“Heart break for India” screamed the news channels when India Australia encounter concluded yesterday. Yet again “almost” there syndrome follows Indian cricket (except for an occasional NatWest win or T20 win).
A sizzling hot dish of one day cricket was served. A perfect mix of grit, determination, dropped catches, missed run-outs, balanced head and not so balanced head.
Let us not even discuss Dhoni, Yuvraj and Gambhir dismissals for their lack of mental application and sheer conduct on field. With Tendulkar going steadfast, all they had to do was to hold one end. A partnership worth 50 runs contributed by above mentioned millionaires would have seen India home, only if they had stayed on wicket. No one would have expected India to get this close. But Raina and Tendulkar managed exactly that. Bringing India within 50 runs of the target. Though Raina played superbly and complemented Sachin, I still feel that he got out to a rash shot. It looked like a predetermined shot. And then Harbhajan ahead of Jadeja. Why is he in team, if cannot make 30 something to take India home? Harbhajan, well every time he is promoted, he will return with not so great score. Let us discount the poor chap for poking at the off stump/ outside the off stump line.
But needless, thoughtless and absolute lack of temperament was displayed by Jadeja. The guy simply bolted across the pitch. How forgivable is that when target is like 20 odd runs at run a ball or more.
We cannot blame Praveenkumar for not diving as even an opener like Sehwag is reluctant to dive. To do the basics right is not an Indian way anyways. Nehra did what a number 10 batsman does; sees a full toss and hits. Only that he did not get distance or the elevation right.
Tendulkar dismissal I prefer to give a skip. He got us close. May be he should have restrained from unorthodox shot when batting power play was at his disposal or may be he should have let the slower ball fetch 1 run and eyed rest of the over. Mckay must be delighted and Ponting relieved for sure.