India win Compaq Cup

An undercooked Team India, which was coming out of a long lay-off and with a few star players (Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan) injured, won the Compaq Cup in Sri Lanka after beating the hosts in a close game in the Finals.

India’s win came on the back of Sachin Tendulkar’s 44th ODI Ton and owed thanks to Harbhajan Singh’s 3rd 5-wicket haul!

For the first time, in my view, India got her batting order right. Dinesh Karthik, who killed off his Test career on India’s last tour of Sri Lanka, probably did much the same to his ODI career in the first two games that he played in the Compaq Cup. I reiterate that I have nothing against the lad. He is a good player and more power to him. However, when it comes to crunch situations, he repeatedly fails to deliver. Prior to the start of the series, I had predicted that he would carry drinks for India. Thanks to Gautam Gambhir’s injury and Team India’s muddled thinking, Karthik was asked to open in the first two ODIs. He failed in both. Further, his batting meant that Sachin Tendulkar had to change his style of play.

In yesterdays’ game, Tendulkar opened with Rahul Dravid, whose stability allowed Tendulkar to play the way he normally does — really well and freely.

The other change that I have yelled for was for captain M. S. Dhoni to walk in at the fall of the first wicket. In yesterdays’ game, he did so and the change was remarkable. He brought a calm solidity to the batting. Although he fell just when things were starting to get interesting (when the batting PowerPlay was taken), he had built a solid foundation to India’s innings by the time he left.

In the end, thanks to that foundation, although I thought India floundered a bit between overs 40-45, the score was respectable and good.

That Sri Lanka gave that total a real shake is a credit to their emergence as a strong ODI team these days. I do like the look of the Sri Lanka team. The team has some excellent bowlers and with the rapid strides made of late by Samaraweera, Kandamby and Dilshan — not to mention his now famous DilScoop — the batting looks strong too, especially when you consider the experience provided by Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardane.

In the end, India emerged winners. The margin of victory (46 runs) might seem comfortable. However, India did have some scares, not to mention poor fielding and dropped catches. India needs to do more work in these departments before it can think of laying a fingerprint on the Champions Trophy.

However, it was nice to see Harbhajan Singh get a 5-fer with good bowling and not the spear-em-in sort that he normally resorts to in ODIs. This bodes well for India in the season ahead.

— Mohan

12 responses to “India win Compaq Cup

  1. Srikanth Mangalam

    It may sound all too cliched but Tendulkar’s innings was once again godly. He seems to make it look so easy that we all take it for granted and some of us easily forget such innings. I wonder where would India be without him!

    On the bowling front, I thought Raina is a vastly improved bowler and the persistence with Yuvraj as bowler has paid off. Even though they fielded badly, the Indians never gave up in their intensity. This is a great team and as Ian Bishop said, they need to fix the simplest of elements in the game, that being their fielding.

  2. Srikanth
    Agree with your comments on Sachin – so many people are ready to jump and criticise and question his value when occassionally he fails but they forget the longevity and consistency at the highest level of standards he performs to. yeah I heard Bish going on and on about fielding standards – we all know that it will only improve incrementally and will never attain the level of SA or OZ or NZ. Fielding competence is just not inherent and Robin Singh can only improve the standard to an extent but we have to remember the raw materials he is dealing with. Hats off to MSD for his batting , calmness and handling of the bowling attack. If at all there is any gripe (give him credit for the victory in the finals after a long time) it would be – there was no need for trying Ishant when Raina and Yuvi were bowling well and giving runs less than the asking rate. Also if you noticed, Sangakkara didn’t say a word about India and its performance in the post match presentation while Sachin and MSD did about the Srilankan team. Can’t wait for the Champions Trophy with Sehwag and Gambhir returning to the team

  3. Ganesh Devarajan

    Super Tendulkar ! Risk free yet such an aggressive innings! 44th hundred! Does Sachin know that century is actually 100 runs 🙂 I am also very happy for the ‘wall’ . Hats off to Bajji, Yuvi and Raina. Dhoni does not seem to get pressurized as a captain. It’s all good for us now.

  4. Great victory in finals and great innings by Tendulkar.

    Now if we can look at “dark lines in the silver cloud”.

    1. Anti-TN group won and Dinesh was dropped. After a bad umpiring decision in the NZ game and a single failure against Srilanka. Instead Virat Kohli was selected and Virat Kohli dropped a sitter of a catch. If Dinesh had dropped such a catch, he would have excommunicated to Bora Bora Island cricket team. Dhoni must have missed atleast 2 run-outs.

    2. Ishant Sharma was bowling short outside the off-stump to check if the SL players can play the square-cut shot.

    3. Yusuf Pathan not sure what he is doing for the team – bowling or batting ? and definitely not fielding.

  5. @gnbmdr

    lose your persecution complex.

  6. Mohan,

    While I don’t mind Dhoni batting at number 3, I only wish he doesn’t hide behind the rest if the opening partnership fails at the start.

    Ganguly was accused of something similar by Greg.

  7. “laying a fingerprint on the Champions Trophy”…Is this first of Mohanisms for this season? 🙂

  8. india won the tri series mainly thanks to umpire asoka de silva.he refused a lbw decision of yuvraj singh when he was in 2 or something near.(bowling of ajantha mendis).but we never lost like indians .we gave a good fightback.

    ishant sharma.harbahjan singh they don’t know how to behave in a cricket match.every time ishant sharma got a wicket he was shouted to the batsman and he always has something to tell to the dismissed batsman.Be polite.

  9. Clearly Ashocker Desilva is incompetent and must get the sack! But for him Sri Lanka might have been the best team in the world! Indeed but for him Sri Lanka may have been the first country to have put a man on Uranus or sent a spaceship to the Sun!

  10. I’m Glad India won and it was a treat to watch Sachin in a Flourish..

    But it makes me sad to find.
    1. India still depends on Sachins and Dravids to win.
    2. The Indian Bowling line up looks ordinary with out Zaheer.
    3. Rainas and Dhonis can score only when a strong the Opening is strong..
    4. Yusuf’s “Street cricket” approach looks pathetic. we should find a more sensible hitter. Irfan seems to be a better fit.

  11. Tendulkar and Dravid can never win in India. If they don’t score a century, fans yell “where is the Tendulkar/Dravid of old?”. If they hit a century, the fans yell, “Gosh we are still dependent on Tendulkar and Dravid.” Man, it must be tough being an India fan!

  12. Ok its nice to win. But who cares about the Compaq cup, this is just a warm up for the real prize “The Champions Trophy”

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