Posted by: tootingtrumpet | March 10, 2011

India vs The Netherlands – The Final Over of the Day

The match could have done with this.

Ball One – Associate members have done well when playing positive cricket, fearless in the Kevin O’Brien mode. The Netherlands were keen not to lose wickets, but blocked too many half-volleys and then lost wickets as they tried to accelerate. Juat as a positive mindset is hard for opponents to disrupt, so too is a negative mindset if adopted early.

Ball Two – Peter Borren effected something of a gear shift, but, unlike Ross Taylot yesterday (and understandably so) he was unable to sustain his assault and The Netherlands innings fizzled out 50 runs short of an interesting score.

Ball Three – With Sehwag trying to hit more or less every ball to the boundary and Harbhajan and others having a laugh and a joke in the dressing room, I’m not sure India were showing sufficient respect to the Dutch players. Three quick wickets later and the word “hubris” was on the Trumpet’s mind.

Ball Four – Yousuf Pathan was promoted to Number Three, one presumes in order to drive up the net run rate, but the game wasn’t won – far from it. The cricketing gods frown on those who believe they are the better side (on the day) without doing the hard yards to prove it. At 169-1 chasing 189, that makes sense, but at 69-1, it’s tempting fate.

Ball Five – Yuvraj Singh has a reputation for playing millionaire’s cricket, but he showed admirable sang froid to compile exactly the sort of innings India needed. Okay, it’s what he is there for, but his more illustrious colleagues lacked the application he showed. Reputations can be gained quickly and prove difficult to shake, so it may be time to consider Yuvraj the insurance the upper order hitters need. Who would have thought that a few years ago?

Ball Six – One of the characteristics of good batsmen is the ability to go through the gears. In tournament play, especially tournaments as long as this one, the collective ability to go through the gears from match to match rather than individually from over to over, is invaluable. India will need to go through the gears come the knockout stages as the batting, and attitude, today won’t be good enough at the sharp end.

 

The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999

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Responses

  1. Agree with all the points, Toots. Except may be the last one.The top order seems to have treated this as an exhibition game.One last day to relax before it gets really serious.SA, WI, and then the knock out. The Indian batsmen collectively did a reasonably good job of pacing the innings against England.Call it hubris or a casual attitude towards Cricket, Sehwag always gets bored against lesser opposition. I don’t like it. But that’s probably the new Indian national character as well. I donno.More enlightened minds may like to comment on this.

    In a way, I am happy that Yuvraj got the opportunity to finish the game two matches running.Good practice for the knockouts when Dhoni would loose the toss and India have to chase.

    I did not like the pitch though.Too slow.Only the hubris of Indian batsmen made it an interesting scoreline when they lost the 5th wicket.The Aussie pacers would have been cannon fodder on this pitch.

  2. The Indian batsmen clearly had problems motivating themselves for this game, and it remains to be seen if they are able to raise their game against the Saffers.
    But it’s the bowling I’m worried about. They are so predictably sub-standard, I dont see how they can perform any differently. In any of the remaining games – literally ANY given game – Harbhajan will go for 10-0-50-0, Zaheer for 10-0-45-2, Munaf/Nehra for 10-0-55-1, Chawla for 10-0-70-2, and the part-timers 10-0-80-2. Grand totalling to 300 for 8 (throwing in a runout) with a tiny +/- around it – irrespective of pitch conditions, weather, opponents, crowd etc. What India will concede in 50 overs is independent of whether the opponents are batting first or last. What India will score is different, however.
    Now, if India bat first, they should be able to score more than 300 against most attacks. If they bat second, however, ooh, game on.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if all future teams bat first against India, on winning the toss; I wouldn’t be surprised if India bats first against all teams, on winning the toss.
    In other words, who wins the toss wins the game.
    In other, other words, once we hit the knock-out stages, India has exactly 1 chance in 8 of winning the World Cup.

    • Though unhappy with the outcome, I confess to being pleased as punch to note that I predicted SA’s score pretty accurately before the match began (I’d said 300 for 8, they finished at 300 for 7 with 2 balls to spare). I suppose I was wrong about India being able to score more than 300 while batting first against anyone – on 9 days out of 10, they’d have been able to take 260 for 1 to beyond 300, this was clearly an outlier point.
      My prediction remains the same for the WI match – India to concede 300, and whether we bat first or not determines the outcome.

  3. No surprise to see the Indians lounging around in the dressing room and having a giggle. Won’t be so funny when they are eliminated (and it will happen).

  4. Where there is such a massive gulf between the two side – Netherlands trying hard not to loose wickets to some very modest spin bowling from Yusuf Pathan and Yuvraj Singh, on the other hand, India trying to finish the game in 20 overs, and then, taking 13 overs for the last 50 runs, there is invariably much criticism to be offered.

    I think you are right about your specific criticism. I would see these in light of the rather pointless format, in which with 3 wins and 1 tie, India will still qualify 4th in their group.

  5. For a change, Gary, I saw some of the things you mentioned differently.

    On Ball 3: I agree Sehwag can bat arrogantly (even by his standards) at times…but I don’t believe this is reserved for lesser-rated opponents. Indian watchers would have seen Sehwag bat every bit as disdainfully against Johnson, Pollock, Ntini, Vettori, Murali, et al. In fact, on this very ground, Sehwag had smashed Pollock for ~20 runs in the 1st over in IPL-1. And how respected do you think Steyn, Ntini, & co. felt when he smashed 300 in 270-odd balls in a Test? :)

    On Ball 4: Dhoni had mentioned even before the game that Pathan hadn’t had a decent bat yet, and that was something they hoped to gain from this match. So i think Pathan would have batted at 3 or 4 even if India had batted 1st (something he has done against SA and Pakistan too on the odd occasion…on the sub-continent).

    On Ball 5: Actually, to long time India watchers, this is exactly the role with which Yuvraj came into prominence in ODIs… the nerveless finisher. I know most overseas fans see Yuvraj mainly as a big striker (perhaps due to his 6 sixes at the T20 WC). And some Indian fans may have de-rated Yuvraj’s importance before the WC (given his injuries & form-slump in 2010)… but others would never forget the 2002 Natwest finals chase, or his key performances, particularly in chases, in later years at the 2003 WC, in the 2006 series win in Pakistan, against England in India, and on several other occasions. So Yuvraj and Dhoni finding some form & confidence, that too in run chases, are important developments for India.

    You make a good point with ball 6. But I reckon India’s batting tightness will lift in bigger games. I’m still skeptical of India going past even the semis, but on account of the more glaring factors (bowling, fielding, and handling home pressure in the knockouts)

    • BP – Good points. A little arrogance is a good thing in any sportsman, but I feel Sehwag overdid it a bit. Re Pathan, probably right as he came in up the order vs SA – didn’t work though. Yuvraj – excellent points – I’m sure you’re right.

  6. It’s getting pretty interminable this world cup, and for all the surprise of Ireland’s win over England, the so called minnows are not much chop. Australia have Canada and Kenya next. One can only hope they bat first, so the middle order can get a run. Of course, now I said this, there will be a shock loss.

  7. How man runs do you need against Bangladesh anyway? 58? 60?
    I guess England have enough on board already. I am confident they’ll win this one

  8. England’s think tank seems to have been as tired, if not more, than the players.

  9. Song on India’s Loss to SA


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