Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Miracle victory with a bonus indeed!

Miracle, Breathtaking, Stupendous, Tremendous, every word in the dictionary falls short to describe this victory. India beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets with 13 overs to spare as they chased down 321. At the start of the match India required not just a victory but a victory with a bonus point. At half way stage they needed 320 runs in 40 overs to stay alive. Nobody gave them a chance but boy they did it and did it in style. Virat Kohli was the star of the match and won the match for India by scoring 133* off just 83 balls. He was the undisputed star of the match and completely overshadowed 160* by Dilshan.

Getting 321 in just 37 overs is just unbelievable and tells a lot about this team's batting ability. Its been 3 months since all the Indian batsmen fired together. They did today and the results were there for everybody. How could a team which was being battered since 3 months put together such a performance? The victory was possible due to numerous reasons.

Clear direction- With the recent string of losses that India faced, it was clear that this team lacked direction. 4 years back when Gary Kirsten became India's coach, he made a definite plan for this team. There were 2 objectives, Win the 2011 World cup and be the No. 1 test side in the world. Whether there were rifts in the team or not the bunch was focused on the task. By April 2011 they achieved both the tasks. Since then there seems to be a lack of motivation. Yes they should have been motivated to keep the world champion status alive but after the target, everyone relaxed. But today when the team came out to bat, the target was clear again after almost a year. Score 320 inside 40 overs or head back to India. Every batsman came and kept up the tempo and with Virat Kohli anchoring the chase, India achieved the target they had set their eyes upon.

No mind demons- With 320 required off 40 overs, there was only 1 way left to achieve the target. Hit the ball whenever its in your area. The batsman had nothing to lose and that was the reason they played freely. It was heartening to see Tendulkar playing those shots freely without any weight of expectation or that 100th 100. Sehwag looked in his comfort area where he was told to hit every ball. Raina got an ideal situation which he likes and got the runs. Thats what a tension free mind can do. After the 3 month long humiliation, this was maybe the first time where Indian batsmen played with such a free and clear mind.

Collective Effort- This has been India's problem in both the England as well as the Australian tours. In England Dravid scored the runs while the rest failed, in Australia for the first half Tendulkar did well while in the 2nd half Kohli scored the runs. But never did they click together. But today they all clicked. Sehwag and Tendulkar gave India the kind of start that was needed to set the tempo. Quantitywise the contribution may seem small but it had a great effect on the outcome. Gambhir came and played the right kind of innings where he ensured India had enough wickets in hand. Kohli anchored the chase and stayed right till the end to see India home. Raina who was terribly out of form scored boundaries and put pressure off Kohli to make sure that the required run rate never got out of reach. So each batsman contributed something and that resulted in this victory.

A Great Moral Victory- India are alive in this competition as long as Sri Lanka don't beat Australia. Whether India makes the finals or not, one thing is certain that this victory will set them up for the matches in future. This will give Indians great confidence and belief in themselves. It will help to erase some of the bitter memories of this tour. And if India do reach the finals, we can hope to see a completely different Indian unit.

No comments:

Post a Comment