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The Climb for India Ahead

Image: Rediff.com
Stepping into a strong oppositions backyard, exposing their weaknesses completely and emerging triumphant as a result, has been exactly what the South Africans have done in the past few weeks. The Indians have fired, but it hasn't been consistent enough to pin down the Proteas.

While in the ongoing One Day International series can turn either ways with the result depending on the decider to be played on Sunday, the South Africans have already made a statement by winning the T20I series 2-0. This in turn has left innumerable questions left unanswered for the Indian team and the journey ahead seems to be a challenge. Recoveries have been made, and the fourth ODI saw India ticking boxes in each departments, but the loopholes exposed earlier left some concerns for the long run.

Where on one hand the South Africans look well drilled and oiled in each department, one or the other department for India has let them down. The only point where they have been seen having an upper hand is when they have played on turning pitches, which have made the Proteas surrender, and the last match at Chepauk was a testimony to the fact.

Going back to the t20 series, one match was washed out and in the other two India faced serious defeats owing to complete failure of the bowling department in one and the batting in the other. The stirring up of one unit for a win and complete remissness of the other has been the reason botheration and some undesired results which could have been in their favour.

Rohit Sharma played a belligerent knock scoring a century, in the first T20I, and making India set a target of 200 but on the other hand the bowling seemed to be completely at sea as the South Africans managed to prevail over and manage a fine victory. The match being played at Dharmsala had nothing quintessential for the spinners, India's most lethal weapon in terms of bowling, and the seamers were taken all over the ground by the Proteas batsmen specially Duminy who hit seven long maximums and took his team home comfortably with seven wickets and a couple of balls remaining. A solid batting show put up by the Indians went in vain owing to a lousy bowling performance.
The pressure was getting to the Indians.
Image: NDTV
The next match was nothing short of nightmare for the Indian team as the Proteas tore apart the Indian batting, its backbone, as they crumbled down for a meagre 92 runs. The bowling this time had something to offer but it didn't have much to back itself and defend and eventually yet another emphatic win was handed over to the South Africans and this time by a big margin.

These two matches brought forward the most chronic issues of the Men in Blue to the fore. First, the batting heavily depends on the top three and the stats reflect the same. It has to be either Rohit, Dhawan or Kohli who need to fire or the entire batting line up falls flat. If in case the batsmen put their hands up it ends up to be a bad day at office for the bowlers, which is the second and major problem. A pitch not offering much turn to the spinners, and the seamers also look ineffective. Death overs bowling which has been a constant talked about issue still seems to have not found any concrete solution.

The salient feature of this team game which is an all round performance has been what the Indian team hasn't been able present. The similar fashion continued in the one dayers where although the margin might have been minute but the Indians fell short twice.

A loss by merely five runs was what the Indians had to face in the very first match. The bowling was put to test first up and the visitors put up a score over 300 on board, showing the ineffectiveness of the seamers yet again. However the injury of the dangerous spinner Ashwin was a reason for things getting worse. India were there in the chase but when Rohit Sharma gave away his wicket at the wrong time after scoring a 150 it was all over. Exactly a repeat action of this took place in the third one dayer where while chasing 271 the men in blue fell short by 18 runs. They had high chances of sealing the game, the target being quite chaseable,  but the falling of a set batsman, yet again, and the same story followed.

While these encounters really brought forth the loopholes which India have to mend, they did have their own moments to celebrate. Two wins were pulled off, one out of no where and the other convincingly. The first victory really belonged to the skipper MS Dhoni, who with his fighting innings of 92 made India set a respectable total of 247 from a stage where they were faltering at 6-124. Defending the target wasn't easy but the turn assisted the spinners this time as they got half the team out and the other half were sent back to the pavilion by the seamers who finally managed to put up a better show. The last win though was an complete all round effort with all the three units making a statement.

Thus, to say, with the Twenty20 World Cup being staged in India in a few months, losing to the South Africans any further at home will leave some serious problems to be looked into for the Indians. With the decider to be played on Sunday promising to be a thrilling one, and the Test series to follow, a big challenge awaits for the Men in Blue.

