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'Dhawan's technical flaws affecting India's opening balance'

Last updated on: January 28, 2014 17:41 IST

'Dhawan's technical flaws affecting India's opening balance'

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‘Shikhar does not have the proper technique to play the short ball. Opening will be major concern for India in next year's World Cup,’ says former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin. 

Former captain Mohammad Azharuddin reckons the Indian team's opening woes will continue during next year's cricket World Cup if Shikhar Dhawan fails to work on the technical flaws that have crept into his batting.

"I had observed Shikhar's problem with the short ball when he played for India in the Champions Trophy in England. There he scored runs and it was not noticed, but I had an idea that this would create problems. Shikhar does not have the proper technique to play the short ball. He has a flaw in his basic technique," observed Azharuddin.

"Our opening partnership is of big concern. Since the South Africa series we have not got good starts. Since we are coming to play here [New Zealand] in the World Cup, adaptability is the key and opening will be major concern for India in next year's World Cup," Azhar pointed out.


Image: Shikhar Dhawan
Photographs: BCCI

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Asked to elaborate on Dhawan's problems, the 50-year-old former batsman said, "Firstly, he doesn't leave the rising deliveries and has a tendency to awkwardly fend at it, which is wrong.

"Secondly, he stands outside the crease which is the reason he meets the rising delivery early… which is also a mistake.

"The more you use the depth of the crease, it helps you play the ball late. A 145 kmph delivery's speed will reduce by a few kilometres if you stand inside the crease.”

But having pointed out Dhawan's mistakes, he was quick to admit that there aren't too many openers on the horizon either.

"That's also a problem. Viru (Virender Sehwag) hasn't scored any runs and Gautam (Gambhir), I believe, also has problems with short deliveries. So what does Dhoni do? He has a genuine problem," Azhar, who is a Member of Parliament from Moradabad, said.


Image: Shikhar Dhawan
Photographs: BCCI

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A veteran of 99 Tests and 334 ODIs, Azharuddin was also unhappy about the team combination in the ongoing series against New Zealand and questioned the management's decision to keep pacer Umesh Yadav out of the side.

"Where is that boy Umesh? He is there in the squad and is a better option than Ishant Sharma. Why don't they play him? Also, I believe that it was a good decision to leave (Suresh) Raina out [of the fourth ODI, which India lost by seven wickets]. He has got enough chances and some of the others now need to be tried out before the World Cup.

"But I don't see consistency in this team while playing abroad. Well, you can tinker with one or, at the maximum, two slots, but what if four to five slots become a concern. You need couple of more players to fire consistently along with Virat (Kohli) and Dhoni," he observed.


Image: Mohammad Azharuddin


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The Hyderabadi stylist was also critical of spinner Ravichandran Ashwin's flat bowling.

"I was very disappointed with today's [fourth ODI in Hamilton] performance. It was not a usual New Zealand track and we should have been able to defend on a track that offered turn. I was watching Jadeja get sufficient turn from the track. Ashwin should have got more purchase, but he looked very flat. It looked to me that he was bowling too many straighter ones rather than bowling the off-breaks."


Image: Ravichandran Ashwin
Photographs: BCCI

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