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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Report


India's fielding needs improvement: Kiran More

March 21, 2007 03:26 IST

India's World Cup campaign finally got back on track with a thumping victory against Bermuda on Monday.

Virender Sehwag hit a breezy 114 off 87 deliveries as India posted a World Cup record total of 413 in their 50 overs in a crucial Group B match.

In reply, Bermuda were all out for 156 in 43.1 overs, handing India a 257-run victory, also a World Cup record.

Former India wicketkeeper and chief selector Kiran More analyses the match.

'I hope that Virender Sehwag continues his good form in the next game against Sri Lanka, which is a very crucial match,' he told Special Correspondent Harish Kotian.

Excerpts:

Are you happy with the way the Indian team performed against Bermuda?

Yes, I think we had a good start. Virender Sehwag came back to form and hope that form continues in the next game against Sri Lanka, which is a very, very crucial match.

Everybody got an opportunity to bat yesterday except for Rahul Dravid. But it was a good move to promote M S Dhoni in the batting order and the situation needed that. Dhoni got 30 odd runs, but Yuvraj Singh's innings was very special. He smashed the ball over the place and his timing was great. Sachin Tendulkar played great shots and I think we got a very good total.

The team's confidence looks high now, but I think the bowling and fielding still needs improvement.

Would you read too much into this victory, considering that they played a side like Bermuda, whose bowling attack is not the best?

I think any match you win is the same. I think all these teams have played enough matches. It is not the question of you getting into form straight away. Any match you play, including a side game, it is important to come back into form, specially for someone like Virender Sehwag.

Now even the Sri Lankans also will be worried that we have 400 plus. It is not easy to score 400 against any attack. I feel that the team is looking good and they have to continue their form. But I have to field well, which is going to very crucial against Sri Lanka.

What changes did you notice in this match, that you feel was missing against Bermuda?

Virender Sehwag makes a lot of difference. He was batting fluently and hitting the ball all over the place and was finding the gaps. He got his hundred in 87 balls so it shows that when you get a good start and our batting line-up is so good we can always get 300 plus runs if the start is good. Yesterday, we had an outstanding start and Sachin along with Yuvraj just continued the good work.

Do you think Sehwag should open in the next game against Sri Lanka?

I think he is getting out to the new ball straightaway because even he is not sure about his off-stump. If he bats at number three, the ball is old for around six or seven overs [most of the times] and it will not swing that much. It will help Sehwag to play his shots also. If we get a good start, Sehwag, coming in at number three, will be a very dangerous player.

Even Sri Lanka will be worried with him coming at number three. I think it is a good move by the Indian team and we need an experienced player at number three, that is where Robin Uthappa batted in the first game, which was a mistake.

I think if Sehwag continues his good form batting at number three it is an ideal situation for the Indian team.

What is your take on India's bowling performance in the Bermuda match?

We need to finish the match. We could have finished them early by bowling in good areas. Left-hander David Hemp [76 not out] played a solid innings but we could have finished the match early had the Indian bowlers taken his wicket early. We could have bowled them for around 120 and that would have been a plus point for the Indian team, but we gave a few runs.

We need a bowler, who can take around four or five wickets. Anil Kumble took three wickets and that is what we want from the bowlers, specially the fast bowlers. Once they get a breakthrough, that is the first wicket, they should get atleast three to four wickets in the first spell and that will put a lot of pressure on the opposition.

Sri Lanka have a good balanced side, so what should India do against them?

I think we need to get around 275 if we are batting first. That will put a lot of pressure on the Sri Lankan batting line-up if they lose a couple of wickets. They have a good batting line-up, but their key batsmen are Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumara Sangakkara. So, if any of these two batsmen get out [early] it will put a lot of pressure on the rest of the batsmen. Dilshan Tillakaratne likes to take chances and Marvan Atapattu is not in great form, so they will definitely feel the pressure.

So that is our best chance of winning the match. But we have to make sure that we bat well if we bat first. We need to get a good start and if we can do that, we could end up getting 275 plus.


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