Kolkata, Apr 1: Impressed by India’s good showing in the cricket World Cup, former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad believes the current lot of players should be persisted with and they will deliver in the next 50-over showpiece event in England. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men had a near flawless show in the mega-event before making a semifinal exit against Australia, something that came after losing both the Test and Triangular ODI series.
Overwhelmed by Indian’s turnaround, the former Indian batsman told PTI: “Take my words, pursue with these boys and they will deliver in the next World Cup (in England)… This is the team to stay for the years to come. We have a very good batting and bowling unit, the only question is some extra experience that they will gain in the years to come. Barring the semis, we had a flawless show. It was very good. Nobody expected keeping triseries in mind. May not qualify. It looked as they will not reach the knockout…”
In the final-four encounter, Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma gave the 329-run chase a perfect start by putting on 76 runs in 12 overs before being bundled out for 233 in 46.5 overs. They conceded a 95-run defeat to eventual champions Australia. The 62-year-old was more critical of the Indian middle order’s batting than the bowlers, who leaked 57 runs in the last five overs.
“At the end of the day, 300-plus chase is about getting six runs per over and taking it from there in the death overs. The openers gave the perfect start but what was the need of playing the expansive shots by the middle order batsmen, At the end of the day, the experience mattered while chasing 300-plus at the big stage.”
“I would not blame the bowlers only. They did a stupendous job. After all, which other team has got 70 wickets from seven matches! Before the tournament began, many thought our bowlers would came a cropper but they held centre-stage and should be credited for the amazing turnaround. It’s about gaining some more experience and sticking to the team,” Gaekwad reiterated.
“Four-year is a long time and we have to manage them well. And who knows some new talents would be unearthed. But this is the team that will deliver in the days to come.”
Despite suggestions about his retirement from some quarters, Dhoni is still is the best man to lead the show in the shorter version, Gaekwad added.
“We hear such things after a bad result. But let me tell you we do not have any other option better than him. Where will you get a better captain than him? His fitness is second to none. As long as he’s fit, he should carry on.”
The focus should now be given to develop quality fast paced wickets, he opined.
“Keeping the seeming conditions (of England in mind), the focus now should be develop our wickets. We can make a big difference if we have good seaming and bouncy pitches.”
On the might of the Australians, he said: “It’s same as beating India in India. Australia would always be tough to beat in their home conditions. But if we batted a bit boldly we still had a chance.”