x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Indian cricket has issues to resolve

With Pakistan up next, and England and Australia to follow, several players are on the edge. A couple of failures, and they may have to focus on the Indian Premier League.

Time forMS Dhoni and the selectors to get their thinking caps on. Rajanish Kakade / AP Photo
Time forMS Dhoni and the selectors to get their thinking caps on. Rajanish Kakade / AP Photo

It is a mistake that Indian cricket has made often enough in the past - mixing up formats. Selectors, players and fans have all been equally culpable. A 5-0 win in a one-day series at home last year was supposed to be a measure of atonement for the 4-0 drubbing they suffered in the Tests in England a few months earlier.

A batsman ideally suited for the longer format, Subramaniam Badrinath, was denied a chance in the Caribbean last year on account of a handful of failures in the one-day arena.

These are errors of judgement Indian cricket can no longer afford. After 10 Test defeats in 17, 50-over failures in Australia and the Asia Cup, and a Super-Eight exit at the World T20, the team's stock is as low as it has been for half a decade.

With Pakistan up next - two T20s and three ODIs - and England (five ODIs) and Australia (four Tests) to follow, several players are on the edge. A couple of failures, and they may have to focus on the Indian Premier League.

These T20 matches against England are a welcome start in terms of a new direction, though there are issues to address.

The paucity of talent on the bowling front continues to worry. Parvinder Awana and Ashok Dinda, who both played in Pune yesterday against England, are capable of bowling genuinely quick, but the lack of nous against Alex Hales hitting straight and long would have creased some brows.

And when Yuvraj Singh remains your best wicket-taking option, you know there are spin woes. At this moment in time though, India will just be glad of the win. Any win.

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