Just a couple of days ago, we looked at England’s half time report and came to some not exactly Earth-shattering conclusions, mainly that they’re doing rather well but there’s still a few players struggling with the bat. Well today is India’s turn under the microscope.
Let’s get straight to it then, starting with the batting:
Lots of interesting bits and pieces in here but we’ll start at the top: Rahul Dravid’s fine form means that he is the only batsmen with two green arrows. When you’re averaging more than 50 after 155 Tests, to be still improving on that is truly remarkable. However, across the entire team he’s the only batsman to be over-performing or ‘on the up’. For any side that’s a pretty concerning state of affairs.
Having said that, there’s a fair few amber arrows in the second column – the likes of Tendulkar, Yuvraj and Gambhir are actually doing as well as they have done over their career, so it’s not panic stations yet, even if they’re not improving.
In terms of red arrows, we’ve already talked at length about MS Dhoni’s travails but another important point is that all the bowlers have underperformed with the bat. It’s one thing to not be much of a batsman – and when you’re following such a vaunted middle order you probably don’t need to be – but Duncan Fletcher was renowned for getting England to bat all the way down and he clearly has a lot of work to do here.
All the bowlers actually have reasonable career averages but they’ve been consistently blown away in the series so far, completely swinging the momentum of both games.
Speaking of swinging, let’s move onto the bowling:
A few anomalies here: Kumar’s figures are actually very good – he’s impressed everyone on the 51allout farm with both his bowling and his attitude to the game – so his red arrow is a little harsh. Also Zaheer’s green is a reflection of his only spell, on the first morning at Lords.
Despite that it’s pretty clear that India have some problems, namely Ishant, Sreesanth and (especially) Harbhajan. The latter being ruled out for the rest of the series may well be a blessing in disguise – his numbers have been horrible so far (it’s not been a series for the spinners, as seen by Swann’s figures) and India will be hoping for more control from Mishra, his likely replacement. Even so, they’ll still need more from their pace attack as well.
So a pretty disappointing half time report from an India perspective. Nobody bar Dravid is truly pulling their weight. Still, reinforcements have arrived and they’ll feel that everything that can go wrong already has done. Surely the only way is up from here?