Their time for gearing up has come, because they need to keep up their pride at least at home, and this without any doubt, now requires some serious working over their exposed weaknesses as just a little bit of falter here and there, there are many competitors around to make the most of it, especially with the T20I World Cup in hindsight.

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League World Series 2015,2,Rugby World Cup,1,Rumours,1,Running,1,Russell Westbrook,1,Russia,5,Russian GP,1,Russian Grand Prix,1,RVP,1,Ryan Giggs,1,Sacramento Kings,1,Sadam Ali,1,Sam,5,Sam Eggington,1,Samoa Joe,2,Samuel Vargas,1,San Antonio Spurs,10,San Francisco 49ers,1,Sasha Banks,2,Saul Alvarez,6,SB49Preview,1,Schalke,5,Schalke 04,1,Scotland,2,Scott,6,Scott Quigg,2,Scottish Football,1,SDLive,1,Sean,51,Seattle Seahawks,8,Sebastian Vettel,5,Selhurst Park,2,Semi Finals,2,Semi-Final,2,Serge Ibaka,1,Sergey Kovalev,5,Sergio Ramos,1,Sergio Romero,1,Serie A,15,Serie A 2014/15,3,Serie A 2015/16,2,Serie A 2016/17,1,Seth Rollins,7,Sevilla,4,Shahid Afridi,1,Shakhtar Donetsk,3,Shane McMahon,1,Shanghai Masters,1,Shawn Porter,5,Sheamus,1,Sheffield Utd,1,Shogun,1,Showtime,7,Singapore,1,Singapore Grand Prix,3,Singapore Grand Prix 2013,1,Six Nations,1,Sky Bet,1,Slovakia,4,SmackDown,7,SNF,1,Soccer,270,Sochi 2014,1,Sonnen,1,South Africa,8,South African Cricket,5,South Korea,2,Southampton,22,Southampton FC,1,Southampton Saints,1,Spa,1,Spain,14,Spain.,1,Spanish Football,16,Spanish GP,1,Special,2,Sport,4,SportBlogger,1,Sports,4,Spurs,5,Sri Lanka,9,Sri Lanka Cricket,8,SSFeatured,4,St James' Park,1,St Louis Cardinals,1,St Marys Stadium,1,St. Mary's Stadium,1,Stadium of Light,1,Stamford Bridge,1,Stan Wawrinka,1,Steph Curry,2,Steve Cunningham,2,Steven Gerrard,1,Steyn,1,Sting,1,Stoke City,9,Stoke City FC,5,Stone Cold Steve Austin,1,Striker,1,Suarez,2,Sullivan Barrera,2,Summer Transfer 14,3,Summer Transfer Window 2015,12,SummerSlam,6,SummerSlam 2013,3,SummerSlam 2014,2,SummerSlam 2015,1,Sunderland,20,Sunrisers Hyderabad,9,Super Bowl,8,Super Bowl 48,2,Super Bowl 49,2,Super Bowl 50,2,Super League,5,Super League 2015,4,Super League 2016,3,Super Sunday,1,SuperBowl,1,SuperBowl 48,1,SupportingBrock,1,Survivor Series,5,SurvivorFeatured,4,Swansea,4,Swansea City,9,Swansea City FC,8,Sweden,3,Switzerland,9,T20,2,T20 World Cup 2014,9,T20 World Cup 2016,1,Tahiti,1,Tampa Bay,1,Tampa Bay Bucaneers,2,Team GB,2,Tennis,25,Tennis 2014,3,Tennis 2015,2,Tennis 2017,5,Tennis Comment,7,Tennis Reports,2,Terence Crawford,8,Texas,1,The Ashes,15,The Ashes 2013,4,The Ashes 2015,5,The Authority,1,The Hawthorns,1,The Oval,4,The Rock,2,The Sport Matrix,1,The Undertaker,7,The Weekend