September 29, 2012

COLOMBO: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels India are missing a tearaway pacer in the ongoing World Twenty20 and should try Ashok Dinda in their remaining Super Eight matches given that spearhead Zaheer Khan is not in the best of form.

“India is definitely missing a genuine quick bowler,” Akram wrote.

“Look how Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc made an impact even on the slow deck in Colombo. How about giving Ashok Dinda a chance? He is close to 140 kmph, runs in hard and bowls a good line with a clever slower ball. Zaheer Khan must be feeling the heat with a nothing-special spell against the Aussies,” he said.

India were hammered by Australia in their opening Super Eight match and will be up against Pakistan tomorrow in a do-or-die game. Akram said the Indians will come out all guns blazing despite the setback against the Aussies.

“I am sure Dhoni will sort out his batting order quickly. The team may be short on confidence but the fact that it will be Pakistan on Sunday, India will be rejuvenated.

“That’s the magic of an India versus Pakistan encounter. It will be the match of the tournament and both teams will start afresh in what should be a high intensity game of skills and mind,” he said.

Analysing India’s defeat last night, Akram felt the team made a mistake by leaving out opener Virender Sehwag. He also agreed with Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni that brief rain interruption did not help India’s cause.

“Dhoni has blamed the rain just before the Australian innings started and according to me it’s a valid excuse. Even a two-minute spell of rain can affect the pitch and the outfield,” he said.

“Rain drops bind the top soil and the natural rough is negated to a great extent. Any spinner wants the ball to grip and turn. The rain made the wicket very placid and that helped Watson and Warner go through with their big strokes with impunity. It was just bad luck for India,” he added.

“I was not surprised when Dhoni opted for three specialist spinners but leaving out Virender Sehwag was suicidal…I am sure the Australians were happy not to see Sehwag in the Playing XI.”

Akram also criticised the move to send Irfan Pathan as an opener.

“I am not convinced about Irfan Pathan’s ability to open the innings. He may have scored 31 off 30 balls, but one of the openers must play a longer innings if the middle-order has to come good…As it turned out, India groped for runs in the final overs and probably ended 20 runs too few.”


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