17 February 2008

Pathan's batting

Pathan is not a polished enough bat to command a permanent position at the top of the order. Despite the evident talent, there are significant deficiencies in his game that lessen his impact. He has a good eye, looks good off the front foot, while cutting, and when defending close to the body. Judgment outside off is not something one can hold against him in the shorter versions of the game. In addition to the pull, if he can make himself a better 'milker' of runs, he can become double the batsman he is now.

If some of these aspects of his batting can improve, he is just the solution India needs for real firepower in the bowling. Like today. But as things stand, such a strategy is necessarily a gamble that will put an inexperienced batting order under a lot of prssure. I am okay with batting Pathan at number three if the circumstances are right. His batting will improve and that can only be good. But until his batting improves, it is wrong to treat him as a batsman. Not only does it put his own game under pressure, it also means that if the target crosses 250, (or if it is the Aussie bowling they are up against) the likes of Gambhir and Sharma are being asked to perform out of their skins.

12 comments:

Soulberry said...

I am okay with batting Pathan at number three if the circumstances are right. His batting will improve and that can only be good. But until his batting improves, it is wrong to treat him as a batsman.

I agree with that John. Today wasn't the day he should have been promoted. It isn't hindsight I speak from.

Naked Cricket said...

At times there is an excessive bon homie in India's ODI team (esp whilst talking to the media)- take Uthappa more than ready to bat anywhere. And then Pathan's case. Was MSD thinking - today is Irfan's day, let's send him in early, the MoM award is nearly his. Then pray, where did GC wrong Pathan? Talk of lasting impressions.

Samir Chopra said...

Uthappa is getting shafted in all of this - as is Pathan.

Jrod said...

There may infact be a time and place for Pathan to bat at 3.

This aint the time or place for it.

TM said...

I almost like the way Dhoni thinks. Taking off from an earlier post of mine, India desperately needs an all rounder, and there is no better way to round a person than to thrust him into the centre, in what Steve Waugh called, a situation that is 'outside his comfort zone'. Pathan has a great eye, no doubt about it - as for the technique, people have survived far longer in international cricket without one. Further, he is a quick learner and he will learn to judge the balls outside the off stump, to milk runs (though I think he does that reasonably well) and to play with softer hands when defending. It may hurt India a little in the present, but from a longer term perspective, Dhoni has this right. As for Uthappa batting too low, the day is not far gone when we were talking of him being our star finisher!! I would go as far as to say that Uthappa serves us better than Pathan at 7, simply because he is equally capable of smashing the ball out of the park, as he is of taking a quick single and shepherding the tail, the single greatest trait of all great number 7 batsmen. The problems with our batting are not at 3 and 7, but at 4 and 5- Rohit Sharma is not god enough for this level yet and unfortuantely everyone is now running out of patience with Yuvraj. Maybe the solution lies in Robin at 6 and Dhoni at 7?

John said...

Taking your own argument to its logical conclusion, a series in Oz is just the thing to place Rohit Sharma 'out of his comfort zone'. I am extremely impressed with him, and he will get much better. Think he can be the perfect batsman to come in at number 4. He can play shots and he can do the attrition thing.

Naked, Samir, Uthappa may be getting shafted but if he enjoys that role, it can be a good thing. Imagine someone like Uthappa coming in with 6 overs left. Also, if he is able to carry the same intensity into a number 6 spot in the Test batting order, he can do some damage to the second new ball - now that Dhoni has decided to quiten down in Test matches.

TM said...

I agree that this is as 'out of comfort zone' as Rohit is going to be for a while. I ofcourse disagree that he is good enough for this level, but lets see who has judged him better in a few months. From expereince John, NO ONE WHO IS CALLED ROHIT SHARMA CAN BAT!

John said...

You have a fine point there, my man.

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pervy said...

John.. its funny how opinions on players in India change so fast..
Rohit Sharma's career statistics are as follows:
ODI - (I)8 (R)200 (HS)70* (AVE)33.33 (SR)80.97
T20 - (I)4 (R)96 (HS)50* (AVE)96.00 (SR)139.13

the man already has 2 fifties in ODIs in less than 10 innings. he already has a man of the match in ODIs and T20 each.. he can, as u said, clearly bat both with aggression and attrition.. and still.. we have men calling him unsuitable for the game based on one bad performance in a match we lost..

but then.. that s what the Indian fan who burns effigies on every loss is made of.. or maybe TM in our case is just insecure that someone called Rohit Sharma has now settled in the team as a No. 4 batsman..

John said...

Let's see Perv. He has a chance to show up louts like TM. India are 33/2 chasing 240, and Sharma has just walked in.

TM said...

I love Rohit Sharma!! There was no better way to demonstrate how inept he was for this level than to play that completely unnecessay shot to leave India in a difficult position. No cricket writer worth his salt (on blogs or otherwise) is foolish enough to quote 10 match statistics to justify a players ability. Watch the average dip as bowlers figure out his weaknesses.

As for Pervy's comments on him settling in at number 4 - any decent number 4 would have seen the team home (or atleast to a place from where they could not have lost). Maybe the argument will be made that these shots will not be played with experience- the problem is that it will have to be played if it is one of 4-5 shots you know. Once again, as of now, he is not ready for this level - but lets see, time will tell who is right!