Monday, September 3, 2007

5th ODI - India fight to stay afloat

The Indian batsmen, after an indifferent performance earlier, came back strongly in this match, led by a rejuvenated Sachin, and gave India a solid total.

Sachin was back to his 2nd ODI mode and he blasted the opposition bowlers all over the ground. It is always a treat to watch him in his elements. Ganguly played the perfect foil(though I wonder sometimes whether it is a necessity to play foil or just a cultural habit of Indian cricket) and also hit some wonderful strokes. Gambhir was good too and Yuvraj was ruthless after being lucky not to be given out when on 25. Dravid and Dhoni were scintillating and helped India reach a formidable 324.

The Indian bowlers started off well but the fielders started as miserably as the series has been for them. Senior pros dropped regulation catches, newcomers fumbled in stopping the ball and most importantly, the team dropped 3 sitters !!! Now, it is cardinal mistake if you drop a single sitter, but this time they were saved by 2 factors: Total Runs scored by India and M/s Duckworth and Lewis. A third factor was a combination of good bowling by Ganguly (made me wonder why was the ball not given to Yuvraj as well to bowl some slow medium pacers) and excellent work behind the stumps by Dhoni.

About England, Collingwood was awesome and led from front yesterday. Had it not been for rains and D&L, who knows what the results might have been.

Overall, Indians have managed to keep the series alive. With two more games to go, it sure makes for some interesting cricket.

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