It was the match I was waiting for since I knew the fixture. There was some hype about it, and finally it happened match lived almost up to its expectations. We had seven hours of tense, thrilling quality cricket. And today is the third day after the match but I didn’t wrote a thing about it since then, I don’t believe it I was so eager to write a lot about it but what happened?
First I got relaxed when Pakistan won phewwww. Next day I read some blogs, check out articles saw news reports and damn more and more I read or saw more and more I got upset. What the hell was that? Are they out of their mind specially Indian media.
I noticed two things in most of the stuff I read, either they sound like India lost it not Pakistan won it or the team played best won, it was all about how India lost it or give it away as it was a sure win for them or they all were crushing Indian players very hard with a feeling as they lost it deliberately.
I don’t think so I think it was a good cricket match between two quality cricketing teams. Both of the team played well but the team played best won. Let’s go through the match once again and see what happened.
Toss was going to play some part as it was a good batting pitch India’s strength is batting so they would like to put some runs early on to put Pakistan under pressure while chasing. Pakistan strength was bowling and batting was little concern but they were still looking to bat first make some defendable total and give their bowlers a chance to defend it and they won the toss and elected to bat.
India got early wickets specially of dangerous Imran Nazir and Kamran Akmal with Younus Khan who always has performed well against India and put Pakistan under pressure at 65/3. But Indian fast bowling attack wasn’t up to the mark except Nehra. At that stage India wasn’t able to put some extra pressure on new batsmen who were struggling at the moment specially Malik. They did manage to keep a check on run rate but ODI is all about wickets at regular intervals.
Spinners like Harbajhan who was considered to be main asset of Indian attack was either little short or down the leg side against the likes of Muhammad Yousuf who is master in placing the ball in gaps and taking singles and doubles which actually provide a momentum to the innings.
Once they got their grip on it Mallik went for a kill and did it pretty well, here again India wasn’t able to either break the partnership or check the run rate. It was a bad day in field for India. But they managed to keep a check in batting powerplay where Pakistan was in a position to kill but they lost too many wickets and fell 20 or 25 runs short of what they could have achieved.
At that moment I thought good total but it would have been great if they had 20 or 25 more runs on the board on that pitch. India could have reached it by two or more good partnerships. Pakistan also started well taking the wicket of Sachin the dangerous specially against Pakistan hats off to Aamir who has the temperament and talent, his wish of getting Sachin wicket came true pretty soon.
Ghambir is always aggressive and fuming against Pakistan as he was that day and he put some pressure on Pakistan side by giving a reasonable speed to chase. His awful run out, what he was thinking of not rolling his bat not making any effort to dive after a bad call or hurry to run by him, he should have that hurry to get back to the crease too. That was a very important wicket. Pakistani fast bowlers specially Umar gull wasn’t at their best but were fractionally better than Indians.
Then spinners really made the difference, Pakistani spin duo Afridi and Ajmal were much better then Indian spin. They attacked batsmen with flight and pitched the ball up. There was some turn in the pitch too. At some stage in the middle of the innings near 30 overs dew factor was in play, Pakistanis were drying the ball more regularly. Turn was absent, that is the time when Raina give a real scare, he batted well for that period of time. At that stage it was looking like a tense and close finish once again.
Pakistan put the breaks on once again by some good bowling, Afridi was the man with key wickets. Saeed Ajaml also got key wickets specially trapping Raina in front. Dravid was run out a bad one which almost seal the feat. After that Pakistan was in control and keep check on Yusuf pathan and Harbhjan and get rid of tail.
It was a solid performance from Pakistan, India tried well they just didn’t lose it. They fought and at some phases of the match in both innings they looked in control but Pakistan was little too good that day. Pakistan also need to improve at different things to keep this run successful till the final and beyond.
India’s main problem is with bowling, Dhoni was feeling two or three bowlers short so they are playing with 5 bowlers today but still they are not looking good Australian innings is moving fluently in this important game. It isn’t just a matter of number of bowlers, they need at least two or three bowlers with penetration who could perform regularly for them.
The point is, that match was a good one as expected. Why so much fuss, hate and talk, why going so hard at the team which provided with good performances in last two years because India didn’t win and that was against Pakistan? well it’s a sport so keep it a sport emotions are good hype is good for cricket but take it easy on team, it is a game and no one wins every day. Cricket is a funny game and a small difference could lead to loss and there were more than one difference that day. India can come back with bang today against Australia they have the potential and strength they just need execution.
May the better win.