Cricket: India trudges into QFs

A few people like conspiracy theorists and chartists find patterns so very interesting. Lets have a look at Indian teams performances (botched up efforts) in the context of establish test playing teams in our group namely, Windies, SAfs and Poms. I am leaving out Bangladesh because other teams have been playing test matches for more than two decades, Bangladeshi team may do well in the future in the test arena.

Check this out –

Dhoni wins the toss. Dhoni winning the toss is as big a headline as Kamran Akmal taking catches. India bats, there are a flurry of boundaries nice tempo going for the team a top player gets to 110 (or there abouts), holds out to a tame catch. The batting collapse starts. There is this wedding procession like scene people come in with a flurry and get out. The opposition team’s fast/opening bowler gets 5 wickets (Bresnan, Steyn, Rampaul). The Indian batsmen at 9 10 and 11 deflect the ball rather intelligently of the inside edges to the wickets. Indians haven’t batted allotted 50 overs in all these match. Zaheer starts with an insipid spell the part times strike, Bhajji bowls, leaks runs. He then gets lucky with a wicket, or two. Then Zaheer comes back and nips out a couple of wickets, inspiring hopes from the people watching it on the TV and also helps in raising the decibels up a few notches in the stadium. We have favourable result in previous match against Windies, we tied one Poms and we lost against SAfs in the last over. The over, which gave Nehra his 15 minutes of fortune, which he wasn’t looking forward too.
It is too obvious. It is setting a precedent, which will weigh heavy on us. We need to bat all fifty overs doesn’t matter is the batting power play fetches us a dozen runs. Each of the Indian victory has highlight the grey areas. It is crucial to rectify those so that we have the best chance of winning the world cup i.e. by entering the finals. We should also look forward to beating the best teams, Aussies, Pak, SAf if we are to lay claims being the best team. The next match is India vs. Aus which Ganguly has dubbed it the match to set the wrong doings in the Finals of 2003.

The ever magnificent will now be magnanimous.

Tendulkar walked. Rampaul was bowling in a dream spell – (you know, Inception). The stocky bowler got to what looked like missing an inside edge, the umpire turned down the appeal and the broadcasters devoid of hot spot and inconclusive replays, Tendulkar chose to walk. He could have stayed and scores. But when people moan why didn’t Ponting walk against Pak, was a bit ridiculous. Ponting looks at the umpire and wait for the umpire even when he is bowled. He is an eternal optimist. But he may not believe Kamran Akmal would take the edge off his bat standing up to the wickets for a spinner, clearly, Ponting is out of luck, apart from being out of match practice and runs. The one last thing about Ponting getting out is the look on his face. It will be very interesting to see what happens if Tendulkar faces a similar delivery gets a familiar edge and it is the crunch match (say the semis or finals) Tendulkar reaction would decide the topic of discussion among millions of people and will also fetch a few their next breakfast or cup of tea. Will he or wont he. But his decision to walk gives you a peek into the confidence of the man. He know when he comes out to bat the next time, he will strive equally hard (hopeful gets) more runs. It was a good sporting gesture. It shows his confidence in his own ability.

Yuri still strives for form but looks good.

So far so good for Yuvraj. He started with a boundary and now among the runs, he kept the scoreboard ticking and had a good partnership going with Kohli after Gambhir cut one to third man and Tendulkar chose to walk. Benn was called on, all spinner worth their salt look forward to bowling to Yuvraj but Benn was one of the reason for Yuvraj’s fluid innings. The timing seem to be coming back, but the transfer back to form is still not complete, something is missing I hope he hungrier for more. His form is crucial. Yuvraj got out to Pollard, the big man. His dismissal was the difference between the score of 290 - 295 and the score which we finally got.

The great and ominous but fragile batting line up and frequent collapses.

India has great and ominous batting line up, you know great numbers, in the average and strike rate columns and huge amount of runs big power hits are signs of the great batting line up. But Indian batting line-up has been very fragile of late. We have batted out our 50 overs once in one last month, the frailty if batting comes up once to often. It is a weird aberration. I hope the fact that we play 7 batsmen doesn’t let a sense of complacency to creep into the batsmen. If that’s the case one of the batsmen Kohli or Gambhir, have to give way to in the next match. I don’t think bowling order would change much.Yuvraj, Pathan and Raina together are likely to bowl more than 12 overs between themselves, giving Dhoni lot of options and help ease the pressure off Bhajji. Bhajji needs to be among wickets, his bowling form amuses me.

On the other side of fence.

Pollard’s dismissal was turning point of the match. It was a rush of blood or what, he was caught in the deep of Bhajji, strange actually, considering the way he smacks it all over the park, however it was a catalyst to trigger a collapse. Bhajji to bowled tight for couple of overs, his second maiden in six matches all credit to Sarwan, who being to prod and block. Gayle and Chanderpaul didn’t play for some reason. Chanderpaul doesn’t seem to get out and keeps nudging the single, I don’t know if he is off the boil but looks good for many. The lack of experience in batting line up showed. Devon Smith batted well. His straight drive off Zaheer was the shot of the match. Devon Smith was bowled by Zak and that triggered the second collapse of the match. Windies lost their last 8 wickets for 30 runs.
The Windies look good, if Dwayne Bravo join in and Chanderpaul is in good form then Gayle, Chanderpaul, Sarwan, Bravo brothers, Pollard Sammy. Three fat bowlerd including Fidel Edwards, Roach, Russel, Benn. Indians are touring West Indies and it will be a good tour.

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