Balanced order, effective bowlers key to India's rise: Srikkanth

Balanced order, effective bowlers key to India's rise: Srikkanth

Chief National selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth

"We have the most balanced batting line-up for any situation and our bowlers have shown they don't depend upon only turning tracks to win the Tests," Srikkanth said.
India dominated the three-match home series against Sri Lanka which they won 2-0 and rocketed to the top of the ICC Test ratings.

"Just look at our batting personnel. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, an explosive pair, to open the innings. Sehwag is a guy who can help India score 400 runs in a day that sets it up nicely for the team.

And then there's (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni and Yuvraj to tear into the bowling lower down," the former India skipper said.
Sehwag simply tore into the Lanka attack in the third and final Test at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium and knocked the stuffing out of the visitors in making an unbeaten 284 on day two, in a team score of 443 for one in only 79 overs.
Next day, the Delhi dasher eventually fell seven short of what could have been a historic third career triple hundred.

"Then we have the solid players in Gambhir (when necessary) Sachin Tendulkar, (VVS) Laxman and Rahul Dravid," Srikkanth said.
He pointed out how the team got out of difficult situations by giving the example of the first Test at Ahmedabad where the hosts were down 32 for four on the first morning before recovering.

"From 32 for four, Rahul made a splendid 177 and Yuvraj and Dhoni also batted in splendid fashion. Last year in the Madras (Chennai) Test (against England), Sachin Tendulkar (103 not out) and Yuvraj (85 not out) helped India successfully chase down a target of 386 on the last day track which is not easy," he reminded.

To buttress his point, Srikkanth also referred to the Napier Test against New Zealand when a stroke-maker like Gambhir curbed his instincts and batted for ten hours for a match-saving 137.

"The team has a batting line-up which adapts very well to all sort of conditions," he gushed.
He showered praise on the team's bowling combination as well and said it has repeatedly shown the capability of taking out 20 wickets to win Test matches.
"The bowling attack does not depend any more on turning tracks. It has shown it can help win Tests all over the world, including the backyards of South Africa, England, West Indies, New Zealand or Australia," the former opener said.

Srikkanth said even on flat tracks the pace bowlers have taken the wickets and powered India to victory and a prime example was Zaheer Khan's second innings five-wicket haul at Mumbai against Lanka.
He also praised comeback pacer S Sreesanth who, out of the Test team for 19 months, grabbed the first chance he got on an unhelpful wicket at Kanpur to bowl the side to victory against Lanka.
"Spinners like Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra, who filled in so well for the injured Anil Kumble in his debut Test at Chandigarh (Mohali), give the attack a lot of variety," he said.

Srikkanth said the contributions to the rise of the team to the pinnacle of the highest form of the game from retired champions Kumble and Sourav Ganguly should not also be forgotten.
The chief selector also indicated how the bench strength has risen to the occasion whenever the need arose.
"Murali Vijay played at Nagpur (fourth and final Test against Australia) one year ago (when Gambhir was serving a one-match ban for elbowing Aussie Shane Watson in the previous Test). He rose up to the challenge then and when the opportunity came in Mumbai he again did well," said Srikkanth.

In the Mumbai Test, Vijay made a fine 87 and was also involved in a double century opening stand with the rampaging Sehwag to deny Lanka an early breakthrough.

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