Ever heard of The Great Indian Rope Trick?
Team India once again made one sided match exciting, after Dilshan smash a 150 and Lankans set 320 to win in 50 overs. Team India had to score those runs in less than 40 overs to stay in contention. There chances still lie in balance. The outcome of next match will decide the finalist. Kohli, the flag bearer of this chase led India to one of the truly memorable matches since the world cup 2011 finals.
Indians elected to field on what seem to be a batting mini paradise. Lankans are heavy on the top with Jayawrdene, Dilshan and Sanga coming upfront that seems to leave middle order just a little fragile. But what it does is adds lot of meat. Indian bowling is one of the toothless ones, the team relies on batsman making a mistake, which happens often in limited cricket. Est matches have shown that there is no armor among the chinks of Indian bowling.
Lankan batsman played safe while Indian bowling probed Lankans batsman inviting scoring shots at will, strike ticketed over in ones and twos and partnership swelled with well timed boundaries. The plot didn't work for first half of the innings. Lankans reached to over 190 for the loss of only one wicket that of Jayawardene. His shadow can still be seen kicking him. Sangakarra is left handed Dravid, pure class and elegance, he always has been such a touch player. He literally helped himself to a century, attacking at will, making clueless Indian bowling look stupid. It seems lot of International cricketers who have retired would want to bat against Jadeja, he seems to have some magical gift delivers that a batsman of pure crass and hit the most authentic classic cricket shots against Jadeja. Ashwin meanwhile did little to impress. Its too early to say he is going Harbhajan way but the fact remains he is not among the wickets, rotational policy is still in doubts.
Any ODI team must fancy scoring 100 runs in last 10 to 12 overs. Our bowling is not a weak link it seems to be the missing link of the team. The only person having nightmares from Indian bowling is perhaps the Indian Cricket Captain. Indian bowlers would do really well to save face in the next which could be the final of CB series or round robin match of the Asia Cup. Dilshan helped himself to another highest score against Indians.
Batting pitchs, casions and Indian batsman
You know there is lot said about Indian batsman struggling on live pitches, most of it you shouldnt pay heed to and just accept as the way life was meant to be. But if the pitch is anywhere near flat, then make sure one among the top 5 is good enough to shred the bowling apart. Sehwag who makes one of the most attacking 25s in the the game and Sachin Tendulkar even in wane is formidable enough to request the fielding captain to ask for 15 payers. Then there is Raina who can hit Dale Steyn and Bret Lee for consecutive sixes blindfolded, over deep extra cover. Kohli in last three seasons seems to have deciphered the code of chasing down runs, off course mastered by Dravid, Yuvraj and Dhoni.
Gambhir is probably the new Dravid in Indian team. Kohli sure deserves (almost) all the kudos. But Kohlis partners, Gautam and Raina do deserve some over flowing cheer for Kohli. Gambhir was playing well and built a good platform for Kohli and Raina to take the game to the end. Raina meanwhile got a tailor fit situation to get some form. But Kohli simply undid Malinga, the best death bowler playing International Limited overs cricket. Kohli was better than the best Malinga had to offer. One of Malinga's over read 2, 6, 4, 4, 4, 4, Kohli was on strike for that over.
Jayawardene erred in not taking the bowling power play earlier. He should have taken it inside the 15 th over. Indians have a toe in the door. Its Aus vs Lanka and if Aussies win we will be playing the finals. But considering how flat Aussies have been in their previous match against Lanka, lets hope for the best.