Another yorker from Harsha
'Rigid about flexibility' is a very interesting phrase Harsha had used to talk about an aspect of concern in this cricinfo talk
, focussed around the hot ODI winning stream that the team is currently on. And this phrase is exactly what came to my mind when I saw Pathan walk out at number 3 in the second match. As also pointed out by various commentors in this
and some forums, the match situation was probably not one to require a 'hitter' (Pathan, while not being a 'pinch-hitter' is still a hitter, floater etc at 3 rather than a regular) at that stage. Especially when the next in line was someone like Yuvraj who has all the gears.
I realise that the purpose of Pathan at the point was the 'break the game open', as they say, and let the regulars take it from there on. It has been a successful strategy for India in recent times. But every strategy, even a successful one, especially if it has to be flexible, as the team management often repeats, needs to be analysed anew in each new situation. We had hardly chased an underpar total in the recent past, and there is a valid argument for reverting to conservatism (or orthodoxy, if you will) as part of the same flexibility.
It's probably overanalyzing what essentially was just one game, but I would still like to watch out for the direction the new established mantra of 'flexibiltiy' takes.
And just to add a twist of irony to the proceedings, now
I wouldn't really be all pleased to see Pathan not walk out at 3 next time around, because that would signal to me that the team management is taking a reactive approach!
Meanwhile...do remember the much crucial point from Harsha..."rigid about flexibility" - I have a feeling we'd be revisiting this one.