To be honest, I am glad by the batting performance by the lower-middle order Indian batsmen (Dhoni, Raina & Ashwin). The way the Indian batting was falling apart by the hands of two young seamers, was atrocious. Bad shot selection, laggy foot movement cost us the match. With some great bowling by Junaid, who took off 4 of the 5 top batsmen and that too clean bowled !!
I was surprised the way Dhoni and Raina batted. They knew their backs were to the wall but had a belief in themselves. Slowly and steadily both of them made a good partnership but not before Hafeez got the better of Raina in the first over of Batting powerplay. But hats off to Captain Cool – a late surge helped India get to a respectable total of 227. (this seemed not at all possible when India was reeling at 29/5 !)
Now to our bowling, great start with a wicket off the first ball of the innings, thanks to a great in-swinger by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. He also got rid of Javed Ali and thought that Indians were back on track.
But then came the “fevicol” jodi – Nasir Jamshed and Younis Khan. These two played out the seamers very well and then went hitting the part timers for runs. Well, I feel there were few crucial turning points in the game:
- Nasir Jamshed’s LBW appeal in 17th over of the match. LBW appeal by Ashwin and Dhoni but was turned down by the umpire. While he missed the inside edge that carried to Sehwag at first slip. If this was given out, then things would have been different.
- Nasir Jamshed’s dropped catch by Yuvraj. Well as they say Catches win Matches, India lost the match due to this catch. A juicy, easy catch to Yuvi at point was dropped and Jamshed given a life. Had this been taken, India would have fancied their chance !
- Shoaib Malik’s catch but a no-ball. A great delivery by Ashwin, Shoaib tried to cut to 3rd man, but edged to Dhoni who took a smart catch. But who knew what would happen after this ! Well, the umpires checked for a no-ball and guess what ? It was a no ball. so, Shoaib is back on crease, gets a free hit and samshes it for a six !! Had this been taken care of, Indians could have definitely gone for the final assault.
These were the most crucial turning point in today’s match at Chepauk. If these didn’t happen, India would have seriously pulled this one off and taken a lead in the ODI series. Well, things were not to be this way.
So, India’s sports calendar ends on a low note, bad performance in the Olympics, humiliating defeat by England and now this. I hope that India win the next match – on 3rd January – and start 2013 on a winning note !