Friday, March 25, 2011

India Does Justice

And finally India did full justice to its talent and billing by beating a more focussed, more athletic and perhaps better prepared Australia. The scorecard was perfect, everyone scored except Dhoni, the youngsters stood up when needed, each run was fought for, every run saved, catches taken. Now, it will be difficult to stop this team from taking the Cup unless of course they forget the lessons learnt quickly.

Ponting's knock was fabulous. Big players and class players are never out of form and you only write them off at your peril. Ponting's knock was not about scoring - he made it a point to tell his team that he was willing to fight bad form, bad everything and lift his game when it mattered - can you guys do it too? They almost did. But I felt right from the start that if they do not get 275, they will be under pressure especially since they don't have too much depth and penetration in their bowling. But more than that I felt they threw away their wickets a bit more easily - Watson, Haddin, Clarke - all should have learnt from Ponting's grit at the other end. Hussey was deceived by a beauty and so was White but losing three big wickets, one when he was set and the other two to nothing shots will certainly set you back against a more balanced bowling attack. That was one area where Australia, save the great Ponting, missed the basics.

While bowling they did what they normally do - put pressure with bowling and fielding. Only except for Lee, Watson and Johnson to some extent and the one ball from Tait that got Tendulkar, there was just not enough penetration. It was always going to be their weak area their bowling and if they did not pick up the standard on the big day they would suffer - and they did.Shaun Tait cannot afford to bowl all over the place and expect to get away with players like Sehwag, Tendulkar, Gambhir, Kohli, Yuvraj, Raina or Dhoni. He gave ten runs away in two wide balls in a match like this!After Dhoni's departure I think where they lost the upper hand was in Johnson's over when he changed his length from short of length where Yuvraj was fishing to one that was pitched up, a greedy delivery looking for a free lbw, that Yuvraj gladly thumped past the bowler for a boundary. That is the kind of a mistake that can completely get someone like Yuvraj back in the game and once he gets his confidence, he can win any match. Three fours off Lee, Tait's incredibly bad over with a wide for 5 and all the pressure went out in two overs. To seal things Raina's six off Lee finished it for India  there are no more demons left to conquer.

Reminded me a bit of the Champion's Trophy many years ago when Yuvraj made a handsome contribution in his debut match against Australia and we won. Many things were similar from that game to this including Yuvraj's performance, and all seniors contributing! Anyway, everyone has predicted a cakewalk for India in the semifinal - everyone. Not a surprise of course. Well done guys and I'd say, you are all better off thinking about Pakistan than about the final right now.

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