Saturday, September 26, 2009

Shocking bowling performance lets India down!

All good things come to an end, and it finally did happen. After a long hiatus, India did finally manage to loose to Pakistan at a major international tournament. Pakistan started tremendously with Imran Nazir and Kamran Aklam, thrashing the bowlers to all the corners of Wanderers. At that time it looked that Pakistan had a huge advantage by winning the toss and that batting under light would be tough as the pitch would get low and slow. But, as things turned out, as the match progressed, the playing conditions did become good . For Dhoni loosing the toss , would have been a blessing in disguise, provided they bowled well, which unfortunatley they did not !

What let India down?- Three major factors! - After having Pakistan 70-3 in 15 odd overs, we just relented the pressure. I have never seen such a klutzy performance from India, after being in a strong position. May be the absence of Yuvi and Veru not only played dearly and affected our batting order. but had a huge influence on how Dhoni used his limited bowling attack. What mistake he did (albeit it is easy to say now) was that he thought of doing away with the 5th bowler`s quota of over`s at the earliest, which to some extent he was able to do (This technique works well in sub-continet, but in SA i think Bhajji should have be introduced and efforts should have been to take wickets). But, in the process he gave away Yosuf and Malik, easy singles and time to settle. A cardinal sin in Cricketing Parlance!

Second- Harbhajan was brought in too late and too add salt to injury he bowled shockingly. I hate the way he bowls too many bowls on the leg side which ends up going for 5 wides. After the batsmen got set, whatever India did, Pakistan came with up with something better. The ball was just kissing the boundaries to often. Shoulders were down! It was as if a t20 t20 match was on. No wonder Pakistan scored 165 runs in the last 20 overs. Wew! Indeed a challenging t20 score.

Third- India started well. In spite of absence of yuvi, veru and early fall of sachin, their was still a chance for India to pull of a a thriller, courtesy of flamboyance of Ghambir (which he gave away through a silly run out) and determination of dravid( he was left alone, too much for the wall) and a quick fire by Raina (star for future). But in the end, India fell way short and the sad part being was that they even could not complete its quota of 50 overs (a point which they would surely be ruing in next two matches). Pakistan was the better on the day, India did play well, but the poor bowling let them down. A score of 270-280 could have easily chaseble.

Time to regroup- Pakistan is almost certain to reach the semi-final courtesy their high run rate. So India needs to re-group and come out all guns blazing against Australia. They need to beat them and West Indies and that too handsomely, otherwise they would be home early, joining the country and their families in the festive season, minus any cricket!

All the best!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yuvi`s Injuiry- India could have done without that!

If the omission of Virender Sehwag was a big blow to the zillions of Indian cricket fans (incld me) then the unexpected injury to Yuvraj Singh is even a bigger blow which has further escalated their pain and is huge disappointment for all the cricket fanatics. Viru and Yuvi, have, over the past one year, taken the game of cricket to a different level and brought back crowds, due to their dazzling style of batting. Both Viru and Yuvi have shown utter disdain towards the world best bowling attacks. Be it Australia, England, South Africa, Newzealand..they have sent their bowling attack to the cleaners!

The blow of Yuvi in particular (Since shewag was expected) is a sad news not only for the Indians but cricket enthusiasts world over. Who would not want to see a 12 ball 50 or six sixes in an over (expect if you are Chris broad; but i am sure even he would have been happy to see the last ball sail over midwicket since it meant his name would go down in record books). Yuvi would also be missed esp in South Africa, since the bouncy pitches suits his style of batting.
I am sure now that Yuvi is out, it would be tough for India to beat the in-form teams i.e. Australia after their 6-1 thrashing for England and Pakistan who have hit some form after victories in warm up games. But, I am a born optimistic (esp after India`s recent performance Chennai, Australia, T20) and have full faith in Dhoni`s Men.

But the absence of Veeru and Yuvi, would mean the pressure would once again fall on the strong shoulders of World Best Batsman (I hpe Aussies r listening) Sachin Tendulkar. Well there has been a huge debate over Sachin and Pointing, as to who is the best among them. I think for a person who has studied the game of cricket it should be a cake walk in deciding who is the best. Pointing no doubt has scored big hundreds and was a part and lead the invincible Aussie team. (Until warne, gili, Mcgrath, Hayden departed and they were dethroned of their No 1 crown both the one days and tests )
But even during that time Pointing was never under as much pressure as our Hero.ala Sachin da has been. I have forgotten on how many occasions the fate of the match depended on how sachin performed. Even after playing for 18 years, India`s dependence on Sachin has not dwindled , albeit it has reduced a bit due to players like yuvi, veru, dhoni et al. In fact i think you all would agree to say that Dravid might be the wall but sachin is the foundation of that wall, who time and again has been handling the relentless pressure and not even once has crumbled or budged . Sachin, indeed he is a pure genius and sheer delight to watch. I am afraid, the day he retires the game would not be be the same! So if you take all things in fairness there is no iota of doubt that who is the greatest batsman ever....

Well come Saturday, India once again would be stop to watch the rivalry rekindle between two teams who have given the world of cricket some glorious (& nt soo glorious) moments to cherish. Whether it is in India, Pakistan, Sharjah, Duabi, Singapore, Canada or South Africa, it is indeed a unsubstitutable feeling to watch them play. Due to the absence of Sehwag and Yuvi ( both have scored heavily against arch rivals Pakistan) the match would be well balanced. But if u ask any Indian, my money is on men in blue....
Let the game begin!

अ गेनुइने फेन!