Like a minor in nightclub, India batsmen wary of bouncers

Updated: Mar 22, 2011, 09:03 AM IST

New Delhi: West Indies paceman Ravi Rampaul proved in his World Cup debut that the Indian top order batsmen are just like a minor in a nightclub -- wary of bouncers.

Rampaul began with a wayward bumper which soared over the wicketkeeper`s head and raced to the boundary in Sunday`s final Group B match in Chennai.

The 26-year-old from Trinidad kept banging the ball in short of a length to generate awkward bounce which helped remove both openers Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir and gave him an innings haul of five wickets.

Yuvraj Singh, who went on to smash a match-winning century, could have made an early exit as well but he was dropped by West Indies` skipper Darren Sammy off Andre Russell.

Not surprisingly, Russell`s delivery was also a short-pitched ball and Sammy revealed it had all been part of their plan.

"We had a plan for the Indian (top order) and we had early success early. We had a chance to get Yuvraj out too but I was the culprit to drop him in the point region," Sammy lamented.

India will be conscious of a similar problem in Thursday`s quarter-final in Ahmedabad where Australia are likely to unleash their three-pronged pace attack to exploit it.

Yuvraj, though, dismissed any such concern.

"I don`t think there is an issue with the short ball," he said, visibly annoyed with the suggestion.

"If you have an issue with the short ball, you won`t be number one test team and number two one-day team...Definitely we know they have pace and they get wickets with that. We will be prepared for them."

The task will not be easy against the pace of Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson but India can take heart from Virat Kohli`s return to form against West Indies which augurs well for a side who have developed a tendency to collapse in a heap.

Their failure to bat out their full quota of 50 overs against England, South Africa and West Indies is also a worrying factor for a batting lineup crucial to India`s dream of winning the World Cup for the second time.

Bureau Report