Friday, March 25, 2011

Match outcome of Quarter final against Australia, and its bearing on Indian gameplan

Ghosts (notions) that India have exorcised today by their winning performance in QF:

1) India can't win in WC knockouts without Sachin playing a big role (before you shout - I said 'big role' last happened in 1996 QF; counterpoint - a weak one, 2003 Kenya SF;-)

2) India can win WC knockouts without Yuvraj Singh in playing 11 (it seems irrelevant - but ahead of WC his position in side was under threat, so much so that Dhoni hadto qualify his left arm spin as the main reason why he started ahead of others like Raina)
3) India cannot score more than 30-40 for the last 7 wickets against Test teams (counter-point - all those collapses happened while batting first)
4) India don't know about anything about taking advantage of batting Powerplays
5) Aussies forget all setbacks and come blazing in knockout matches - they didn't really recover from the loss of a 12 year old record to Pak and missed out on 10-12 crucial runs in the first 10 overs (a case for MSD sending a flower bouquet to Afridi? They better do it fast - in another few days bouquests will be the last thing MSD can think of for Pak)
6) Raina still has a serious problem with short bowling - but after today maybe he can learn to live with it like Steve Waugh did

New ghosts that will haunt them for next 2 matches:

1)A non-bowling Sehwag chasing against a top team is like your 11th player sitting at the sidelines, just like a non-bowling Pathan batting first in ANY match. Time to think hard. Every time India chased the 7th batsman has come into play. Is it better to take Pathan and leave out Sehwag (as Gauti, with the form he showed today, can easily do Sehwag's job)???
2) Non performing captains are good in Davis Cap tennis matches. Skipper coming in at no.6 and becoming a walking wicket is a BIG worry. He is not playing either seam or spin well. Things are likely to get tougher as after 1 month of crickt on all grounds there will be no more batting beauties to get back in form.
3) Munaf or Sreesanth....(who gets injured by a Yuvraj on-drive at tomorrow's nets?

4) Playing just 2 quicks with Ashwin-Harbhajan-tiddly-widdly can backfire big time. We saw tip of the iceberg tonight with Munaf getting carted for a few runs.To play or not to play the 5th bowler???


Pakistan bowling attack is virtually unsurvivable to right handers with even a the slightest chink in spin / pace technique. Sachin, Yuvi and Gauti are to be used as GOLD. Sachin & Gauti are best to use Yuvi in SF?? Best not to tamper with the order - but these guys will need to be at peace with the need for all three of them will need to score AGAIN next match...while Raina can keep his cameo warm.
One more ghost that has been exorcised: Bhajji would have been a better choice than Nehra in the last over of South Africa match.....he has shown solidarity with skipper Dhoni by bowling the 50th over of Aussie innings and yielding 13 runs in it [ Note: He conceded 5 wides before the first delivery - so only 8 runs were officially scored. those 5 wides were the real mark of solidarity with skipper;-]

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