ICC World Cup: Obsession with fours, sixes hurting Indian team, says Abid Ali

Feb 11, 2015, 08:39 IST | Clayton Murzello

The man who bowled the first ball for India in one-day international cricket, Abid Ali, feels the current Indian squad in Australia are not playing together as a team

The man who bowled the first ball for India in one-day international cricket feels the current team in Australia are not playing as a team.

Syed Abid Ali
Syed Abid Ali 

California-based former all-rounder, Syed Abid Ali (73), presently in Hyderabad on holiday, was astounded by the poor cricket Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team have dished out throughout the Australian summer.

Lacking in focus
"I view things as a coach. They don't seem to be playing according to the situation. When a new batsman comes in, he is in a great hurry to play big shots. This is an effect of Twenty20 cricket. They lack in focus and I notice they don't take enough singles at the start of their innings," said Abid Ali, who played in the first World Cup in 1975.

"Singles are an essential aspect of batting. After all, you can't belt six balls in an over for fours or sixes. You must get your basics right even at that level. Once you sort that out, it's a mental game," he added.

He is pained to see the bowlers struggling match after match: "Your field is somewhere and you bowl somewhere else. I've seen this often in Ranji Trophy cricket as well. There should be perfect teamwork. If one link is missing, the team will collapse. The late coach Bob Woolmer used to always stress, 'together we achieve more.' "

Asked about his best moment in World Cup cricket, Abid Ali pointed to the 1975 game against New Zealand at Manchester. "Old Trafford was my favourite venue. I always fared well there. I top-scored with 70 (in a total of 230 all out) and claimed 2 for 35," he said about the game that the Kiwis won by four wickets with seven balls to spare.

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