Yea, take that, South Africa. If you could demolish your opponents, we could too! The Indians came back big time against an opponent who was just happy to qualify for the World Cup. Now the Indian team has created a whole bunch of optimism in fans’ hearts. Now their destiny is part in their own hands (beat Sri Lanka for sure) and part in others’ hands (if Bermuda can beat Bangladesh or Bangladesh can beat Sri Lanka, for example).
In any case, yesterday’s match was worth watching because of the execution – everyone (except Uthapa) in the batting order fired and created a world cup record total. The acceleration at the end was fantastic and I even watched the whole innings again after going home!
What sucked was that the bowling gave up runs and was not able to close it out early. Kumble should have been brought in earlier and he could have cleaned up the innings.
Anyway, now that the net run rate is sort of healthy, India has something to play for in the tournament rather than just wait and watch.
Some key thoughts on the game …
Objective #1 – Bat first and bat big to get a bump in the net run rate
The good: Lost the toss and were invited to bat first. I can’t imagine India making up a decent net run rate while chasing. So thanks for the gift, Bermuda captain.
The bad: Uthapa failed again and it meant another one day innings for India without a decent start.
The ugly: In retrospect of course it was not such a bad thing, but I really was shocked that Sehwag was included in the team, and more so when I saw him walk out at 1-down! What are Dravid and the team management (no, only Dravid) seeing of Sehwag in the nets and off the field that they keep taking him in the XI?? I know he scored a century and now he is all set for another year or something, but still, it is a question of principles after all. I am disgusted with that though as a fan, I am ok because he fired and got India off to a great start to set up the unbelievable finish!
The great: What a finish to the innings. Yuvraj and then Sachin really crushed the bowling in the last 10-15 overs. Unbelievably clean hitting in the death. Made for awesome viewing!
Objective #2 – Get them out quickly and again, bump up the net run rate
The good: India scored the highest margin of victory in one day internationals.
The bad: Why couldn’t we finish them off earlier? Kumble was the trump card because no one in the Bermuda team perhaps knows his bowling and most likely no one has ever faced him in person. He could have run through the innings. I think he was brought in quite late. We could have had them out for under 100. It would still not have bumped up the net run rate above Sri Lanka’s but we would have come mighty close.
Objective #3 – After the debacle against Bangladesh lock up a big win
Now, we need to take care of business against Sri Lanka and of course hope for some help from Bermuda and maybe Bangladesh! 🙂