Asia Cup 2014 Review

Bharat Army member Rohit Verma gives his opinion on where India went wrong during the 2014 Asia Cup:

So, India’s participation at the Asia Cup is now done and what does everyone think? Good? Bad? Positive? Negative?   I think this Asia Cup can be pretty much be summed up in two words – OPPORTUNITY LOST!   This tournament was supposed to be used by the team to test out the bench strength and did we? Not at all. Ishwar Pandey showed some skill in New Zealand on tour game and after that he’s been bench warming. Reminds me of Rahane’s initial situation. Pujara averages of 58 in Ranji games and yet he has not got a look in when he shows the sort of solidity India needs and even though he might bat on the slow side, he has shown in his previous test innings that he can up the ante when he’s in. Our last game was the a last chance to play a completely different side and who cares if we lost as like Virat said – WE ARE IN TRANSITION and these hiccups will happen – better now then the World Cup.   One person I have felt bad for has been Stuart Binny for the following reasons:

– Having played the ICL many years ago to getting fitter and through the IPL making a name for himself, he has barely got a look in.

– Even Jadeja was given more opportunities and failed and now look at him – he has got a lot better and he can be a good fit in the side.

– Binny has barely played and to be honest even though I am giving him the benefit of the doubt he has bowled on dead pitches in Bangladesh when in Australia he could prove effective and it is not like he can not bat given the licence.

I said it before and I will say it again – I think Ashwin needs to re-visit his action. An off-spinner starts off by bowling the off stump line and then once he is in a groove then the experimentation starts in order to look for wickets. What Ashwin does is try everything straight away and when he gets hit which has been a constant, he starts with his darts and bowling around the wicket. Why be so negative – be persistent and wickets will come – PATIENCE IS THE KEY!   What a difference Amit Mishra made to the squad – finally a good call by management and he has been solid in his performances and maybe his results can push Ashwin to improve – food for thought.  

Brett Lee made a statement a few days ago that to win the World Cup, India will need bowlers who can put a fright in a batsmen’s mind and therefore bowl over 140kmph and we have two at this point in time – Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav. Aaron had a poor tournament and maybe he’ll get better in time but to be banned from the attack is not impressive to the eye at all but dew did play a factor and I do not see that being the case in Australia and New Zealand. Where has Umesh Yadav gone? He is quick ad gets wickets – yes he is expensive but that’s all our bowlers. They have to be worked. Our death bowling has let us down over and over again and what do we do to fix it? NOTHING! No yorkers (except Shami), obvious slower balls but so thought has to be put into this. This is the only we will be able to defend totals . In oredre to wim games going forward, Team India needs that killer instinct to finish off team when they’re on top rather than what they normally do is let the game move slowly forward until a partnership has developed and then who suffers? WE DO!  

Back to the batting: I personally do not see Rohit Sharma opening the batting. I think he has always been better down the order and given a licence to go for his shots. Rahane does seem like a better option even though he feels number 4 is where he should be but then I start back on the Pujara argument – doesn’t everyone feel Pujara is best suited at number 4. I do not want Pujara to open but if that’s the only was for him to play then so be it. Rayudu I am still not too sure about and that is a discussion I will continue some other time.  

Fielding: Our fielding has been a disappointment since New Zealand and I have thought that this has been a strength especially when we won the World Cup but we have let catches spill and Karthik really surprised me with this performances behind the stumps as well as his batting when he shown so much promise in previous matches and the last IPL. What other keep batsmen do we have in the cupboard? Once again – food for thought.  

Time is ticking to the next World Cup – ARE WE GOING TO BE READY???

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