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India’s ODI Reality Check — Struggling Against Under-Strength Teams, worthy of being numero uno?

The Indian team’s ODI performance hasn’t been the greatest in recent months and despite that the team is in reckoning to win the numero uno ranking profile, courtesy of the present point-based ICC calculation system and India’s decent performances during the first half of 2009. It should be highlighted that this recent dip in performance is deeply disturbing considering that India have been facing under-strength teams. First Australia and now SL are here without many of their star players being left due to form-based issues or due to injuries. Further, these are home series and ideally, India should be winning the series quite comfortably. However, that is not the case.
They struggled a lot against the limited bowling resources of Australia and their own bowling attack has been repeatedly put to the sword by a Sri Lankan batting line-up wherein only the top four batsman can be considered regular members and potential match-winners and among that too, Mahela Jayewardene is desperately out-of-form. So what does this say about Dhoni’s men? They are vying hard for the top ranking status but where are the ODI performances to back the claim? If the bowling cannot hold its own in a home series with nearly a full-bench with most of the regular bowlers bowling, what does this indicate for the future? Secondly, the Indian batsmen are doing pretty good but usually when they are setting-up targets. They failed miserably when trying to chase reasonable targets and it seems that if the captain, Dhoni, doesn’t fire in the middle-order, it does seem to collapse against sustained short-pitched bowling.

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