Praveen Kumar dissects the reason for the Indian batsmen's struggle in swinging conditions

Praveen Kumar dissects the reason for the Indian batsmen’s struggle in swinging conditions

The Indian batsmen have struggled time and again when the ball swings.

New Zealand vs India
New Zealand vs India. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

India’s old habit of struggling in swinging conditions once again came back to haunt them in the fourth and fifth One-Day International (ODI) against New Zealand. Despite being high on confidence after three big wins over the Kiwis, the Indian batsmen came a cropper at the back end of the series. Not a single batsman could provide resistance in the testing conditions as Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme ran riot with the ball in Hamilton.

Boult picked up 5 wickets for just 21 runs off his 10 overs including four maidens while de Grandhomme ended up with three scalps as New Zealand bowled out the visitors for just 92. This is India’s seventh lowest in ODIs and second lowest against the same team after 88. This was also the seventh time India were all out for less than 100 in ODIs as the cricketing world once again witnessed Indian team’s woes in swinging conditions.

Even in Wellington, at 18/4, one felt that it will be a repeat of Hamilton debacle but this time the middle-order did a repair job perfectly.

Seeing the Indian batsmen struggle to such an extent baffled many. It was the same team that had thoroughly dominated the Kiwis in the first three games. Well, the former India pacer Praveen Kumar, known for his swing bowling, has now explained why the Indian batsmen struggle against swing. Kumar believes that the habit of playing on flat wickets in the subcontinent is one of the biggest reasons.

“It happens mainly because we have been playing regularly on flat wickets. Batsmen have got used to that footwork and are not able to move their feet accordingly when the ball starts swinging. This I feel is the biggest reason why we have struggled to adjust to swing, be it in England or in New Zealand. The batters simply panic,” he told India Today.

Hamilton capitulation not a worrying sight:

The former pacer, who was a part of the ODI team that won the series in New Zealand in 2009, further pointed out that India’s struggle in the fourth ODI in Hamilton is is a one-off and should not be a huge reason to worry about ahead of the World Cup.

“As we have normally seen, flat wickets are given in multi-nation tournaments. This is done so that games are high scoring and crowds enjoy the maximum. This problem of swing bowling is being faced by the batsmen around the world. It is not that just we are struggling. It is always difficult to bat whenever the ball swings.

“We have made huge scores in ODIs and there will be a one-off instance when we are bowled out cheaply too. It happens perhaps once in 100 games so we don’t have to think much about it and have to move ahead,” he said.

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