Monday, April 03, 2006

Yuvraj Pulverizes England

Before the match, in my previous post I did mention that India had refrained itself from experimenting on the ODIs so far. But here it was again, and it seems that the experimentation seems to always be working for India. Dropping out Gautam Gambhir to accomodate an extra bowler was a brave move, and all kudos to the captain - Dravid for once again taking on the onus on himself and opening the Indian innings in an attempt to get rid of India's opening blues.

The start was better than the usual considering the dual nature of the pitch. But Sehwag continued to disappoint. Looking at the way he was dismissed, I really feel now that he should be sent back to playing some more domestic cricket. Dravid on the other hand continued to impress and was rather unfortunate to be out in the way he did. India finally experimented again, promoting Irfan to No 3. It did make the English captain think and change his strategies a little bit because he had to delay the third powerplay. India were at it again -- the experimentation.

But it was Yuvraj's day today, and he really made it count. His strokeplay suggested as if this was really a 300+ pitch. It was really heartening to see the way he and Raina played the 20 overs - hard hitting boundaries punctuated with singles and twos. It has also been a pleasure to watch this Indian team perform at the highest levesl without Sachin Tendulkar. Way to go India!

As for the Englad -- well they never looked in sight of victory after Pathan took the top three wickets. Paul Collingwood provided some respectability to the total and played a very good game, but this English side is a little immature and short on experience and talent when it comes to the shorter version of the game. In the last two ODIs they lost the plot half-way through the second innings, this time though it was lost by the top order batsmen itself!

On a closing note -- while the Indian batting finally came true today, the catching is still a concern. Ramesh Powar missed out on another skier, although a difficult one -- but what do you expect at this level? Better ? Right?

Match Scorecard here


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