Just when everyone was convinced that India has a fantastic batting line-up that delivers the goods and only the bowling has to be improved, we came a cropper on a pitch that was a batting paradise. From 267 for 1 wicket, we crumbled in a flash to end with less than 300 runs; and we did not even manage to play the entire 50 overs.
Most people are talking about the last over bowled by Ashish Nehra and think that we lost the match because of that one over. Hindsight is exact science! What if Harbhajan or Zaheer Khan or any other bowler had bowled that over and we had yet lost. We just shift the blame from one shoulder to another. But most people forget that we lost the match much before that. The moment we failed to capitalize on Tendulkar’s and Gambhir’s partnership, we seized to have any control on the match.
At one stage, India were cruising with score of 220+ in 40 overs against South Africa. The very next day Australia managed to make 220+ runs in 40 overs against Kenya; and New Zealand belted 220+ runs in 40 overs against Canada. Tendulkar and Gambhir mauled the South African bowling attack; we smashed Dale Steyn twice out of the attack. What we achieved against a quality bowling line-up, Australia & NZ could do that only against minnow teams; such is our batting prowess.
And yet, 5 overs later, after 45 overs the complexion of the game changed with Tendulkar’s dismissal. No sooner had he gone of the field, unpadded and refreshed himself, the whole team was back in the pavillion. Only 29 runs were scored for the loss of 9 wickets. Every batsman looked like they were in a hurry to finish the match and fly to the next venue. All the hard work done by Gambhir and Tendulkar came undone.
Although our bowlers did well to take the match to the last ball, we assumed that they have done their job. We think that our bowlers came good but our batsmen failed us against SA. But wait. South Africa’s next match was against Ireland and they managed to score just 272 runs. The Irish bowlers were able to restrict them by giving no loose balls and no easy fours and sixes. In the wake of this fact, Indian bowlers actually failed us by not being able to defend even 297.
Ireland beat England, Bangladesh beat England as well, England beat SA. So, most teams have won at least against one tough opposition; but India hasn’t managed that !
India’s performance has been checkered. We have shown some superb batting display and some great bowling spells, but both haven’t delivered in the same match. India beat Bangladesh and Netherlands easily, and struggled against Ireland but eventually beat them. All three minnow teams. We couldn’t beat England and we lost to SA. What does this say? That we haven’t really won against a quality teams. At this rate we can only dream of the cup. Our inconsistency can spoil our chances.
This post was first published on Yahoo Network