Review,1,TheSportMatrix,2,THFC,1,Tim Duncan,1,Title Race 2013/14,12,TJ Dillashaw,1,TNA,6,TNA 2013,1,TNA Impact Wrestling,3,Tom,3,Tom Brady,2,Tommy Coyle,1,Tommy Robredo,1,Tomoki Kameda,1,Tony Bellew,2,Tony Ferguson,1,Tony Parker,1,Top 5,2,Top 8,2,Top Rank,1,Toronto Blue Jays,1,tottenham,7,Tottenham Hotspur,34,Tottenham Hotspurs,4,Trade,1,Transfer News,1,Transfers,6,Triple H,1,tsm,1,TSM 2016,1,TSM Awards,2,TSM Blog,1,TSM Matchday,12,TSM Matchday Featured,12,TSM Matchday Featured 2,5,TSM PredictZone,2,TSM Staff,2,TSM's Most Deadly,3,TSM1048,1,TSM1308,3,TSM14September,10,TSMBox,10,TSMBoxing,2,TSMFeatured,5,TSMFightNight,6,TSMLive,7,TSMLivePreview,3,TSMMatchday,13,TSMReturn,1,Turkey,4,Tushti,1,Twenty20,1,Twenty20 Cricket,5,Tyler Varga,1,Tyne-Wear Derby,2,Tyron Zeuge,1,Tyrone,8,Tyrone Chambers,1,Tyson Fury,5,UCL,5,UCL 2014/15,35,UCL 2015/16,27,UCL 2016/17,21,UCL Comment,18,UCL Featured,5,UCL Round-up,25,UCL Roundup,1,UCL15,9,UCLFeature,6,UCLFeatured,13,UCLRoundup,12,UEFA,10,UEFA Champions League,138,UEFA Champions League 2013/14,9,UEFA Champions League 2014/15,36,UEFA Champions League 2015/16,4,UEFA Europa League,4,UEFA Super Cup,1,UFC,180,UFC 162,3,UFC 164,1,UFC 165,1,UFC 166,2,UFC 168,4,UFC 169,1,UFC 171,2,UFC 172,1,UFC 173,1,UFC 178,3,UFC 180,1,UFC 181,2,UFC 182,3,UFC 183,3,UFC 184,3,UFC 185,1,UFC 187,2,UFC 189,4,UFC 190,1,UFC 191,1,UFC 193,3,UFC 194,8,UFC 195,1,UFC 196,5,UFC 197,3,UFC 199,1,UFC 200,3,UFC 2013,7,UFC 2014,19,UFC 2015,50,UFC 2016,32,UFC 2017,14,UFC 202,2,UFC 203,1,UFC 205,5,UFC 205 Fight Breakdowns,1,UFC 214,1,UFC 216,1,UFC 30 Fights,1,UFC Analysis,2,UFC Bantamweight Division,2,UFC Boston,1,UFC Brazil,2,UFC Comment,49,UFC Featherweight Division,4,UFC Featherweights,1,UFC Fight Night,30,UFC Fight Night 26,1,UFC Fight Night 27,1,UFC Fight Night 30,1,UFC Fight Pass,1,UFC Flyweights,3,UFC Heavyweight Division,6,UFC Japan,1,UFC LHW,2,UFC Light Heavyweight Division,8,UFC Lightweight Division,3,UFC Live,3,UFC London,1,UFC Long Island,1,UFC Media,1,UFC Middleweights,4,UFC News,2,UFC on FOX,8,UFC on FOX 8,1,UFC on FOX Sports,1,UFC PPV,20,UFC Preview,11,UFC Reports,13,UFC TUF,2,UFC UK,2,UFC Vegas,1,UFC Welterweight Division,5,UFC Women's Division,4,UFC194Live,1,UFCFeatured,5,Ukraine,3,Unfinished Business,1,Union,1,United Arab Emirates,2,Uriah Hall,1,Urijah Faber,1,uropean Football,1,Urugay,1,Uruguay,7,US Airways Center,1,US Open,1,US Open 2014,1,USA,4,Usain Bolt,2,UStartin,3,Utah Jazz,1,V8 Supercars,1,Valencia,1,Valencia Open,1,Valtteri Bottas,1,Vanes Martirosyan,1,Vardy,1,Vasyl Lomachenko,4,Velasquez,1,Vettel,4,Victor Ortiz,1,Video,1,Viktor Postol,2,Villa Park,1,Vince McMahon,1,Virat Kohli,1,Virgil