Sandhu all praise for Indian pacemen

It may not have been the ball of the century, but it was certainly the ball of the match that propelled India to the path of becoming world champion for the first time. An unsung hero in the squad of Kapil’s Devils, Balwinder Singh Sandhu’s magic delivery to flummox Gordon Greenidge in the final of the 1983 World Cup remains fresh in his memory as though it happened only yesterday.
Sandhu all praise for Indian pacemen
Balwinder Sandhu, Former Indian player


Belonging to the tribe of fast bowlers, it’s no wonder that Sandhu’s heart swells with pride at the superlative performance of the Indian pacers in the otherwise forgettable campaign in South Africa. 
“The major positive to have emerged from this tour is how our fast bowlers have acquitted themselves. If only our formidable batting order clicked, the outcome would have been different. I can’t recollect when was the last time India fielded an all-pace attack. It’s not just about the bowlers performing creditably in SA, but back home we have a steady supply line of outstanding talent in the Under 19 circuit and even in the Ranji Trophy level,” said the 61-year-old, a faculty member of the National Cricket Academy. 
The Proteas bowlers ran roughshod over the famed Indian batting that has received much flak in the aftermath of its slipshod showing that saw the team surrender the series meekly. Like every other analyst, Sandhu too blamed the Indian batsmen for their failure to adapt to the testing conditions. He didn’t mince his words on the close-in catching either. “It’s in conditions like South Africa, England and Australia that a batsman from the sub-continent faces his toughest challenge. For a batsman to be considered great, it’s imperative that he does well overseas. A lot more was expected from our batsmen, but they failed miserably. The catching in the slip cordon also leaves a lot to be desired and this has been the trend for quite some time now,” lamented Sandhu.
Sandhu echoed the words and opinions of former players Bishan Singh Bedi and Harbhajan Singh and questioned the need for arranging a meaningless series against Sri Lanka just before the SA tour.
“The planning should have been much better. This was touted as India’s best chance to win a series in South Africa. And we got lucky when Dale Steyn got injured. We had played a full series in Sri Lanka in August and where was the need to host it again in such a short span of time. At least the Test specialists should have been sent earlier and made to practise on centre-wicket instead of sweating it out in the nets. That would have given them a feel of match conditions,” analysed Sandhu. 
Sandhu, however, chose not to be too harsh on the team management on the topic of selection that refuses to die down. “It’s a catch-22 situation. Rohit was the man in form and although Rahane has a stellar away record, he struggled against Sri Lanka. The team management went by the current form and there is nothing wrong in it,” remarked Sandhu. 
It is clearly a damned if you do and damned if you don’t scenario for India considering Rahane got out cheaply on Wednesday. This Indian team’s expedition to the African safari has been harrowing as they have been devoured by the beastly SA pace battery. But then, when have they ever had an expedition where they came back home without licking their wounds.

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