Thursday, March 24, 2011

India combine to dump Australia

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Finally, India came to the party as a team. The bowlers, fielders and batsmen all showed up and executed the script well. Munaf, Sehwag and Dhoni were compensated for with ease. Ashwin bowled like a frontline bowler. Zaheer and Harbhajan manned up and bowled the crucial overs. Yuvraj did his bowling part really well and Tendulkar and Kohli didn’t give it away.

India will be concerned about Sehwag’s absolute waste of opportunity at the top of the order. With the revival in Yuvraj and Raina’s form, India can afford the luxury of carrying Sehwag. However, it’s time for Sehwag to deliver. What better time than the game against Pakistan to take things by the scruff of neck! Taylor showed that attacking Pakistan can defeat them even without bowling a ball. Otherwise, people will realize that it doesn’t have to rain sixes to reach 300, we can get there with steady, methodical cricket too. This is the brand of cricket that Tendulkar, Gambhir and Kohli seem to have mastered.

Raina showed the cricketing world that he had conquered his demons against short bowling. His two sweetly timed pulls – one against Lee for four and another assured one against Tait – were a revelation. Even though they were not as brutal as a Ponting or Hussey pull can be, they looked assured. His success could translate into a huge revival for Dhoni in the game against Pakistan. Dhoni’s innings today was one of a confused man. His mind was waffling between attack and percentage shots. He couldn’t blend the two and the innings ended in a whimper. This happened despite Dhoni not looking in any kind of trouble at all. Most likely, he felt like most of us did - that he was the last recognized batsman.

But let’s spare a thought for Yuvraj Singh. He is probably Ponting-lite for most Indians. They hate to love him. Tendulkar and Gambhir set up the game nicely for Yuvraj and company to finish it off. But given the collapses of recent days, it was still anybody’s game. Yuvraj led and Raina followed to snuff out the Australian challenge. The pivot was over number forty. The first ball was dispatched by Raina (the aforementioned pull for four). Lee was taken for fourteen runs. The team didn’t skip a beat despite just losing Dhoni in the 38th over. Following Raina’s four, Yuvraj came into his own and took over. I had said in my preview that he had broad shoulders and a role that matched his ego. Today he showed that he loves responsibility and wants to be the man. The game’s perennial brat has delivered in style.

India will be a handful for Pakistan in the semi-finals. India seems have discovered the winning combination. Unless Sehwag decides to make the game one-sided, it could be a cracker of a contest.


Abhilzs said...

Agree to most of it except that "Raina has conquered the demons of short bowling". Raina has always been good against fast bowling on Indian pitches. But this innings is not enough to say that he will not be back to his usual self when he goes out of India.

Vidooshak said...

I feel that he has a method now to deal with it. There is no more discomfort. This is a huge step over being completely clueless. He's never good good against short-pitched bowling even on Indian wickets.

price per head services said...

I think that India is not in the same level as Australia is, Australians have more history in the cricket world and they are just a bit better in cricket than Indians are