A good tough cricket match. It tested both sides but India held on. Indians would have certainly taken the result before the toss. The toss is crucial. It would have been interesting had India chasing leather in the second innings with a kind of total in excess of two hundre4d and fifty. India will have to do it at some point in time. The question in my mind isn’t about India’s inability to chase scores under light, but the ability of Murali and Mendis to cause havoc with their guile, fizz and tweak. It wasn’t to be. Dhoni had made the right calls from the moment he stepped out for a toss to the point he dislodged the bails and ran out Mendis and booked the second Indian win for the series. It was a good game to win. But Indians will look back and find they screwed up the third power play a bit too much. That too, twice in the same match. More on that in rest of the blog.
Sehwag crash landed,Yuvraj forced to land.
How often has Sehwag ran himself out or did something to just throw away the wicket? He has engineered many a victories. He and Dravid along with Yuvraj have ensured that India can win even if Tendulkar doesn’t fired or show the way to pavilion by some more than ridiculous umpiring decisions. Two in a row for Tendulkar, I hope he plunk Sri Lankan attack for a century in the next match. Sehwag perhaps misjudged his own timing along with Jayasuriya’s return from the outfield. There was no second run in there, He won the battle and lost the war. He has already missed couple of centuries in ODI and tests late last year. It isn’t about make centuries but about confidence of getting big runs in big matches and making the good times count. He has to look to stay put and run outs are a hopeless way to get out. He was playing so good, I mean he should have looked forward to playing Murali and Mendis but wasn’t to be. The Jat thought he could sneak in an extra run, only to be proving himself wrong as he ran himself out. I know he tried to dive but then that was desperation examplified.
Yuvraj I thought would be struggling against Mendis and Murali. He has all though his career, especially against Murali. He has not been alone, Murali is a magician. He edged one off Mendis but the ball flew past Jayawardene for a boundary and then it was no looking back till the point he got a shocker of decision he was given leg before but the ball had ricocheted to his pads of a huge inside edge. Indians went down hill after that and managed to post something just above 250. A good competitive total considering the surroundings Indian were playing. Dhoni the magnanimous walked out when he gloved Mahroof. I wonder if Umpire would have given him out, but then Dhoni seems to go from strength to strength. He would have loved to see a few more wickets in hand when the batting power play could have been opted for perhaps a score in the region of 275 and above would have been more daunting.
Too low, too slow.
I think just like Sehwag is hell bent in running himself out, Jayawardene is running himself ou by making mockery of himself. The magnitude of mockery is incremental in nature and of progressively bigger than the previous one. I think he needs to have a reality check. He is still thinking he is in Bangladesh facing Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. He need to be proactive. Sanga should be off with gloves. Vas and couple of new openers should be in. Vaas need to be googled and bough back. He need to come face the chin music if required not wait for ideal conditions when sun would be bright and spring would sing in choir for him. He needs to take tough calls and plan for climbing up the ladder. It seems that when Jayasuriya or Sanga score and Murali and Mendis or Vaas take wickets the Sri Lankan team does well. The others are surely not there just to make up the numbers for the team. If they are then Sri Lanka should play only at home and call up teams like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and England. It is bringing only stagnation for Sri Lanka as a team and they don’t seem to move forward. Indians are looking to get better of Sri Lankans as they did in series last time. Dhoni led India to victory. Indian seamers namely Zaheer and Ishant took some stick but Ishant got a few wickets. Zaheer was unlucky. Jayassuriya would have smacked Ishant but Ishant gnerates some net bounce and movement, Jayasuriya slashed hard only to be caught at third man. Jayasuriya out and Lankans in doom. Dilshan, the flash in the pan, fooled by Zaheer’s bouncer was caught, down at square leg. Sanga flattered to deceive edged to Dhoni. Jaywardene couldn’t got hold of India spinners. Raina, Pathan Sehwag didn’t gave much away. I wonder if Sehwag should have been called for couple of overs in the third Lankan power play or for the last over.
Kandamby reminds me of Arjuna Ranatunga and Asanka Gurusinha. He had atleast the built like them bats left handed all though Arjuna and Asanka are role models to emulate. Kandamby looks good and hope he comes good for Sri Lanka. He and Jayawardene steadied the ship but could power it far ahead. As a result the Sri Lankans didn’t have the momentum to knock the total off within stipulated 50 overs. The task was too daunting. The Indian bowling was lacking teeth and a good partnership ensured that the contest was alive till, the very end. But Ishant came back and took crucial wickets. Indian bowling looked puzzled at the death. The fact acknowledged by both Dhoni and Ishant. Dhoni minces no words and spares no one in accolades or criticism. He knows what he is doing and he is damn sure of what he is thinking. I hope Dhoni eyes a clean sweep of this seers which will catapult India to the numero status in ODI. It is far fetched but worth the sweat in the field.
Jayawardene should look hard how the game went and what went wrong and apply it to do the right things in the next game. His team is reflective of his form. He looks to be trying too many things and too hard. These are first sysmptoms of the fact that the captain isnt in form and team is looking towards the captain to pull out the hat out of the rabbits mouth. Jayawardene need to stand up and take charge of his batting prowess, his lovely touch play and his team. The challenge off course lies in doing well abroad especially away, far away from the sub-continent