India wins again in cordial environment


India played an ODI last night. India won, again.

Once again, the nature of the pitch wasn’t an issue for intense pre-match analysis and debate. Once again, the toss wasn’t an issue to moan about — one of the teams won the toss and I can’t even remember which one! Again, the over-rate wasn’t a problem in this match. The Third-World sight screen held up quite well in a completely packed Third World stadium. The word “monkey” and the city “Sydney” weren’t mentioned in the same breath by everyone around with a clear intent of selling books and apologising for comments taken out of context later.

Duh! Australia wasn’t playing a cricket game! Clearly India was playing someone else because the on-field camaraderie between the two teams was excellent.

India defeated England at Indore to lead the 7-match series 2-0. India won on the back of another Man-of-the-Match performance from Yuvraj Singh, who cracked another century and also took 4 wickets.

Unlike the 1st ODI at Rajkot, England was in the contest for spells. But England was unable to maintain its intensity. England let India advance at key moments in the game. With India at 29-3 with Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma back in the pavilion, instead of going for the jugular, England allowed Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir to rebuild. Gambhir and Yuvraj batted with the calm assurance of a pair of Buddhist monks and built a platform from which Yusuf Pathan was able to launch! And launch he did with a 29-ball half-century. In their response to a score of 292, England started cautiously, but was unable to maintain a tempo through the innings. A smart power-play choice was followed by some lusty blows from Flintoff. But 2 quick wickets from Yuvraj Singh broke the back of England’s determination and the rest of the innings just crumbled.

I am glad India stuck with Yusuf Pathan. He bats well and can bowl a few overs too. I am also glad that Dhoni is using Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag as bowlers.

England are a better ODI team than the 0-2 series result suggests. I just feel that England have got a few things wrong. I really do not know what Ravi Bopara, a specialist batsman, is doing at #8! That is truly bizarre. Owais Shah is not a big hitter but a finisher in the Bevan-mould. At best, he could be a #4 player. So what he is doing at #3 only England will know! Matt Prior is not opener-material either. Moreover, in India, England needs a spinner like Graeme Swann instead of James Anderson. Samit Patel won’t do as the only spinner in the team! Also, Kevin Pietersen needs to bite the bullet and come in at #3. He can organise the play if an early wicket falls. So for the next ODI, I’d like to see the following England line-up:

Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Kevin Pietersen, Owais Shah, Freddie Flintoff, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior, Samit Patel, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Steve Harmison.

By the way, i3j3Cricket’s “Adjective Watch” department has been closed down till the next India-Australia tour!

— Mohan

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14 responses to “India wins again in cordial environment

  1. Can’t Kevin open the innings? A radical thought perhaps.

    After all, isnt one day cricket all about promoting your best batsmen up the order to help them play as many overs as possible (may be this may sound too mid/late 90s 🙂 )

  2. With Australia it is a bit like Vettori says – http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,24667597-23212,00.html

    With England, one can simply play cricket till the jellybeans, ICL and IPL pop out onto the pitch.

  3. Mohan

    You couldn’t resist taking one final dig at the Aussies, eh? 🙂

    I think Yuvraj has placed himself in a position where he can make a strong bid for the test spot that Ganguly has vacated.

  4. Yes, the operative word was “final” 🙂

    Has Yuvraj done enough to claim Ganguly’s spot? Not sure. India fans may not be willing to forgive him for his Australia adventure so easily.

  5. Mohan

    The banner on I3J3 still has Ganguly and Kumble…at some stage i guess this will be redone to replaced by others?…sad but true…perhaps Yuvraj?

    Raj

  6. chris hutchinson

    Come on Mohan that’s cheap.

  7. @chris

    What is? That I have decided to stop banging on about the Aussies poor play? Sorry. Happy to continue! But then, I need a break as well 🙂

  8. chris hutchinson

    Even cheaper!

  9. Gee! Isn’t it great to see Aussies whine! As Roebuck says, “Australia grizzled about events on the field. Annoyed to be cast as the game’s foremost sledgers, the current mob run to the umpires. They do not understand the bemusement this causes in opposing camps.”

    I am certainly amused!

    The world has been at the receiving end of Aus nonsense for yonks! Take it on the chin and move on. What’s this about “cheap” and “cheaper” Chris? The Aussies know a boomerang when they see one. You flung it out. Now it has swung around and crashed into you!

  10. chris hutchinson

    Hmmmmm!

    Just like the “metaphoric” Aussie retort!

    Go on! I love it!

    If you want me to actually whine. That’s more Indian over the last ………………………..

  11. Pingback: Team composition for the 3rd ODI « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  12. Thursday, November 20, 2008
    Peter Lalor on Matthew Hayden

    NO matter how calm a cricketer tries to be amid the distractions on and off the field, karma has a way of sinking its frustrating teeth into his behind.

    Matthew Hayden may have had reason to rue his own words when he took strike at the Gabba yesterday.

    Lacking diplomacy last week, the big Queenslander had blamed “Third World” conditions for some of the over-rate problems on the subcontinent. He pointed out there were often delays because of sightscreen malfunctions and the like.

    “Often we find ourselves with hands on hips waiting for someone to either face up or someone in the sightboard to move away – all the little frustrations that happen in Third World countries,” Hayden had said.

    India exploded with righteous indignation.

    It was unfortunate because Hayden is a long-time fan of the country and an enthusiastic tourist to the subcontinent. The big man loves the big place and embraces its culture with genuine warmth.

