Friday, 29 July 2011

Fit Sreesanth >> Unfit Zaheer

Sreesanth coming back in for Zaheer Khan rocks English middle order on a green top at Trent Bridge. At tea time England are 124-8 with Broad and Swann at the crease. As India won the toss and chose to bowl first in perfect conditions for seam bowling, all eyes were on the temperamental Sreesanth as everyone questioned whether he would be able to replace India's prime bowler Zaheer. There was never a doubt on Sreesanth's ability as a bowler. His seam position is one of the best in the world and when in rhythm he can knock over the best of batsmen with ease. But what sidelines him is his attitude and temperament on the field which sometimes becomes too difficult to handle.

India started off well with Praveen removing Cook early on and then Sreesanth took Trott's wicket with a beauty to reduce England to 23-2. Cut to Lords where India had a similar start and Zaheer had England at 62-2 but then he had to walk off due to an injury and did n't bowl in the rest of the match. Result-In seaming conditions India could not do much and let England score 474 runs. The 2 seamers left, Ishant and PK toiled hard but could not trouble the English. Whereas today 3 fully fit seamers bowled in tandem and did not give anything to the opposition. This shows that had India got 3 fit seamers in the first test, the story might have been different. Zaheer is a good bowler and in-fact better than Sreesanth on any day but in the same way a fit bowler is always better than an unfit one. India took a chance with Zaheer in the first test knowing that he is not 100% fit. What happened was that neither he could bowl in the match nor was he fit for the next game. Had they not played him in the first game, he might have been fit in this game. The difference could clearly be seen today as the 3 seamers took turns to trouble the English batsmen. 2 would have been unable to do so and Dhoni like in the first test would have been forced to either bowl Harbhajan or himself giving a chance to England to recover. But nothing of that sort happened as a fit Sreesanth ripped apart the English batting line-up.

India are the no. 1 team in the world and they have got to show it. There is no point playing an injured player just because of his reputation. A fitter replacement would always be the better option. Mukund and Sreesanth have not disappointed till now and another replacement i.e. Yuvraj has been made in place of an unfit Gambhir. India has lost its 3 prime players but they need not worry much as India has got excellent bench strength who have the potential to fill the boots of the  big guns.

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