When you see people on the streets, playing drums, celebrating and burning crackers, especially when it’s not a Diwali day, then you can figure out that the Indian cricket team has posted a win over Pakistan. A few days ago, the same thing happened everywhere. The electricity and excitement over the contest between these two teams easily differentiates it with other sporting events. It was delightful game of cricket where we saw the two teams play amazing cricket.
The match started with Pakistan opting to bat first. I think the opening pair of Hafeez and Jamshed was unlike any other Pakistani opening pair I have seen. All the previous opening combinations for Pakistan had the same approach of hammering the bowlers in the first power-play by taking additional risk, however this pair not only scored fast but also hit the ball along the ground as well. Hafeez and Jamshed both produced a textbook performance which can be included in the coaching manuals for the game. They were consistently hitting the gaps and maintained a healthy run rate throughout the game.They tested the Indian bowlers and fielders in all aspects. However in my opinion Pakistan could havescored a little more to take the game completely away from the Indians. They missed out on doing so thanks to some spirited bowling by Ashok Dinda in the death overs. I think his performance was one of the key elements in the Indian victory and compensated to some extent to the lack of energy displayed by the Indian fielders, which is an essential requirement of the Indo-Pak match.
To me the Indian Cricket Team becomes most dangerous in a ‘do or die’ situation, which they proved in this match. They had a capable batting lineup to chase such a stiff target and they did it with perfection. The partnership between Sachin and Virat was an indication of how the Indian team is evolving where Sachin took the important role of a mentor and let Virat do the damage much like he used to do at the beginning of his career. Sachin himself played quite well and maintained a strike
rate of more than 100. Virat displayed great skills of playing both pace and spin.He was using the depth of the crease to deal with Ajmal and was consistently hitting the gaps. He relished every opportunity to hit the boundaries to maintain the scoring rate. Another key contributor in the run chase was Rohit Sharma, who quietly did his job after a dodgy first over, where he started his innings by playing across the line. He however quickly recognized his mistake and from then on played with a straight bat. The Indian batsmen smartly dealt with the pacers of the Pakistan team and scored many boundaries in the middle overs. The Pakistan fielders were as usual not upto the mark and crumbled under pressure and ended up making some silly and expensive mistakes. Before the finals this is going to be a wakeup call for Dave Whatmore and he really need to relook at the approach of Pakistani players in the field.
To sum up, I believe this match was special due to some very good cricket played by both the teams. Ultimately the passion for the game made the difference and I can clearly illustrate Virat’s inning as an ideal example for that. At the end all I can say that, when they (Indian Cricket Team) find themselves in a ‘do or die’ situation the men in blue get it right.