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India losing No1 ranking after second ODI loss to New Zealand raises doubts about team's pace and bounce prowess

Thursday, 23 January 2014 - 9:55am IST | Agency: dna webdesk

The tigers at home and paper tigers away debate has been reignited after a dismal show by Team India.

On Wednesday, when India lost the second ODI to New Zealand at Hamilton, they also were usurped on top of the rankings by Australia, a team on the charge.

India for some time now has managed to thrive on the spin-friendly subcontinent pitches and seem at sea in the pacey, fast-bowler friendly regions of South Africa where they were thrashed in both Tests and ODI and now the same story seems to be unfolding in New Zealand.

South Africa are a much superior team compared to New Zealand in all departments of the game. But a closer inspection of the Indian performance reveals that the problem doesn't lie with the opponent but in the Indian team.

The batsmen still continue to be haunted by the short ball and pace of fast bowlers and end up getting out to silly shots. The bowlers struggle to control the ball and bowl the right lines and lengths.

While the opposition team gets the wickets and scores runs at will, the Indian batsmen and bowlers struggle, the story has been the same for the past few series.

At home the story is very different, India is able to score and get wickets. The Indian batsmen are able to score as well as chase 300 plus runs. This skewed ratio doesn't serve in good stead as the 2015 World Cup which will be held in New Zealand and Australia draws near.

Except for Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni who managed to score comparatively with ease, the other Indian batsmen have been horrid. The bowlers except for Mohammed Shami at times have been unable to exploit the fast bowler-friendly conditions.

Duncan Fletcher and Dhoni need to re-think the practise plan as well as team composition with the likes of Suresh Raina and Ishant Sharma with their dismal performances are screaming to say they deserve to be dropped from the team.

The Indian coach and captain need to step up and take some chopping decisions if India are to stand any chance of retaining the 50-over World Cup next year.

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