Sunday, October 21, 2007

Its INDIA Once Again

It was a wonderful Saturday evening. Most of the Indians after performing ‘Ayudha Pooja’ were in for a cracker of a contest. India had to prove a point to all those critics who had opinioned their world twenty20 title was a fluke. And they had done it in emphatic style, by winning the only twenty20 match in Mumbai comfortably by 7 wickets. To finish off it in style, winning shot was huge six, off the bat of captain Mr. Cool, M S Dhoni.

Whatever Bret Lee or Pointing had to say in their columns that the contest was not perceived as revenge game by them to their world cup semi final loss to India, it was hardly believable. It is a well known fact that, as such Australians never want to loose and if they get defeated they bounce back to avenge their loss. This indication came long before, when the tour started by Ricky Ponting’s press conferences. Verbal war was on even before the first match was played, and continued match after match. But one can safely say that this was the match when both teams made their bat talk rather than mouth. Series full of verbal duels ended in a match which hardly had one. Welcome change! Anyway it was a wonderful match, a treat to watch.

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Aussies winning the toss and electing to bat would have hardly surprised any, since they wanted to capitalize on India’s discomfort in chasing totals in the recently concluded one day series. Also India’s wins in world twenty20 came when they were batting first. But though they lost the match to New Zealand by mere 10 runs in world twenty20 super eight stage, they had started off well in that match with Sehwag and Gambhir providing the perfect start but rest managing to mess up things a bit in the end. And when Gilchrist hit those 3 fours off RP Singh off the first over in this match, it seemed that it was a wise decision to bat on. But RP Singh disturbing the timber the very next ball and sending Australian wicket keeper packing, was huge moment for India. Though the Pointing continued to hit boundaries and Hayden supporting at the other end, Aussies were on for a big total. But with Harbhajan providing that crucial wicket of Hayden slowed down things a bit and with Murali Karthik tightening the screws at the other end kept the run flow in check. Symonds getting run out was only because of the presence of mind shown by Harbhajan; he had earlier missed the catch given by Australian skipper and then he was shying at the stumps when he spotted Symonds away from his crease. But with Ricky Ponting hitting useful runs in the end Australia were still in search of that huge total to upset the Indians. 18th over bowled by Sreesanth was a bit expensive and resulted in 22 runs. But India put right breaks to restrict Australians to manageable 166, as they say a total below 200 in twenty20 is achievable.

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Indian chase was full of fireworks from the beginning. Gambhir has shown once again why he was the man of the match in World twenty20 final with variety of shots here. Though Sehwag departed with mere 20 runs on the board Uthappa joined Gambhir to build a fantastic partnership of over 80 runs. Fearlessness was the key here too as was the case in world twenty20 championship. With both batsmen stepping out for pacers runs were there to come at faster pace. This relieved the run chase pressure. But on the contrary, pressure was evident on Australians with Australian bowlers bowling no balls and providing India with free hits. Frustration crept in when overthrows by Aussies fielders too resulted in boundaries. Gambhir and Uthappa had half done their job with score board showing 101 off 10 runs. Though Uthappa perished to Clarke trying to cut him and edging, it was next to impossible for India to loose this match from that comfortable position. Ponting would have missed the trick by not playing Brad Hogg and in-form Johnson who took 14 wickets in 7 match ODI series. With Uthappa departing Yuvraj joined the party to hit those 3 huge sixes to reiterate the fact that he is the most dangerous batsman in twenty20 international as of now. Gambhir perished after adding over 40 runs with Yuvraj, making way for his skipper to finish the proceedings and rightly so India won the match in style with 11 balls to spare. Now nobody should have any doubt in their mind that India are the world champions in this format and remain so for some more time to come.

As Dhoni said in the presentation ceremony enjoying the game was the key and you will be performing better if you enjoy what you do and this applies to every field in life. Smiles were back on the Indian supporters after loosing the ODI series 2-4 to Australia. With this win India has consecutively won 5 matches in twenty20, more can be expected from them in the near future. Australians must be ruing themselves with them loosing last 2 matches of the tour. Meanwhile Indians would be happy to see this development as welcome signs for the upcoming Pakistan’s tour of India. All the best, INDIA!


1 comment:

  1. T20 is more about strokeplay and less temperament. ODI requires more temperament, therefore Indians are finding difficult to emulate of success T20 in ODI.



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