Sydney: West Indies’ fast bowling great Michael Holding felt Indian pacers lacked variety in their semi-final clash against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground here on Thursday when the defending champions lost by 95 runs.
India pacer Mohd Shami during the semi-final against Australia at SCG on Thursday. The right-arm pacer went wicketless, giving away 68 runs in 10 overs. PIC/AFP
Holding said Australia did well to capitalise on the “tired” Indian pacers as the hosts scored a mammoth 328-7. It was also the first time in eight matches that the Indian bowlers were unable to bowl out the opposition.
“I think the Indian bowlers looked tired especially Mohammad Shami. He was not in the best of form in the semis. The yorker could have been used by all the medium-pacers. Although Umesh Yadav got four wickets, he was not given a chance to bowl his 10th over,” Holding told mid-day yesterday.
Holding said variety in a bowling attack is the key to success in ODIs. “If you do not have variety in bowling, you are bound to get hit in one-day cricket.
“There are a couple of weapons: A) Bowling straight and force the batsman to go on the back foot, and push the mid-off and mid-on to the boundary line so that they cannot hit you for a six. B) Yorker, slow bouncer, bowling into the ribcage... all these deliveries were not used consistently. Ravindra Jadeja was not bowling up to the mark. In spite of that, at one time Australia were well on course to score 360, but they lost the plot. I am surprised the Indian bowlers were feeding Mitchell Johnson to score those quick runs easily in the end. That could have been checked,” said Holding.
Holding also slammed India’s poor batting. “It was an achievable target (329). India knew they would have to chase 300-plus total because their bowling department was weak. When their bowlers were tested finally, the batting department collapsed. Chasing 300-plus and with Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina not scoring runs, it becomes difficult. So it was not just bad bowling, but poor batting as well,” he concluded.