Hunter,1,Wales,7,Waqar,133,Warner,1,Washington Redskins,1,Watford,4,Wayne Rooney,3,WC 2014 Group,24,WC 2014 Group C,2,WC 25-50,25,WC2014 Day 18,2,WC2014 Group,13,WC2014 Group D,2,WC2014 Match Reports,2,WC2014 Quarter Finals,4,WC2014 Round of 16,8,WC2014 Semi Final,2,WC20145175,24,WC201476,9,Weekend Review,2,Weekend Round-Up,1,Weekly Series,2,Weird News,1,Wells Fargo Arena,1,Werder Bremen,1,Werdum,1,Wes Morgan,1,West Brom,3,West Bromwich Albion,7,West Ham,7,West Ham United,16,West Ham United FC,4,West Indian Cricket,3,West Indies,13,West Indies Cricket,3,Whacky News,1,White Hart Lane,1,Whitewash,1,WI,1,Wigan Athletic,1,Wimbledon,8,Wimbledon 2015,1,Wimbledon Final,1,Winter Olympics,1,Wladimir Klitschko,8,Wolfsburg,1,World Cup,85,World Cup 2010,1,World Cup 2014,79,World Cup 2014 Featured,9,World Cup 2014 Match Zone,53,World Cup 2014 Review,1,World Cup Featured,6,World Cup Match Zone,6,World Cup News,3,World Cup Qualifiers,1,World Cup Review,2,World Football,1,World Matchplay Darts 2015,6,World Series,4,World Series 2015,2,World Series 2016,5,World Twenty20,1,World Wrestling Entertainment,3,Wresting,10,WrestleMania,26,WrestleMania 30,12,WrestleMania 31,7,WrestleMania 32,4,Wrestlemania 33,4,Wrestling,92,Wrestling Spoilers,2,WWE,180,WWE 2013,18,WWE 2014,36,WWE 2015,29,WWE 2016,41,WWE 2017,8,WWE Battleground,5,WWE Battleground 2013,2,WWE Comment,68,WWE Elimination Chamber,1,WWE Elimination Chamber 2014,1,WWE Extreme Rules,3,WWE Extreme Rules 2014,2,WWE Extreme Rules 2015,2,WWE Extreme Rules 2016,2,WWE Fast Lane 2015,2,WWE Fast Lane 2016,1,WWE Hell in a Cell,4,WWE Money in the Bank,3,WWE Money in the Bank 2015,1,WWE Money in the Bank 2016,2,WWE News,1,WWE Night of Champions,1,WWE Opinion,2,WWE Payback,5,WWE Payback 2015,2,WWE Payback 2016,2,WWE PPV,17,WWE Predictions,3,WWE Preview,3,WWE Reports,1,WWE Royal Rumble,4,WWE Royal Rumble 2015,2,WWE Royal Rumble 2016,1,WWE Royal Rumble 2017,1,WWE Slammys,1,WWE SummerSlam,3,WWE SummerSlam 2015,4,WWE TLC,2,WWE TLC 2014,1,WWEFeatured,4,WWEHIAC2014,3,WWENOC2014,3,Year in Review,7,Year in Review 2014,7,Yushin Okami,1,Zimbabwe,8,Zimbabwe Cricket,5,
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TheSportMatrix | We Live For Sport: The Climb for India Ahead
The Climb for India Ahead
Stepping into a strong oppositions backyard, exposing their weaknesses completely and emerging triumphant as a result, has been exactly what the South Africans have done in the past few weeks. The Indians have fired, but it hasn't been consistent enough to pin down the Proteas.
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TheSportMatrix | We Live For Sport
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