Thursday, September 6, 2007

6th ODI: Super Win for India!

What a rocking thriller-cliffhanger-of a match!!!

First the Indian bowlers struck gold by taking early wickets, then Owais Shah, Pieterson and debutant Luke Wright spoiled their party by some truly wonderful batting. Especially Dimitri Mascarenhas's delightful batting in the last over for 5 consecutive sixes was straight from one of those 'Believe it or not' series. Experts even commented that this last over could easily cost India the match!

I love Dimitri Mascarenhas for the sheer joy he brings to the viewers - what clean hitting! - He reminds me of Ricardo Powell of WI who sadly went into oblivion as fast as the balls he hit for sixes! (Readers would not be surprised to know that Dimitri was brought up in Australia.)

Chasing 317 in a do-or-die match was never going to be easy, especially for poor chasers like India.

It needed a herculean effort from everyone who could pitch in - and as the stakes were high, the already high expectations from Sachin-Sourav-Rahul sky rocketed. And did they fulfil the expectations? Boy, they did and did it in style! Sachin and Sourav batted superbly, timed the ball perfectly and hit cleanly. Especially Sachin was a treat to watch with ferocious cuts and pulls and dabs and crisp drives and big hits. Sourav being Sourav delighted the viewers and supporters by dancing down to hit Broad out of the ground - Both gave India a start that made 316 easily gettable.

But as it often happens in Bollywood movies and Indian run chases, when the going is good, it turns on its head against the run of the play. Both Sourav and Sachin got out back to back after giving India a tremendous start and then Dravid came and went and so did Yuvraj- suddenly it was the great Indian saver this English summer - Dhoni and the dashing Uthappa at the crease trying to keep Indian hopes alive by making a match of it. Most of Indian supported would have lost their hopes by now and switched off their television sets.

Dhoni was not on top of his form, but was doing his best to keep fighting. But the young Robin Uthappa had something else in his mind. He literally played Robin Hood and robbed the English victory from their hands playing an intelligent innings. It was a display of tremendous character, never-say-die spirit and intelligent and clean batting by the 21 year old. Not once did he flinch, and in fact, in the last ball of the second last over, he hit the ball where he could have taken two, but showed super maturity and took only one to retain strike for the all important last over! I have a feeling here that no other Indian batsman - how-so-ever senior or talented, would have done what Uthappa did. He shouldered the responsibility thrust on him by the situation and what a cool head he has on those able shoulders! The scoop and then the off drive - he clearly outplayed the English think tank on the field and brought India a wonderful victory to get them back in the series!

Robin Uthappa, take a bow!


Cuckoo said...

All I can say.. do we still miss Sehwag ? :-)

Ranjeet said...

Regarding Sehwag, I think if he regains his form, he is a terrific asset to the team! Let us see what he does in Twenty20