Indian bowlers need to rethink strategy

Last Updated: Mar 01, 2011, 13:27 PM IST

New Delhi: Indian bowlers, especially off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, need to re-think their strategy for the flat sub-continental pitches or the team`s World Cup campaign could be derailed despite a strong batting line-up, feels former batsman Sanjay Manjrekar.

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"Indian bowlers tend to struggle on flat pitches. They need to re-think their strategy on such surfaces. Harbhajan Singh, especially, needs to find ways to get batsmen out on batting-friendly wickets," the former cricketer said.

The Mumbaikar feels the tied match against England should serve as wake-up call to the team`s think-tank. Despite posting a mammoth 338, India could only manage to get a point from the game as the English easily negotiated the Indian
attack and at one stage threatened to even walk away with the match.

"I think it is important that India do not panic too much and look at it (the tied result) as a wake-up call. India are a very good team and they did not have one of their best days, but they can make a note of the fact that when it is a good batting pitch, bowling is their biggest weakness. India need to work on this weakness from now to the quarter-final stage to give them a better chance," Manjrekar said.

Manjrekar, however, defended the move to play two spinners and said the attack will largely depend on the opposition.

"It depends on the opposition. Playing two spinners against England made a lot of sense. They don`t like spin as much as they like facing the seamers. They would have preferred to face Ashish Nehra. I think (MS) Dhoni in any case, is more inclined to have two specialist spinners than three seamers in the playing XI," he said.

Manjrekar also hailed English captain Andrew Strauss, who struck a 158-run knock to single-handedly almost take England home in Bangalore.

"I have never underestimated Andrew Strauss, and I think he is a class player. And we got to see his class in Bangalore," Manjrekar said.

"England were definitely tired after the Ashes series when they were playing the seven-match ODI series against the Australians, but the World Cup is a different ball-game. The English have seen the Cup hype in India and that has made them
forget the fatigue and get charged-up all over again," Manjrekar insisted.