Saturday, March 12, 2011

India Vs South Africa, Defeat is a painful pill to swallow!!!

Defeat is a tough pill to swallow. Especially when it comes from the Indian Cricket Team. After all Cricket is THE SPORT in which many countries fear India.

We get enormous joy when our team snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The other way round is always asking for post mortem.

Today is one such day where the Indian performance demanded post mortem.

What went right?
Winning the toss. Decision to bat first. 267/1 at 38 overs. They all went right.

Fairy Tale End?
Power play from 38 to 43 overs should have yielded anywhere between 50-60 runs at the loss of 1 or 2 wickets. Yousuf Pathan coming to bat with 12 overs to spare should have done the same damage as that of Pollard's bash against the Irish. India should have finished at 375 instead of realistic 340.

What happened?
India was all out for 296 with almost 2 overs to spare. Only 29 runs scored in the last 10 overs at the cost of 8 wickets.

I'm sure this would be the debacle of the year. But these collapses are bound to happen in the game of cricket. But, this was surely an avoidable one.

There is something called law of averages in cricket. A team can score only so much. The bulk of the scoring can happen at the top, middle or end. Doing it right thru the innings usually occurs only with minnows. If that happens against the giants, it will be considered Hall of Fame.

Much as usual, this did not fall into the Hall of Fame. India missed out the last 10 overs. However India did good to score 296 against one of the best bowling attack. You can check the stats. Is there a team that scored 300 runs against SA in this World Cup?

A weak Indian bowling attack justified the total by defending it successfully till the 49th over. The score did not meet the expectation of many because of the impact created by the top order batsman.

So, what went wrong?
Definitely not the catches dropped by Yuvraj & Gambir. Not the run out opportunities missed by Zaheer/Raina. Not the LBW decision that did not go in India's favor due to the 2.5 meter rule.

If any of the above had gone in India's favor, it must have eased the situation. But not guaranteed a victory.

Then where did it actually go wrong?
The decision to bowl Nehra the last over is the one that clearly costed the game. The reasoning's are pretty straight. Nehra did not bowl any time in the slog overs. He was avoided in the batting powerplay too. Suddenly asking him to bowl the last over when only 14 runs required did not make any sense. How can the least preferred bowler get the right to bowl the most crucial over of the match? The logic defies.

At the same time, if there was one man who deserved the most to bowl the last over, it was none other than Harbhajan Singh. When seamers were struggling to bowl during the batting powerplay, it was Bhajji who applied breaks on the run rate and broke the partnership. Every time when the opposition looked to run away with the game, Bhajji chipped in with a wicket for India.

It is only fair if India won or lost the game at the hands of Harbhajan Singh.

Bottom line: Sometimes stats takes precedence over hunch. Mr. Cool should realise it.

PS: Defeat is a tough pill to swallow. Similarly, a victory can heal any wound.

Cricket Lover


  1. Dont you think sreesanth shud be given an opportunity to prove himself. One bad game wont make him a bad bowler after all he was the best bowler in the south africa series?. Munaf cannot bowl in the slog overs as it was proved in the match against eng and sa. Sree shud be given a chance and finish his quota b4 slog overs and he can be deadly dangerous wid the new ball if it is moving.

  2. I totally agree with you Cricket Fan. It is my personal choice that Zaheer, Sreeshanth, Bhajji and Ashwin is the way to go from here on.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...