Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Yesterday's match between the teams led by the retired-Aussie captains was perhaps, by far, the best match of tournament thus far. It's ironic that it came in a 6th place v 7th place clash rather than a top-3 clash.

Both the teams yesterday, RR first and then DC, were dismissed in 19.5 overs. The fact that 20 wickets fell seems to suggest that the pitch must have been a good one for bowling as well. It is obvious that in a Twenty20 match, most wickets fall due to batsmen's errors rather than the bowlers' ability.

But yesterday, the bowlers enjoyed too. There was turn for Warne, the bouncers were used well by the quickies, and yet the average run rate for the match was almost 8 per over. The fact that the game went down to the wire - a victory margin of 2 runs - made it a perfect Twenty20 game for me.

A word on Rohit Sharma now. A lot has been written about the performance of the 40-year old SK Warne. Now, lets spare a thought for the 22-year old RG Sharma.

He played a fantastic innings yesterday - the lone fighting hand with wickets falling continuously at the other end. This boy was under pressure because voices everywhere felt that he did not deserve the chance to represent India in the World Twenty20 Championship coming up. He needed to make his bat prove a point.

He started a little rusty and there was a top-edge that was misjudged by mid-off running backwards. He was again lucky at the end when I was convinced that he was run out, and not Harmeet Singh, in the last over. Despite all this, he got a chance right at the end to see his team through to a win - 3 runs in 2 balls with 1 wicket to spare.

At this stage, a little more maturity or experience would have certainly helped. Rohit played one in the air and was promptly caught. When he had 2 balls, why did he want to finish it in 1? With the situation at 3 runs from 2 balls, I was convinced that he would go for a couple first. Nagpur has a big ground, and scoring 2s there is just as easy as scoring a single. There were plenty of gaps in the field. Infact, there were huge gaps on either side of the fielder who caught him at sweeper cover. If he could have gotten the equation down to 1 from 1, he could have gone for a aerial shot as the field would have been up.

I hope Rohit learns from this... because he has the ability and the talent to become a good finisher for Team India. And finishers finish with a win! He has two more 'home' matches with Deccan Chargers at Nagpur, his birth place. He will not find a better place to prove his worth and to prove that he deserves his ticket to the Caribbean islands.

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