Category Archives: World Cup

T20 match reviews from Sportstar

Here are the reviews for the matches in the Super8’s and knockout games –

And here is Rohit Brijnath’s feature article on T20 – It is excitable, unruly, unsubtle and fun.

-Mahesh-

Symonds says…

Symonds has criticized the way the Indians have celebrated. He has obviously been pissed off at the reception that the Indian team got at Mumbai and also the way the team celebrated soon after beating Pakistan in the final.

This is what he had to say –

Something has been sparked inside of me, watching them carry on over the last few days. We have had a very successful side and I think watching how we celebrate and how they celebrate, I think we have been pretty humble in the way we have gone about it.

And personally, I think they have got far too carried away with their celebrations. It has definitely sparked passion inside of us. It has certainly spiced it up as well

Yup. I’ve watched how you guys celebrate, Symonds – like shoving the President of an International Cricket Board out of the stage after winning. If you call that humble celebrations, I would like to know how you would celebrate when you are not.

For a country like India were cricket is the second religion and where the sport hasn’t seen much success, winning the World cup without big name players is a big deal and giving the team a 20km ticker tape welcome is a way of celebrating their success. Don’t tell me there are no ticker tape parades in Australia – I even remember being  in the crowd in this one .

Symonds has also said this –

Something gets triggered inside of you, something is burning inside of you – it is your will for success or your animal instinct that wants to bring another team down. We have been at the top for so long, it is like someone has taken the favourite thing you own from you and you want it back

Now, I can understand that. Australia have been the top side in World cricket and it ought to hurt when you get beaten and I am sure it will stir you up. I am also sure Australia will bounce back, for it has the players and the experience to do so – but I don’t quite understand why you need to bag the way other teams (or nations) celebrate…

-Mahesh-

BCCI prize announcement

BCCI announced that the WC winning team would get USD 2 Million. I do not have any problems with the board giving out money to the players, but I thought singling out Yuvraj Singh for his hitting 6 sixes (which is no doubt a great feat) and offering him 1 Crore (10 Million) Rupees was a bit much.

India won the tournament on the back of some fine consistent performances from the likes of RP Singh, Gambhir, Pathan etc and I feel that rewarding Yuvraj alone is not right. Am I alone in feeling this way?

Your thoughts ??

-Mahesh-

India Pak Final Highlights

For those who missed out the game, here it is –

Indian Innings

India T20 World cup champs

What a great final! The match went right down to the wire. Pakistan needed 13 of the last over and Joginder starts with a wide. The next ball is a dot ball. Ball number 2 is full toss hoisted straight down the ground for a 6. Six more needed of 4 balls and Misbah-ul-Haq who had played such a cool innings plays a funny looking shot to hit the ball behind the keeper and Sreesanth takes the catch!

India win the match by 5 runs and are the Twenty20 World cup champs.

-Mahesh-

Finals mid way mark

India have scored 157 for 5 in their 20 overs. Dhoni called the toss correctly and chose to bat, and India looked to start well racing to 25 in the third over before Yusuf Pathan fell. From then on, it was a bit of a struggle for India. Apart from Gambhir and Rohit Sharma, all other batsmen struggled to score freely and that was mainly due to some fine bowling from Pakistan.

The par score appears to be 180 and India are over 20 runs short. But they are still in with a shot. At Durban, Pakistan had trouble chasing 141, but this is a different match, different conditions and a different ground. If India can bowl as well as the Pakistanis, we have a great battle on the cards….

Chak De, India! You can do it…

-Mahesh-

Dhoni is made of sterner stuff!

He is a street smart intelligent cricketer, a cool head and tremendous belief in his ability. I have been watching the T20 matches and especially the way Dhoni has been batting in the games. He has been a real revelation. He has hardly looked like giving his wicket away. He has put his head down everytime and ensured that he bats right through to the end.

Yesterday he came in at the end of the 14th over and stayed on till the penultimate delivery when he was run out. 36 off 21 balls with 4 fours and a six. The boundaries were safe hits in the gaps mostly.

Take the South africa game. Dhoni comes in the 11th over and again is run out 2 balls before the end of the innings. 45 of 33 balls with 4 fours and a six. Again ahrdly any hits in the air, clean htting in the gaps, and sensible responsible batting.

And in the England game he came in the 16th over, stayed till the end making 10 off 8 balls, no boundaries or sixers and remained not out watching the Yuvraj blitz at the other end.

I am really looking forward to the ODI series now.

— Sanjay

The best two teams

Before the tournament started, if you had asked me who the semi-final favourites are – my answer would have been Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand. I am sure a lot of people’s reply would have been the same. An India Pakistan final would have never even crossed anyone’s mind at that stage.

But looking back, they have been the two best teams on display. Pakistan have been outstanding – they’ve beaten everyone, except India. And that too in a bowl out – after they tied the game. Shoaib Malik has led them from the front with his batting and people like Misbah-ul-Haq have supported him well. Their bowling also has a very good variety in Asif, Afridi, Gul and Tanvir – no wonder they are not missing Shoaib Akthar as Sambit Bal points out.

India have also looked good in the tournament. Their only loss has been to NZ in a match they should have won after a brilliant start. India dominated the next three games against England, South Africa and Australia. Unlike Australia, where the middle order has looked suspect, India’s middle order is thriving with some good batting from Yuvraj, Uthappa and Dhoni. Sehwag and Gambhir have also given the team a flying start in a couple of occasion. The Indian bowlers have also bowled well in the tournament and the fielding is a far cry from the shoddy display in England.

