DileepPremachandran: Ishant was pretty awful again today. A few good balls interspersed with absolute dross.
Alex Brown: What do you feel is the problem? Mechanical, temperamental, all of the above?
DileepPremachandran: If India do go out and it looks like they will now, Dhoni will be left to reflect on how two of his biggest hopes - Ishant and Harbhajan - let him down so badly in both games.
DileepPremachandran: I think it's both, Alex. He's lost a few yards of pace, and clearly lacks confidence too. Ever since his man-of-the-series efforts against Australia last year, he's been well below par.
He may have been well below par, but awful he wasnt. Here is Javagal Srinath
"This is part and parcel of the development of a bowler. The second season is always going to be tougher for a cricketer. He has the basics right and he will go on to become a very good bowler for India. These tough times are the best for him to learn about himself, about his bowling craft and develop. From what I hear, he has a great attitude to learn and if he remains hungry, he will come out a better ODI bowler and as a result, a better bowler overall."
There are concerns that Ishant, who has a fragile body and not a smooth post-release routine where he almost stumbles a bit, can get injured with playing too many ODIs but Srinath believes that's a risk that he has to take at this stage. "That's the risk that you have to weigh against the results and only he can know about his body."TA Sekhar, who ran the MRF Pace Academy with Dennis Lillee, shared the same view. "His strength is the pace and the bounce he gets from length and back of a length. That is his USP. I see no reason, for example, why should he cut down pace just to bowl a fuller length as some people have been suggesting
"What's the use of him bowling like [Glenn] McGrath? People say cut down pace, concentrate on lengths … No way. I am sure he is in good hands with Venkatesh Prasad (the India bowling coach) who would get the best out of him. Obviously, Ishant has to tinker with a few things like lengths but he doesn't have to change anything drastically. He is just 19-20. This is the time to play more and improve. He has what we call the fast-twitch muscles. The body will grow stronger and importantly, he will be much the wiser for going through this phase."