24 September 2007

Dhoni, take a bow.

And you too, Yuvraj, Sreesanth, Arpee, Bhajji, Uthappa and Joginder

Even though I will be delirious if India win tonight, I just cannot be bitter. Shorn of the weight of experience and reputation, Dhoni and his men in blue had already pulled off the impossible, by the time they made it to the semis. Of course, the benefit of hindsight means that many experts have mysteriously pulled out a few I-told-you-so's from their hats. Now, Nasser Hussain cannot stop talking about how this format of the game is most suited for subcontinental cricketers who started life with the see ball-hit ball sort of cricket. I just don't think it is as simple as that, Nasser. South Africa possesses some of the cleanest hitters in Gibbs, Boucher and Pollock; and Pietersen, Luke Wright and Dmitri were capable of the same as well. Why is it so difficult to believe, Nasser, that this Indian team was not only talented, they were also led astutely by a captain who backed the strengths of this team? Such an explanation also blinds one to some of the most intelligent bowling from Harbhajan and Arpee. And certainly, Sreesanth's spell to Australia and Gul's to the Kiwis, you cannot pin that on the street can you? Or is "street" a euphemism for oriental sorcery, just like the days when Waqar and Wasim were vilified to death in the English press?

Tonight's key battle: Yuvraj Singh versus Umar Gul. It looks like Shoaib Malik is comfortable leaving Gul with three overs - overs 15, 17 and 19. And if Yuvraj Singh is still batting through these overs, it will probably decide the tournament. Super performers, both of them, throughout the tournament.

And finally a word on a tournament that captured my fancy from the first match itself! I never thought I'd give into Twenty20 that easily. But now, a wonderful tournament, that has displayed cricket of the highest quality, has made me think again. I am closer to concluding that Twenty2o is as much about skill and pressure as Test cricket is - maybe different skills are required in either format, and different pressures may come into play as well. Don't pooh-pooh it on the basis of some hypothetical "soul-of-cricket" principle, Mr Soumya Bhattacharya!

6 comments:

Soulberry said...

Absolutely...add to that hindsight what Graeme Smith had to say and Ricky Ponting had to say from the dugout on it. Today's newspapers...I think TOI.

Gilly on the other hand was refreshingly honest and said India did better in the little things Australia was expected to do.

And even Sambit Pal put up an article at cricinfo that is so predictable. It's his viewpoint of course, respect that, but man...why do people want to see test matches in 20-20 and 20-20 in test matches? They want faster scoring in test matches and drawn out chess in 20-20...even chess has fast chess where anand is a champ. I can never understand such...Tessts are tests and enjoyable..T20 is t20 and enjoyable in its way.

What about today?

I think opening (sehwag +gambhir) are important. Pathan and Bhajan too.

John said...

Well for starters, I hope that Sehwag plays. Always been a Pak nailer, as far as I can remember, and even a 25 from him will go a long way.

Getting Nazir and Y Khan out of the way quickly is also important. They will shuffle left right and down the pitch, but if Arpee and Sree can keep it simple, wickets will come in the first 4-5 overs.

After that it is a matter of painstankingly prising out Malik, Misbah and Afridi before he can do much damage.

Soulberry said...

Yes, they say it's 50-50 that Sehwag plays. How I wish we have the Nawab of Multan today!

We need some great stuff from our bowlers too.

Sree's got to be in the same form as the other night.

Soulberry said...

Congratulations India! Congratulations John! T20 isn't good for my heart, but the afternoon off was worth it.

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