Where was this Indian team on Saturday?

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
Mission accomplished!

Now, we need to take care of business against Sri Lanka and of course hope for some help from Bermuda and maybe Bangladesh! 🙂

6 thoughts on “Where was this Indian team on Saturday?

  1. Yes, sure, its good to get one in the bag. And of course, its good to get a big one – a very big one, in fact! Having said that, fans are going ga-ga over this win, and over Sehwag, like we have beaten South Africa or Australia or something. We still have NO idea if we have enough on offer to taken on Sri Lanka. Will Sehwag be an easy wicket once again, when the champion bowlers like Vaas and Malinga fire at him? How will we take wickets? The bowling, which to me, has a bigger role to play, should India proceed ahead, is not really clicking, still. I expected Zaheer, Munaf and Agarkar to be far better than they are currently showing form.While we worry about the advertisers now, in case India has to drop out of the WC, it could also be their luckiest day, if after overcoming such a hiccup, India works its way back, not only to the Super 8, but to the semis and further ahead. If all things are ‘fixed’ well, that may well be the road to riches for many :-)Coming to the SL-Bangladesh game, it matters to India if SL wins. Here is why it matters!

  2. RPM says:

    @spm: I don’t think we should go ga-ga over the win itself, but it is nice to enjoy the win. A win is a win, just as a loss is a loss … be it against Bermuda, Bangladesh or Australia. While Australia and South Africa clearly have had no issues with their wins, as you know, once you get to the knock out stages, it is anybody’s game on the day. So yea, you may qualify with the highest points but once you get to the knock out, everyone is equal. So for morale-boost, this win was not a bad one. If we had scored 280 and got them out for 110, it would have been an ok win but the way we won (though, agreeing with you, I would have liked to have them out earlier than 150+) was satisfying to say the least. Give credit where its due!

  3. So after SL’s win over Bangladesh, ‘parity’ of sorts can be restored if India beats SL and the two (India, SL) march into super 8. Because the run rate that Bangladesh will need to beat Bermuda, will be almost unattainable, the way things are. And for bookies and advertisers and sponsors backing India, the script may yet change for the better. A come-from-behind march into Super 8 will generate a lot more interest than an easy stroll into it!

  4. RPM says:

    @spm: Yes, I think you have a great point – if India comes back from behind and starts performing at the right time, it will be even better for the advertisers! But seriously, I am not sure if the game against Sri Lanka is “in the bag” …

  5. RPM says:

    @rajesh: HAHAHAH … doomsday did arrive I guess :-)I was talking to some friends who have semis and finals tickets but are only going to be there for some of the Super 8’s. They are not able to see the semis and finals tickets!!!

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