Cricket World Cup : Cycle Stand Syndrome : Team India
When I wanted to name this article I had many a name coming to my mind before deciding on the title. Some of them were knocked off like tenpins, fell apart like a pack of cards, etc. Getting to the title, I am sure you all must have seen at some point of time, how the cycles kept in a cycle stand fall down when one of them is pushed down. How team India manages to do this on a consistent basis is amazing; but on a more serious side provides food for thought for the Indian think tank.
The latest instance of this syndrome was seen today in the match against West Indies – 7 wickets for 50 runs. We saw similar numbers against South Africa. How we won today and why we lost today is good enough material for yet another article; but let’s keep it aside for another day.
We all know the fact that Team India’s strength lies in the batting. India needs to bat out its opponent. Despite clearly knowing this we have seen occasions where batsman throw away the game after brilliant starts. One clear factor is the extra pressure batting powerplay puts on the batsmen. I don’t understand but is this really necessary? 5 overs of fielding restrictions do not mean that all of those 30 balls need to be boundaries. Teams which try to do that mostly dig their own graves.
Yusuf Pathan we all know can bludgeon the ball. Does it matter if its power play or not to him? I really don’t think. Putting him in inside a power play is only going to increase the pressure of expectations on him and 8/10 he is bound to fail. At scores like 200/3 or 250/2 in about 35 overs and inside batting power play if you ask him to go and bat, the only expectation from him is to score quick runs. He is not expected to take time to get his eye in. Thus he falls prey to this expectation.
In the game against South Africa India should have taken the power play after 15 overs. The batsmen were completely over the bowlers then. Instead taking it in the late 30s made them put in that extra effort to score runs which resulted in the team committing hara-kiri.
The ideal way time for India to take their power play to be right after the mandatory power play – after bowling power play if that is taken. This ensures the continuity of momentum. In the last 10 overs, the batsmen even otherwise look to attack. So runs are bound to come. Let’s hope this is the last of such collapses from this famed batting lineup.