India back on track?

20 March 2007 |

India beat Bermuda by 257 runs, re-igniting their World Cup hopes.

Sehwag smashed a brilliant hundred. Ganguly scored his second fifty in as many games this world cup. Yuvraj Singh reminded the world and himself what he is really capable of (He should watch videos of Michael Hussey's batting more often). Tendulkar, having lost his favourite opening slot, played a key role that fits his stature and expertise.

Dravid, the skipper, was brave enough to walk in with a couple of balls to be bowled, and finished the innings in grand style with a massive six!

Chappell's dreams came true.

Dhoni's magic is not working anymore. Let's face it, bowlers know where to bowl to him. Dhoni has to come up with something new at the crease.

There is an interesting story though, which many of the TV channels wouldn't talk about. Neither would Sidhu on NDTV nor the idiots in STAR NEWS channel. Sandeep Patil has to realise one thing, he may have taken Kenyan cricket to new levels... he is not simply good enough to be the coach of the Indian team. Whether Sandeep Patil or Saba Karim are good enough to be cricket pundits... oh well, ask the players.

Sandeep Patil lost his place in the Indian team for playing an atrocious shot in a Test match against England in India. Sunny Gavaskar had his Mumbai mate booted out of the team. Patil made a comeback in 1986, he was in the squad that toured of England. When Mohinder Amarnath was injured, the Indian thinktank picked the second- keeper Chandrakant Pandit into the side as a batsman ahead of Patil.

Patil has all reasons to have a dislike towards the Indian cricket establishment.

Sehwag hit Hemp for two massive sixes off the 5th and 6th ball of the 15th over, taking India to 99/1.

End of over 15 (15 runs) - India 99/1 (RR: 6.60)
V Sehwag 69* (51b 12x4 2x6) SC Ganguly 18* (40b 1x4)

For people who were watching Indian cricket in late 80s and early 90s - it reminded of Krish Srikkanth and Ravi Shastri opening for India.

Ganguly took over in the 17th over, after playing two dot balls, he scored a single off the last ball to move to 22 off 47 balls. Sehwag was unbeaten on 75 from 56.

Ganguly, being the experienced player and the former skipper (successful one too!) understood the 'tempo' of the game too well. John Wright, who was doing commentary on TV, was explaining how Ganguly likes to play the game as per his tempo. Oh well, it was not about slowing down the Bermudians or Steve Waugh's Aussies - to Ganguly - it is all about him being the prince of Kols.

Dada duly played six dot balls - making the 18th over a maiden.

In the 19th, Ganguly decided to have a heave - and connected one - way into the stands for a massive six. He faced four balls in that over, scoring seven runs.

20th over, Ganguly played four balls, scored three singles.

21st over, played four balls, scored three singles and a two.

22nd over, played five balls and scored two singles.

23rd over, a SIX and a single off the first two balls.

24th over, a two and a single off three balls.

25th over, first three balls were dots, and he scored two singles.

26th over, two singles.

27th over, Ganguly faced five balls of the seven bowled, including a wide.

28th over, first ball dot, second ball single, Sehwag has lost his touch by then - takes a single off the last ball to reach his 100.
End of over 28 (2 runs) - India 176/1 (RR: 6.28)

V Sehwag 100* (81b 14x4 3x6)
SC Ganguly 62* (88b 2x4 2x6)

Remember, Sehwag was on fire in the 15th over, hitting two massive sixes.
India was 99/1
V Sehwag 69* (51b 12x4 2x6)
SC Ganguly 18* (40b 1x4)
End of over 15 (15 runs) - India 99/1 (RR: 6.60)

In the next 13 overs, Ganguly moved from 18 (40balls) to 62 (88balls).
Interesting stats: Off the 78 balls bowled, Sehwag could only face 30 balls and he scored 31 runs off them.

Being the experienced pro that he is, and understanding too well that Sehwag was going after the bowling, Ganguly took the responsibility of keeping Sehwag off the strike!

Ganguly scored 44 runs off 48 balls in that 13 overs, which looks quite OK, but the truth is - he slowed down the game so much.

I am sure too many of Dada fans would think I am being a bit harsh on the veteran left-hander.

End of the 9th over, Sehwag was on 27(32balls) strike rate of 84.37
In the next six overs, Sehwag's strike rate was a phenomenal 221.05, scoring 42 runs off 19 balls. He had an innings strike rate of 135.29 at that stage.
Then Ganguly intervened.
Sehwag scored at a strike rate of 103.33 in the next 30 balls faced.

As he did against Bangladesh, Ganguly played at a pace and tempo that he likes and fits his personal gameplan. He was well set for a big innings for the second match in a row - but he threw away his wicket. Against Bangladesh, Ganguly gave the fielder catching practice with a terrible pull shot. Well, against Bermuda, on 89, Dada ran down the pitch and got himself stumped.

I am not going to do an analysis on Ganguly's performance against Bangladesh. As I said in my previous post - being the set batsman, he should have batted through the fifty overs. The way he got out was atrocious. The way Ganguly rotated strike was outrageous. [click for more]

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