It’s going to be a good final and I am really looking forward to it…

-Mahesh-

The Subcontinentals edge out The Antipodeans

In an unexpected twist, the script for the T20 World Cup was dynamically altered — or the script writer was asleep on the wheel — in a dramatic manner that sees an India-Pakistan final! Before the tournament had started, experts were talking of the following combinations for the final: Australia-England, Australia-SouthAfrica, SouthAfrica-England, Australia-NewZealand, SriLanka-England… Not many of the experts’ picks featured either Pakistan or India for the final! After all, here were two teams that were bundled out of the ODI World Cup in March-April 2007 in the very 1st stage itself!

The two Subcontinental powerhouses were in considerable disarray subsequent to that early-exit. Pakistan lost a coach. Although Greg Chappell didn’t suffer the same fate as the Pakistan coach, he too departed as India coach. The Pakistan cricket Board went about their repairs in a quiet and seemingly efficient manner. The dead wood were cleared out and some fresh faces/legs were brought in. Geoff Lawson was hired in as coach — a smart move. And a new captain was put in charge. But then, as is always the case with Pakistan cricket, just when things seem to go right, they don’t! A player smacked another player with his bat during practice and out went Shoaib Akhtar from the team! More enquiries. More navel gazing. More disarray. No one gave them a chance!

India, meanwhile, had lost its coach. And the BCCI bungled its way through its appointment of a team coach! What more do you expect of a cricket board that puts in a late advert for a coach with requests for applications to be sent to cricketborad@gmail.com!! That’s right boRAd. And yes. They have specified a GMAIL account. Amidst this extreme aura of unprofessionalism, the team did well in England with a “74 years young” cricket manager. The team went to South Africa with a new captain, without a coach, with Lalchand Rajput as cricket manager and with a young and rather inexperienced team.

But yet, after Pakistan beat New Zealand easily and after India edged out Australia in a thriller, India and Pakistan meet in the finals in two days’ time. Who could have scripted this any better?

It perhaps just goes to show that T20 shortens the gap between the good teams and the weaker teams. This can only be good for world cricket. After all, I don’t think many people would be interested in a tournament where all Australia needed to do to win it was to turn up!

The finals should be a blast. It will be an advertiser’s dream as many millions will be glued to their TV sets in the Subcontinent. I just can’t wait for Monday!

— Mohan

The Subcontinentals Vs The Antipodeans

In an unlikely twist India crafted — yes “crafted” — a victory over South Africa that enabled a show down between two Subcontinental teams and two Antipodean teams. It perhaps represented the balance of cricket in these modern days. The subcontinent has the money, the crazed following and the passion while the Antipodes has the current champions.

It is strange, however, that two teams that were knocked out in the first stage of the 2007 ODI World Cup, less than six months back, are in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup!

India beat South Africa at “their own den” (in the words of Ravi Shastri) and on a pitch that was tailor-made for — and perhaps pre-ordered by — the South Africans. This was a green top that afforded bounce, seam, movement and zip. India perhaps exploited the conditions better.

The next time South Africa visit and whinge about the pitches in the Subcontinent, someone should remind them of Thursday September 20th @ Durban — the day South Africa were beaten and bundled out of the T20 World Cup.

Once again, Durban had caused an upset. Once again South Africa had been eliminated from an important tournament on the world stage at Kingsmead, Durban. Once again South Africa had choked at an important point in a major tournament.

So, the only side to not lose a single lead-up game — South Africa — bowed out of the tournament after their first loss in the T20 World Cup! Australia had lost to Zimbabwe and Pakistan. Pakistan had lost to India. India had lost to New Zealand. New Zealand had lost to South Africa. And yet, the semi-finals line-up reads Pakistan V New Zealand and Australia V India!

It was a spirited performance by young India which was dealt a double-blow in the morning: a juicy pitch and an injury-blow to Yuvraj Singh — hero of the previous game against England and middle-order anchor.

Rohit Sharma played brilliantly after India suffered a few early set-backs. The early set-backs were mainly of their own doing. Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag played cautiously for a few overs. And then, Gambhir had a brain explosion. Sehwag tried a cute tickle to third man when a slip was in place. The ‘keeper pounced on the offering. Dinesh Karthik was out first ball to a flick off his leg. And Uthappa, after appearing to steady the ship was another batsman to suffer a brain explosion! The intial hard work appeared to have slipped. But then Rohit Sharma and M. S. Dhoni took India to a defendable total.

The bowlers had to deliver and they did! I thought the bowlers were the true match winners for India. In particular, R. P. Singh who had 4 for 13 from his 4 overs! R. P. Singh has grown from strength to strength since the start of this season and is a young lad with a bright future ahead of him. He is a clever bowler and has everything in his arsenal except perhaps a good slower ball.

Sreesanth was a bit erratic initially but it was good to see that he was trying hard. Although his first ball slid down leg-side for a wide and 4 byes, his intent was right. He was trying te inswinger to Herschelle Gibbs as opposed to his stock ball, the outswinger. He picked up two wickets too.

Irfan Pathan was sensational too. His in-swinger was back and one can perhaps claim that he is back to full form. The rhythm is there. He is running through the crease efficiently and the swing is there too. His pace has dipped a bit, but that can certainly be worked up over time with more match-fitness. And Harbhajan Singh, after a wayward first over that caused an end-switch, was efficient and effective too. The bowlers won the match for India in the end.

Joginder Sharma was good in patches. He bowled at least one hit-me ball every over. I am sure he will improve with every match as long as someone tells him to stop talking to Ajit Agarkar 🙂

I thought the man-of-the-match should have gone to R. P. Singh — in a game that is dominated by batsmen, such an exquisite and clinical performances should not be overlooked in my view. Having said that, Rohit Sharma was a deserving man-of-the-match. He is a young man with a bright career ahead of him in the Indian middle-order.

— Mohan