India Can Beat the Aussies

India lost to Australia in the most recent ODI. The important fact is that India came within striking distance of the Australian total. A creditable recovery after being four down for 51 runs. A clear indication that this team is capable of putting up a fight. Thus far Australia has beat India consistently in this series despite being restricted to small totals until the most recent ODI.

However, this Indian team has what it takes to beat the Aussies in this series. The top order has been a little flaky, but it is possible that it will come together in time for the finals. Barring Sehwag, most players in the top order have at least one 50+ score in this series, which is a positive sign. The running between wickets is by far the best India has ever had. The ground fielding good but the direct hits could use some improvement.

On the bowling front, Harbhajan appears to be the weak link (though I have never seen this mentioned ever in the press). I can’t remember the last time Harbhajan grabbed a bunch of wickets. He almost always picks up one or two wickets at the most. At the top of the order, Ishant Sharma has proven to be a wicket taking bowler. But India badly lacks a wicket taking bowler in the middle overs. In fact, Sehwag (or Piyush Chawla) might be a better bet as the fifth bowler. In the most recent match against SL, coming into bowl with more than half the side back in the hut, Harbhajan failed to get any breakthroughs. Thus, India let SL off the hook to end up with a total of 179 runs.

With a small tweak or two and some luck, Dhoni and his boys have a great opportunity to beat the Aussies in the finals. It remains to be seen how effective they can be.

My Pick: Sehwag, Sachin, Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Uthappa, Pathan, Praveen, Sreesanth, Ishant. (Or play Chawla in place of Sehwag and open with Uthappa).

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