I think this would be one result that both the teams would accept, unwillingly. The two teams converged to the result courtesy some excellent play some poor effort by both the teams at different times. You know you have seen a magnificent knock when Tendulkar’s ton is worthily over shadowed. Andrew Strauss cut and swept his way to a brilliant 158, sad he could see it through.
Batting too good, bowling too bad.
You cannot win a marathon with legs tied. If be pack our batting order with batsmen then we should back to get to any score. Dhoti winning second toss is succession was his consecutive win of tosses, a rarity in recent past.
I wonder having packed sides with batting first, you would want to chase because you know the bowling is week. I mean we scored 338 and the match got tied courtesy a poor finish. We didn’t even completed our quota of over and last seven wickets went for 33 runs. The highest point of the game for Indians was when Tendulkar raised his bat to a fighting century after that it was pretty a spiral downwards till the point Zak trapped Strauss leg before.
Bowling attack consisted of three and a half bowlers.
Indians have traditionally had weak bowling attacks. We are now compelled to use filling bowlers to make ends meet. But going with four bowlers where each bowler can bowl maximum 10 overs is stretching optimism that bit (delta) too much. If a bowlers have an off day you are doomed and if you are defending a sub 250 score then prayers will get you more results then acts on the field. This is where Pakistan are so good, have always found to play 6 bowlers at times 7, and at least five of them having ability to bowl their 10. It is a huge advantage. South Africa too invariably have more than one all rounder. Aussies have been anomaly where they field four really specialist wicket taking bowlers, with very good fielding, the dearth of fifth bowler is hardly felt. Poms have various kinds of batting and bowling all rounder, Collingwood, Bresnan, Wright Broad. If these four play, we can expect at least 35 overs from them and ability to score 100 runs run at run a ball. Invaluable.
Flat, flatter; flattest.
Place the words pitch, bowling, skill, appropriately in the preceding sentence. I would place it a flat pitch, flatter bowling, flattest skill. I mean how many cover drives did we see Strauss playing against all the combined bowling. I don’t remember more than three. He was fed with deliveries, which he kept either cutting or sweeping, taking the slip of the equation. The fielding placement was done in a manner, which encouraged both stroke play and singles. Zaheer bowled perhaps the worst opening spell of the season. He was feeing batsmen on both sides of wicket, preferably short obliging what batsmen set their eyes for. It was incredulous. Bhajji is approaching 400 test wickets, no mean feta, off all people Bhajji should now that best chance for him to get wickets is extending an invitation for batsmen to drive him through the covers, it brings in the LBWs, bowled, edges, caught behinds. The most shots I remember seeing off Bhajji were cut and sweeps no invitation offered to play the drive, Chawla finding his way back had ideal opponents in Poms, any other side would have ensured Chawla hit out of the attack. I mean imagine same bowling attack and we bowling fist against teams like Pakistan or South Africa the top teams in this competition. There are reasons beyond this it is an observance that the muscle in the bowling won more matches then magnificence of batting. Sachin Tendulkar’s whole career bears eye wtiness to this fact. The cricket matches are won by restricting the opposition and taking wickets is the only way to do that.
Batting order need a rejig.
Gambhir, Kohli or Pathan much be dropped to make way for another bowler, the problem is which bowler will replace them and bowl line and lengths with discipline and claim wickets or put pressure to ensure wickets at other end. Pathan did make a century in South Africa but for him to be effective he must come when there are 12 to 15 ovrs where he can get in. The finish role will have to be done by Dhoni coz Yuvraj is also off the boil, with the best form seem to have deserted him. But I hope this 50 is welcome return to form for Yuvraj following couple of ordinary seasons.
Tendulkar’s ton out shone.
Strauss superlative effort out shone a very good Tendulkar century. There is little doubt that if Sachin bats 40-45 overs he would get a century. His century was full of attacking stokes though the start was slow but early caution was packed off to the winds when Collingwood was walloped two sixes in an over and Swann saw two huge sixes sailing over to the leg side off consecutive delivers, Tendulkar was turning the tide and time for his team. There were useful contributions from Sehwag and Gambhir and Yuvraj. He was thoroughly out shone by Strauss who displayed a commanding presence and hunger to score big runs. He shepherd the innings for as long as he could and it had to be superb delivery from Zaheer to bring an end a superb innings.