Sunday, June 6, 2010


I just saw 22 overs of India - Sri Lanka match yesterday. The first 22 overs. Did follow a bit after that on Cricinfo, but without much interest. I was surprised (and unsure) about the move to send Yusuf Pathan at No. 4. I was even more surprised (and even more unsure) of the move to take the batting Powerplay after 17 overs.

Eventually, I thought that it was a good idea... but wrongly implemented. When 2 well-set batsmen bat out the batting powerplay without losing a wicket, there can be no excuse for the team gathering just 39 runs in those 5 overs. Mendis bowled 2 of the Powerplay overs for 6 runs. R Ashwin hit as many runs in one ball from this bowler in a non-Powerplay over man! Then what was the point in having Yusuf Pathan batting?

When the umpire signalled batting powerplay at the start of the 18th over, the commentators were just as surprised as everyone else... and were expecting fireworks and pyrotechnics from Yusuf Pathan and Virat Kohli. They said that the move was a very sensible one. India's three batsmen best suited to Powerplay overs, in their opinion, were Yusuf Pathan, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina. With two of them well - set and batting, and the third one slotted to come in next, they said that the move to opt for the batting Powerplay is good and positive cricket.

They even said that if India could manage about 12 an over in the 5 overs, it would put India well on course for a 300+ score and a chance to go for the bonus point. What happened next was not in the script...

India managed a measly 7.8 runs an over in those 5 overs... limped their way to 268 for 9 in 50 overs... and lost comprehensively (tired of using this word again and again) to the Sri Lankans... who have gotten into this habit of knocking India out of multi-team tournaments.

So what was being touted as a brave initiative by the Indians eventually turned out to be a 'Power'less move!

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