“Hey Dhoni, we have other bowlers”
The third test between India and England is looking terribly one-sided now. The Englishmen have led a ferocious counter attack, with Alaister Cook leading upfront with yet another hundred, as England ended the second day with 216-1 on the board. India now find themselves in a position similar to the one they found themselves in Mumbai; faced with a batsman who’s showing no signs of giving up, and will not stop till he’s piled up a monstrous total. And the The weird thing here is that India haven’t even brought a fifth bowler into the attack yet. Only Zak, Ishant, Ashwin, and Ojha have been bowling the entire day. Now the question is: why hasn’t MS Dhoni brought in part timers? Like I discussed MSD’s over-reliance on spin during the previous test, this is turning out to be “India’s reliance on full-timers.” Now back to the point: why haven’t people like Sehwag, Kohli, Tendulkar, or Yuvarj been tossed the ball? All 4 are not the worst bowlers in the book, and this is test cricket, not T20. And they even have the option of MSD himself coming to bowl (if he could do it for CSK, why not India?) Why not? Part-timers are not the most economic or scary bowlers, but test cricket is a game of patience. The batsmen are looking to stay alive, not bat at 8 an over. And when that’s the case, they generally won’t try and go after each and every part timer who comes to bowl. And even if they do go after you, and hit you for 4 sixes, you can always try and get them out in the 5th ball. If you can do that, you’re forgiven, because 24 runs is just 24 runs, but a wicket is 1/10 of the side. Back to the point. Now MS has the options. Zaheer can trouble the batsmen from one end, and someone like Kohli can run in from the other end. At some point, the batsmen will eventually try and go after VK, and then, India can ready their nets. And once a new batsman is in, hit him with the spinners, or Ishant’s bouncers. That’s planning. If you keep playing the same 4 bowlers for 73 overs, the batsmen will begin to read you.