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Indian batting on the downhill
The once famed batting line up of India was known for destroying any bowling attack in the world. The same does not hold true after a string of inconsistent performances by Indian batsmen. The ongoing Indo-Pak ODI series is testimony to the said fact.

INDIA HAS already lost the present series 2-0 with one more game left to play on January 6, 2013 in Delhi against the confident Pakistan side. It is the Indian batsmen who were embarrassed in both the matches scoring 227 runs and 165 runs in the first and second ODI respectively. Things do not look good for India, as the Indian batsmen are going downhill.

Anshuman Gaekwad, former India coach said, “The Indian batsmen are not ready to struggle. They just want to throw their bat around. I think, it is their approach, attitude, and the application, which is wrong.” The recent dismissals of the Indian batsmen shows that they just want to take the cover of the ball while playing an aggressive shot, while it is very important for batsmen to take some time before they start playing such shots. Most of the Indian batsmen play expansive shots, which later leads to their downfall.

Most top order batsmen of the Indian team have not been able to score runs consistently barring Virat Kohli, who has been the best batsmen for India over a period of last 12 months. Indian batsmen are so dependent on the openers to come out and deliver the goods, which has not happened for a long time. Players like Gautam Gambhir have been inconsistent with his last four scores reading, 11, 8, 88 and 0. The Indians expect a better graph in his batting. His Test record of late also does not look good either.

Anshuman Gaekwad has watched his batting closely and has noticed some technical flaws, which needs to be corrected so that he improves upon his scores. He explained, “He has developed some technical flaws – his bottom hand is very dominant and also, there is a huge gap between his bat and his body (playing away from body).” The same can be said for Virender Sehwag too, whose regular mode of dismissals are either getting bowled or trapped leg before to the incoming deliveries.

Another Indian batsmen, who has failed in a number of outing after been given a number of chances is Rohit Sharma, who has been touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket. But, he has not been able to justify his talent. His batting score reads even worse than any other batsmen in the Indian line-up – 4,4,4,0,0 and 5 runs in his last six ODIs. Nishath Nizar, a sports journalist agreed and added, “His selection is not justified. Other players such as Unmukt Chand, Pujara should have been brought in the side. If these players are brought into the side at a younger age, they will get more time to learn about the art of batting.”

But, who would these youngsters learn from? Do we have any role models in the Indian team? There is no such batsmen in the team, who is perfect at batting and youngsters could think of emulating their success at the international level. Earlier, we had seniors such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, who could have educated them about playing against various kinds of bowlers in different conditions.

This is the first series after the Little Master retired from the ODIs and look at the result. One cricket fan, Prawesh Chettri, remembering Tendulkar said, “Tendulkar's presence in the middle gave a big boost to the rest of the Indian players, who looked up to him for guidance and mentorship. His absence in the team has affected India, as the results would suggest.” But Gaekwad does not agree with it. It is time, we leave the past and move ahead in the right direction. Great players have played and walked away from the game – it is part and parcel of the game.

Anshuman Gaekwad concluded by stating that all the Indian batsmen are struggling. He added, “The way our Indian batsmen played (horribly), it seemed that the Pakistan bowlers were unplayable.”

On the positive front, Indian fans can gear up for the third ODI against Pakistan and the upcoming ODI series against England and expect the batsmen to perform. Their performance cannot get any worse than this.

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