Wednesday, February 25, 2009

7-8-6 of a T20 game at New Zealad!

7-8-6 of the first T20 match against New Zealand

This was the situation when New Zealand were at 160 for 3 and Yusuf Pathan came into bowl his fifth ball of an unfinished third over to Jacob Oram –

7 wickets in Hand
8 balls to go
6 runs were scored by Jacob Oram off the fifth ball
New Zealand registered an easy victory over world beaters in this most entertaining format of the game. Thus having a 2-0 lead over India in T20 Internationals with the third game scheduled for Friday February 27 2009. It is all right. The team that played better cricket won. New Zealand captain after winning the toss put in India to bat who were struggling at 101 for 7 at one stage still managed to get 162 runs on the board in the allotted 20 overs. Daniel Vettori having those magical figures of 4-0-18-1. That India could not contain as Pathans gave away as many as those runs in single overs from them. It is difficult to find faults with them in this format of the game.

What does India plan to equalize the current series and avoid a clean sweep of 3-0 from NZL in T20 game could only be known after 11:00 AM on the coming Friday. Hopefully, Dhoni is able to or made to realize that his act of leaving out his best wicket taking option in Praveen Kumar was not a good move. I do not mind if India looses the other game as long as they go down fighting. Seven wickets and as many balls to spare was hardly a fighting T20 game! Maybe the Kiwis knew the ground conditions better, maybe in this format chasing always allows more calculations possible for crafting a win or maybe it was not just the Indian day – Sehwag and Pathan did get some huge sixes against their names but their aggregates together was less than 50 runs.

I would not like to raise my fingers at anyone in particular though I feel that Rohit Sharma and to some extent Irfan Pathan will probably have to ear the brunt of axe that is more likely to fall on them – If Dhoni is in a mood to do something better than what his men did today at Christchurch, he should make some room to accommodate Praveen Kumar as well as Ravindra Jadeja in the final XI. Not that their inclusion could really make a big difference – if T20 means anything it involves much more skills than one likes to presume it as a matter of luck. New Zealand had better understanding of the ground condition and executed their plans and shots quite naturally. They were not hoisting sixes alone as some Indians thought is the only way to win a T20 game!

And for the die hard Indian cricket fans – it definitely is not that the team India could play as one unit every time it takes the field – even if all the eleven players have a good understanding of each other they could still lose to a team that plays a more balanced game!

Abhaya Sharma, India February 25 2009 3:23 PM IST

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