‘‘He that doesn’t throw the dice will never get a six.’’

One of my favourite sidhuisms (wouldn't be surprised if the term "sidhuism" gets into wikipedia, sooner or later). It has been a while since I heard that one. Harsha Bhogle uses this in his latest column on Indian Express to state the obvious - the Indian team needs to start taking more risks if they nurture any hopes of climbing up the current ICC ODI rankings table. Much has been said and debated about the merits/demerits of the 7 batters/4 bowlers formula.
The idea behind playing seven batsmen, as the Sri Lankans showed when they first implemented it in 1996, was to give the top three batsmen the freedom to attack knowing that there were four others to stop a slide. But at the core of that set-up was the fact that Aravinda da Silva and Jayasuriya could give them 15 overs in almost every match. And so for India to continue with this approach, the wicket-keeper must be a batsman and the other six between them must commit 15 overs everytime.

There isn't anyone really in the Indian top order who can show any sort of consistency with the ball. Irfan Pathan has played enough quality innings and has demonstrated enough ability to make the No.7 slot his very own. Agreed, that there have been occasions where playing an extra batsman has won matches for India (the Natwest trophy final - Yuvi/Kaifi starrer - comes immediately to mind), but there have been far more matches of late that have been lost because of the lack of a regular fifth bowler.

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