Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Divali from Pakistan

Shahid Afridi provided the pyrotechnics as Pakistan crashed India's Divali celebrations.

Blame the batsman for muffing up a great platform provided by Sachin and Gambhir to put up a score of about 350. And no matter what the atrocious commentators said, as long as Pakistan had wickets in hand and 'Boom Boom Afridi' was still to come, any asking rate was going to be gettable.

Despite some shrewd bowling changes from Dhoni and the suicidal dismissals of Malik, Misbah and Younus Khan, which nearly won India the match, it was too little too late.

One might be tempted to blame the bowlers for not being able to defend what seems like an insurmountable total. But on a true, hard wicket like this one, anything less than 325 was going to be very hard to hold on to.

Should Dhoni have fielded on winning the toss. No. He did the right thing by batting and backing his strength. It made sense to bat after going into the match with an extra resource because you must always play to your strength.

India lost the match when Sehwag and Yuvi went in quick succession; the departure of Dhoni for very little was the final nail in the coffin. And that's the bottomline.

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