India can`t win WC, Dhoni is dreaming
Melbourne: Given their weak bowling and unimpressive fielding even the high quality batsmen cannot save India`s World Cup campaign, feels former Australian batsman Dean Jones who says winning the coveted trophy will remain just a dream for Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s men.
"The three main common denominators consistent with all World Cup champion teams are: Your top four batsmen must be of a high quality. They must have the technique to play the new ball, as well as have the power and stroke play during powerplays. Your top four bowlers must be of high quality, able to absorb pressure and bowl defensively in powerplays. If you can`t field, don`t bother turning up!" Jones said in his column for `The Age`.
"All this taken into account, I do not believe India will win the World Cup with its current form. Tell Dhoni, he`s dreaming," wrote Jones in his article.
Jones said that despite the presence of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag in the team, who can rip any bowling attack to shreds, India cannot win the World Cup.
"Everyone here has a huge regard for the Indian team. They have the batsmen, no doubt. Tendulkar and Sehwag can rip any attack to shreds. But that alone doesn`t win the World Cup for India. He is dreaming," he said.
The former Aussie cricketer said that Dhoni`s bowling combination comprising Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Piyush Chawla and Harbhajan Singh doesn`t match the standards of any of the line-ups of the previous teams.
"Captain M S Dhoni has admitted some of his fieldsmen are very slow. But Dhoni believes he will win the World Cup with this bowling line-up: Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Piyush Chawla and Harbhajan Singh. Dhoni must turn to history to see that this bowling attack will not win a World Cup."
"Dhoni wants seven specialist batsmen and four specialist bowlers. Having seven batsmen tells me that India doesn`t trust its `engine room` to make the runs required. By having four bowlers, it means that everything must go right or they are in deep trouble. What happens if one is injured? Or one gets smashed?" Jones questioned.
Jones pointed out that India`s main weakness is the form of spinners Piyush Chawla and Harbhajan Singh. "Chawla is being smashed and was brought in by the strong backing of Dhoni after two years in obscurity. There are three leg-spinners who have won World Cups: Mushtaq, Warne and Brad Hogg. Is Chawla as good as those three? No, he isn`t.”
"The Indian skipper has other problems in Harbhajan`s form. Harbhajan has struggled in all World Cups and has only take six wickets in eight matches against the Test countries at an average of 58. His 10 overs are going for around 50. Chawla must be replaced by Ravichandran Ashwin. Harbhajan needs to get in opponents` faces more," he said.
He added that India`s best bowling line-up is Khan, Nehra, Harbhajan and Ravichandran Ashwin, with Yusuf Pathan and Yuvraj Singh splitting the fifth bowler`s duties.
"The team needs the attitude to get wickets and not just defend. Getting wickets always stops the run-rate. Its fieldsmen must look for run-outs and want the ball in the field."