Young guns fail to fire; Dhoni calls for patience

Raina, Kohli have not lived up to expectations

Young guns fail to fire; Dhoni calls for patience

The total failure of the batting once again brought to the fore the question whether the young batsmen are indeed good enough to take on the mantle.

There have been a few instances in the recent past where the young guns have failed to bridge the gap between potential and performance. The names of Robin Uthappa and Rohit Sharma are the prominent ones to flash through your mind while Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli have managed to hang on with sporadic knocks.
Monday provided both these batsmen a chance to stand up and be counted when the senior players had an off day. Kohli, walking in at number three in place of an injured Gautam Gambhir, managed just 10 runs while Raina’s inconsistency continued.

Ravindra Jadeja has held his own with the ball, but he has failed to justify his all-rounder’s tag. While Kohli and Jadeja are still inexperienced at the international level, Raina, with 75 matches under his belt, isn’t quite a newcomer.  
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, however, was willing to give all of them the benefit of doubt. “Raina got out to a beautiful delivery while Jadeja was run out after a mix up,” said Dhoni begging for some amount of patience.

Not easy
“I would say they have not got much opportunity to bat at that slot and it is not easy to bat at number six or seven, especially when you are chasing. You always bat according to the platform you get.

“Sometimes you need to accelerate or get a partnership going and look to score whatever runs are needed. They will learn from their mistakes and each and every batsman does that. I am sure with time they will improve and they have improved,” he explained.

The stumper was of the opinion that one way of getting the youngsters ready was to make them bat higher up the order. “I think one way of giving them opportunity is to make them bat higher so that they can pace their innings,” he noted.
“Batting at number six or seven is a tough thing to do because you have to score big. You need experience lower in the order so Yuvraj Singh at four and me at five is an ideal scenario. When you give youngsters a chance to bat up the order it gives them a chance to pace their innings because they have time in hand and there is not much pressure,” he pointed out.

Kohli has been quite lucky in terms of batting up the order. In the last five innings, thrice he has batted at number four and once each at number three and seven slots, but the Delhiite has just one fifty to show against a lowly West Indies in the Champions Trophy. “If they bat at six or seven they may end up scoring 30 or 35 odd runs but if it is their bad day then they may end up scoring 10 or 12 runs. It is very difficult and it is always better to give the youngsters a chance up the order in one-dayers.  Kohli is a very talented batsman and has done well and the energy that he brings on the field is exceptional,” Dhoni remarked.  

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