BY Shashi Agarwal
Western world is different and this is Asia
With the recent hammering India has received from the hands of New Zealand and South Africa, many critics have started questioning India’s chances in the coming Asia Cup. But, one should know that this is subcontinent and India is the boss here. Here is a look at why India still has in it to win this one even in the absence of Dhoni.
The top 3
Though criticised heavily by Viru or Gauti fans, Rohit and Dhawan have definetely brought revolution in the Indian cricket since the Champions trophy. It was this combination which provided a consistent start to them . Even in the following home series , they performed exceptionally well. They have a good understanding between them, with Dhawan going after the bowlers from ball1 and Rohit likes to get in first and then blast.The way he can explode at a later stage was quite evident from his double century. The problem recently was that Dhawan was criticised heavily after he was made a bunny of short deliveries and his place in the team was questioned. He just could not play his natural game and it affected Rohit’s game as well as he had to go for shots early in his innings..With century under his belt in the test series, he will be much more confident and will go bang after the bowlers.Kohli needs no introduction in international cricket now. He has proven himself in all parts of the world now. He has come of age and has shown a lot of maturity, quite evident from the way he is celebrating his centuries now.The top 3 has been the pillar of India’s success in recent past and watch out for them in the tournament.
It will be interesting to see if Pujara gets a game and where he bats. Definetely, he will bring solidity to the middle order but he has still not proved if he can accelerate playing the lofted shots. .With Dhoni out of the equation,it has created problems but it means a chance to Dinesh Karthik, who is very under rated and was kicked out of the team without much fault of his. With a lucrative deal in the IPL, he will be high on confidence and may bring out the best of him.Raina has been a good finisher in Asia and if he gets a good platform, he can torment any bowling attack on a given day. The likes of Binny , Jadeja and Ashwin are capable enough with the bat and are good enough for more than just a cameo.
Though the world feels that Dhoni is the best, but the way he has handled players recently is definetely questionable. He has a tendency to support a bunch of guys. Binny is more able with the bat than Jadeja and Ashwin adm him coming after both of them was strange.Also just one over to him didnot do justice to his talent.India needed a change and though forcefully, it might help the youngsters to reach to his captain Kohli, who is talkative rather than Dhoni who prefers remaining silent and is hard to reach as expressed by VVS Laxman.Recently Dhoni has been seen losing his composure and might not have been the right man to lead
India’s strength has never been bowling but in Asia it looks a different unit ,where the spinners comes into play.With both spinners making it to 11 on merit rather than CSK factor, it brings the stability to the team just because of their batting. Outside India it’s not a wise option to go with 2 spinners with little or no assistance for them.But here India will rely on them not just to contain the batsman but also to pick up regular wickets.Adding to it, there will be part timers like Raina who willl be handy.Under Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India has 2 capable fast bowlers, who can make the new ball count. The problem has been death bowling, but in Asia the spinners can be relied for death bowling.Varun Aaron bowled well in patches and key will be his consistency as his extra pace will be an advantage.
India has always been giant in Asia and this time also it’s no different. Watch out for them in the Asia Cup.