20 March 2007

And now, for the thrilling climax to Group B, but first, a short commercial break..

I can't believe they did not show Sehwag's celebration. SET Max sucks as a cricket broadcaster if they have not realized that cricket lies in those moments. Sehwag had not hit three figures in one-dayers for three years. Despite having the best opportunities to score at the top of the batting order, he just never really got going. And for months he has been enduring the clamour of voices calling for his head. And then Vengsarkar shirked away from his own decision to select Sehwag. He was hanging on to his spot in the team by a thin thread that was his captain's credibility. And then the first match where he got out in pretty tame fashion. Oh, the pressure, so great that the strength of the bowling hardly mattered. And then a tickle down to third man to bring up the hundred, and then a commercial break.

Not good, you faceless morons at Sony. But very good, Veeru. Pummel Vaas, Murali and co. into complete submission. Please win the toss and chase, Dravid. Our bowing cannot defend a total against the Sri Lankans, no way they can, if they keep bowling as they have been. Despite inflicting such a huge defeat on Bermuda, the bowling did look pretty toothless at times, and the bowliers giving the impression that sustaining the pressure for any length of time was all too much work. To defend a target against Jayasurya, Tharanga, Jayawardene, Sangakkara and Dilshan the bowlers should never allow a partnership to blossom. A few Bermudans, such as Leverock, were thrusting out their legs and dealing Kumble with ease. Ajit Agarkar would cause all kinds of problems outside the off, and then if the results are disappointing, would bowl one straighter - just the pressure valve that a chasing team needs. To defend a total - almost any realistic total - against Sri Lanka, bowling needs discipline. Munaf has shown that he can keep running at a batsman and bowl in the right areas, and so has Zaheer. It is time that Agarkar brings all his experience to bear (it's his third World Cup for Chrissake) and bowls a probing ten overs.

But obviously, nothing the Indians can do may be enough.