds of responsibility for the team, in any given situation. The likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin have gradually come up as potent war horses for the Indian cricket team.
Strengths And Opportunities For The Indian Cricket Team
Needless to say, the Indian batting is capable of standing tall against all kinds of bowling attacks in the world. The rise of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Ajinkya Rahane as the run getters for the team ought to be seen in this context.
The presence of MS Dhoni adds to the richness of the Indian batting unit. It has been on the back of spectacular performances by these batsmen that India has recently earned the distinction of being one of the best run chasers in ODIs.
Although overshadowed by the glorious triumphs of the batsmen, the Indian fielding deserves equal attention and admiration. Gone are the days when foreign teams could rely on shoddy Indian fielding !
The Indian cricket team of today presents a completely different picture when it comes to the fielding arena. Athletes like Jadeja, Raina, Rahane and Sharma can be seen diving around the field to save vital runs for India.
This makes opponents sweat for every single run and keeps the team spirit soaring during high intensity encounters. The World Cup shall thus be the best platform for the Indian fielders to display their skills and contribution to the team’s cause.
Weaknesses and Threats For The Indian Cricket Team
Subjected to a number of discussions, bowling remains the Achilles Heel for the Indian cricket team. In spite of having tried several bowling combinations in ODIs in the last two years, the team is yet to find answers to their problems in this department. Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav provide the speed and wicket taking chances, but at the cost of low accuracy and economy.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma lack pace and wicket taking skills, but are economical to some extent.
The spinners have been unable to mount pressure on the opposing batsmen on foreign soil, even under favourable conditions. Ravindra Jadeja was at his peak a year ago, but has yet to recover from a recent injury.
The greatest problem lies in the absence of a death bowler. Opponents have often exploited this weakness by plundering an additional 3 digit score in the last ten overs, with almost every bowler going for runs!
India’s record in Australia is also a cause for concern. Playing against Australia, Indian Cricket Team has won only 10 out of 40 matches in Australia. The Australian weather favors a lot of seam movement for pacers. Swing and seam is one department that Indian bowlers have not been able to master especially on this tour of Australia.
It is not just the bowlers who lack swing and seam, the batsmen have also had problems dealing with it. The short ball and heavy swing will be deployed in Australia and the Indian Cricket Team will have to find a way to deal with it.
The story of India’s progress in ODIs has been about mixed performances. The batting unit, has often been made to clean up the mess made by the bowlers. This policy of batsmen compensating for the bowlers’ weaknesses has yielded mixed, short term results so far. Thus, Indian cricket team’s chances in this World Cup shall brighten only if the bowlers can control the opponent’s scorecard.
Indian Cricket Team For ICC World Cup 2015
MS Dhoni (capt/wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Stuart Binny, Umesh Yadav, Ajinkya Rahane.
Fixtures (Pool B)
February 15 – v Pakistan, Adelaide
February 22 – v South Africa, Melbourne
February 28 – v UAE, Perth
March 6 – v West Indies, Perth
March 10 – v Ireland, Hamilton
March 14 – v Zimbabwe, Auckland