R P Singh likely to replace Sreesanth in final ODI
Manager Lalchand Rajput believes that India needs to be consistent in all departments to challenge a top team like Australia.
On a high after the Twenty20 World Cup triumph, the hosts were sent crashing back to earth by world champions Australia, who clinched the seven-match series 4-1, with one match to go.
“I think we must compliment that Australia is the best side in the world. And the only team that can give them a run for their money is India and we have proved that time again. But we must compliment Australia for they have played better cricket than us,” Rajput said in Mumbai on Tuesday, on eve of the seventh and final one-day international.
He pointed out that India never got its act together as a team and said the bowlers and batsmen did not click as a unit.
“The very important factor is the consistency factor. Australia is consistent in all departments, whether it is bowling, batting or fielding. That is where we have to work on, because one day we are good in batting, the other day we are good in the bowling department. So we have to club all together and if we can do better in all departments then it will be the key to success,” he said.
He agreed that India’s bowling in the final few overs is cause for concern.
“Yes, that has been the worrying thing for us and we have been working on it. In the last couple of games, we gave a lot of runs in the last few overs and that is the area we have to improve upon and we are working on it. It takes time, but in the near future you will definitely see us bowling well in the death overs,” Rajput added.
He also agreed that the Australian batsmen dealt with the spinners better than the Indian batsmen, who are traditionally renowned to be masters of playing spinners.
“Their batsmen played very well against our spinners. If you see every game they played they have been like 90 for 4 or 100 for 4, but they built partnerships and that is very important. They have adapted and adjusted to the situation very well,” Rajput said.
The Indian team manager gave full backing to Rahul Dravid, who has so far struggled in the series.
“Rahul Dravid is a world class player and time and again he has proved that. Even in England he was one of the top run-getters. It is just that he is not getting the starts. He is such a good player, I am sure he will come good any moment,” he said.
India opted against naming their twelve for Wednesday’s match and Rajput said they would zero in on their eleven only after practice in the evening. However, in all likelihood, India will go in with the same team, with the only change being RP Singh replacing the out-of-form S Sreesanth.
With nothing at stake, India may well look to post a consolation win and give their fans in Mumbai something to cheer about. This could well be the last piece of action at the Wankhede stadium before it undergoes renovation ahead of the 2011 World Cup.