Saturday, August 25, 2007

India squeak home, despite being not as good

Well, the rubbisher side managed to get home by the narrowest of margins: half a run.

Controversy broke out when the referee decided that India had 0.5 run advantage over England. Despite obvious cheating and bribing of the umpires, India’s victory never looked certain.

Scoring a mere 329 ½ on a feather bed, India struggled to contain the superior England batsman. Paul Collingwood knocked up a massive 27 and Kevin Pietersen contributed a weighty 25.

The sneaky Asian Russian Dimitri Mascarenhas smote five sixes in his 52 off 39. Although he’s still rubbish. Matthew Prior fluked some runs too. Most interestingly was Stuart Broad’s 25 (20 of which came from the last over). He is certainly proving his worth as a genuine all-rounder, and, on current form, seems more reliable than Andrew Flintoff with the bat.

Cheating aside, England lost for two reasons: first, none of the batsman converted a good start into a significant innings. I suspect that this was principally due to the frenetic nature of the run-chase. They were not afforded the luxury of time as they were in the first ODI and batsman could not “build an innings” in a classical style. Perhaps the sustained unconstrained hitting-out is a skill that our boys have yet to acquire?

Secondly, England’s middle order was pinned down by India’s slow bowlers, particularly by my hero Piyush Chawla. Who is great. Whereas England decided to drop Monty Panesar, our best bowler. They didn’t even picked a part-time spinner, who, on a turning track, was badly missed. Monty may have increased the number of wickets taken, but we’ll never know. Spinners are great.

In all, you could say that this tactical error threw away their lead. Another instance of them Trying To Be Too Clever. Why change a winning formula? Why? No, don’t answer that question. Just blame the Indians. It’s their fault.

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