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India's Batting Conundrum : Looking ahead to the WTC final and ODI WC

India's batting collapses has to be one of the primary reasons why the team has not succeeded in terms of winning ICC trophies after the Dhoni era.

The Champions's trophy final against Pakistan in 2017, the World Cup semi final against new Zealand were some of the most crucial instances where India's batting succumbed to the pressure and the intensity of a big occasion. This pattern of a complete collapse in recent times begs the question: who is responsible for it and why does it keep happening?

The way I look at it, the current team set-up is overly dependent on Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to play a mature, steady innings to steer the ship if and when there is a collapse. The shot selection of the batters also has to be called into question. I distinctly remember Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant trying to take on Santner and losing their wickets in the dreaded semi final.

In the recent ODI series decider against Australia, Hardik again lost his wicket at a crucial juncture to essentially hand the series to Australia by trying to take on a spinner. The idea of 1 vs 1 does not exist in cricket and our batters should see beyond taking on a bowler and getting the better off him. The plan was clear for Australia when they brought on Zampa: they wanted Hardik to try and take him on and he did just that and gave his wicket away.

This is not a direct dig at Hardik or any particular batter but rather the abilities of batters to see past their ego and truly play a knock that the team requires and according to the situation of the game.

The top and middle order seems to be extremely fragile in the opening overs against the moving ball. Again referring to the recent ODI series against Australia, India's top order just could not handle the swing and pace of Starc. Boult in the WC semis, Aamir in the CT. A glaring hole this.

In particular, India's batting weakness against left arm pace especially when the ball is coming back in to the right handers over the wicket, against wrist spin and against left arm orthodox will be the major causes for concern in the upcoming tournaments. India's middle order fragility (not talent but temperament) will also have to be hardened.

With the World Test Championship final and the ODI World Cup on the horizon, I hope India can win both and redeem themselves

Author : Abhinav Ravichandran

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