Friday, December 25, 2009

Who Can Stop Sri Lanka from losing?

The fact that a team that could contain top rated batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar and VirenderSehwag could not continue the same when it comes to a 28 year old Gautam Gambhir and ViratKohli who a couple of years ago was seen lifting the under-19 world cup can make people laugh and nothing else. A couple of days ago, I happened to read in cricinfo regarding the chances that Sri Lanka can draw out of the injuries haunting Indian players-Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in particular. And the result of all is that Sri Lanka have had their worst defeat so far in this tournament.

It is just disgusting to see someone like Ravindra Jadeja & Virat Kohli tearing apart the SriLankan bowling that included the likes of Lasith Malinga and co in the initial stages of their cricketing career. Added to that is Dinesh Karthik whose presence is felt only in the absence of the regular wicket keeper in Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Still, even he is able to make a mark against Sri Lanka. The lone six in the Indian innings came from the bats off Virat Kohli though it was Gautam Gambhir's 150 that sealed Sri Lanka's chances of being alive in the series.

Added to this was the 16 wides the Sri Lankan bowlers bowled as compared to 10 by the Indians. I just couldn't resist closing my eyes when the replays of Sri Lankan batsmen TissaraPerera hitting the ball straight in the air and nowhere when it came to the distance were shown repeatedly. That was the time when Perera was in full form and a responsible decision would have seen Sri Lanka piling up a more 20 runs. Neither did Sri Lanka lose wickets at regular intervals nor did they end their innings with a partly total like they have been doing in their previous matches.

It is not an unknown fact that in the last 5 years or so, a total of 300+ is not considered safe for any team. But, until yesterday, this was opposed atleast by the Eden Gardens where stats suggest that the highest run chase so far has been 293 by Pakistan once again against India in 2004. For the second time and fortunately in this year and against the very same Sri Lanka, Gautam Gambhir has scored exactly 150, the only difference being that this time he was unbeaten. The previous time Gambhir was found doing this was in February 2009 at Colombo that saw India taking the lead to 4-0 in the 5 match series. Next time, India can play their under-17 team to both beat Sri Lanka as well as get some match practice.

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