    He had been singing Indian cricket’s praises just minutes before dropping the phrase, but by now Australian cricketers of all people should know that ill-chosen words can cause all sorts of problems.

    And so there was Hayden back in the alleged first world and ready to face the first ball at the Gabba yesterday.

    The ground was a bomb site after storms the night before. The large white sails that once formed the roof above one section of the stand lay shredded across a broad expanse of the seats while engineers were called to test the structural integrity of the supporting pylons.

    A few weeks ago the Australians had been disappointed to see the small crowds attending Indian Tests, but only 12,498 people showed up yesterday.

    The fans with tickets to the damaged area and the corporates who were due to eat in the dining room below were redirected to other sections of the ground. There was plenty of room.

    Later a section of sail fell down on to an inhabited section blocking their view.

    Outside traffic was diverted as cranes were brought in to repair the damage.

    Play started half an hour late because the covers had blown off during the night and the square had taken a soaking. Ground staff worked feverishly with oversized hair dryers trying to fix the problem.

    As Chris Martin stood at the top of his mark ready to deliver the first ball of the game, Hayden pulled away. There was a problem with movement near the sightscreen.

    Play was delayed for a few more minutes while the fourth umpire climbed into the relevant section and suggested the entrance above it not be used.

    A few overs later there was another delay as Tim Southee waited to bowl. Again there were sightscreen problems. After much arm waving, somebody realised what was going on but more time was lost. The same thing happened later and drinks were taken early.

    New Zealand’s cricketers were patient and understanding. After all it wasn’t as bad as they had put up with the week before in the dusty provincial cricketing outpost of Sydney during the tour match. The Paddington end sightscreen there had malfunctioned on Saturday. Come Sunday the Randwick end machine had given up the ghost.

    The ground staff decided to use two small tractors to shift it when needed, which had led to long delays and comical scenes as the vehicles bucked and slipped and struggled to move the screens.

    It’s a tough tour for the Kiwis. Jesse Ryder had copped a bad stomach bug from the water or the food and had spent a few days in the team hotel on a drip, but had recovered enough to be back for this Test.

    Hayden only lasted 18 minutes at the Gabba yesterday, caught out by the foreign bounce and a touch of indecision.

    The day before the match he had said a batsman had two options on such a wicket; belt it or block it. The first 20 overs, he said, were the hardest. As it was, he was done by the trampolining bounce inside 20 balls.

    Hayden started to hit his stride in the last two Tests in India. He came into the series after a long lay-off with an injury, struggled to find rhythm and good umpiring in the first pair of matches but was getting there with 83, 16no, 16 and 77 in his last four innings.

    Now he has to quickly readjust his game to trying home conditions. Australia’s second innings will almost certainly be Hayden’s last Test knock at his home ground. He would love to give Queenslanders something to smile about after a hell of a week.

    Matthew Hayden on Matthew Hayden

    MATTHEW HAYDEN has defended the “third-world country” remark that so infuriated India this month, but insisted he meant no disrespect to the nation or its citizens. Senior Indian officials, Mahendra Dhoni and an army of angry bloggers criticised Hayden over the comment, which he used when describing the factors that contributed to Australia’s slow over rate during the Border-Gavaskar series. But Hayden, while standing by the comment, feels he has been the victim of “certain sections of humanity [who] want to take someone like myself down”.

    “The politics of cricket has gone mad,” Hayden told The Tonk. “One of the things I love the most about India, is that you walk around the back of the hotel, and there’s a man who’s selling peanuts on the street for one cent a month, and he holds his head so high, and is so proud, as if he was making $2 million a month. It frustrates me that certain sections of humanity want to take someone like myself down, who is a really great admirer of the country, and who has really built his career on the back of the country in a very proud and honoured way.

    “We’ve had our competitive spats, but I’m sure that’s only enhanced the reputation of India. It’s made them play better against me, and I’ve played better against them. I stand by what I said. There is a large portion of India that is third world, that is below the poverty line. But from my experience, it is those people who I admire the most. They are the ones who send out the messages of love and passion and have that amazing enthusiasm for life. I greatly admire, and appreciate, all the wonderful sentiments they have conveyed to me over the years, and for anyone to suggest otherwise is way off the mark.”

    Posted by Homer at 11/20/2008 12:19:00 PM
    2 comments:
    Naresh said…
    well, you try to justify one mistake (the overrate fiasco at Nagpur) and you make more and more. First P.Ricky picks a fight with Border and Chappel (now ain;t it good to see some ozzies bickering!), then he talks of the “captains’ duty” to maintain over-rates (I vaguely recollect even “spirit of cricket” mentioned), and finally, someone strikes an idea – blame it on the third world. P.Ricky talked something like this too (“conditions in the sub-continent” makes the overrates problem worse for them), though not using “third world” explicitly like Hayden.

    Hayden deserved his first ball duck today – last innings at brisbane and all.

    and to think he takes IPL money from our poor third world country.

    I confess the thought crosses my mind – Steyn packing him off with a broken arm – just like Allan Donald did a long time back.

    2:56 AM, November 21, 2008
    scorpicity said…
    Hilarious that account by Lalor… for the first time I enjoyed his writing… I must be sick though, got to see a doctor or Lalor has already seen one.

    7:08 AM, November 21, 2008
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  13. Pingback: England lose…..again! - a1 India News.com

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