It was a fantastic contest last night between two nations that stand high in stature to engrave their name on the World Cup trophy this time.England were fresh from a victory over the Dutch last week and held their spirits high against one of the most destructive batting line up in the world.India too would have stepped in to plunder Strauss’s intentions of spoiling its party in Bangalore.The Chinnaswamy stadium was ready to serve these highly ambitious players and of course the audience who built up the ferocious heat in the environs of the stadium.If I were to classify the game in different phases without iniquity of course,the first one would be India winning then,England reaching its triumph and lastly India loosing.Following is my interpretation and elaboration of these stages.
They say winning the toss is tantamount to winning half the match.India won the coin toss and chose to bat.Tendulkar came to the crease to help India reach victory yet another time by strutting out a ton and scoring his fifth WC century that included five sixes and ten fours.His vital partnership with Gambhir for the second wicket of 134 runs helped India post a mammoth target of 338.He again put the fact to picture that how important a player he is for India. Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj and Dhoni also performed fair enough.India were now determined to win the match by bowling the opposition out before they reach the required number of runs.Dhoni would surely have visualised him on the winning side now.But the time had come for the English captain Andrew Strauss to make known his mettle.Verily,not many players possess the ability to obscure the efforts of Sachin Tendulkar.But the Kismet and skills of Strauss helped him do so.His impeccable innings seemed to have bewitched all those witnessing him play.He clobbered the Indian bowlers and went on to score 158 that constituted 18 fours and a six.Ian Bell on the other hand supported him well,thereby adding 170 runs to the total before the third wicket fell.This innings of AJ Strauss is his career best and also his maiden World Cup hundred.Besides,he has also broken the record of Dennis Amiss,another English cricketer who scored 137 runs at the inaugural match in 1975 of the same event at Lords.And that too was against India.We thought the British would easily dock their ship till the shore.No tactics of Dhoni were proving helpful to debar the Englishmen from being victorious till came the 43rd over.Suddenly,England started to stray away from the winning path.Many would have criticised England for having taken that Powerplay then,asZaheer decimated the hopes of these two well set batsmen.The tide again turned in India’s favour and England tottered.Indians became favorites again.But yet again,the hard work of Yardy,Bresnan, Swann and Shahzad paid off by the end of the penultimate over.At this point I felt India lost because they were twice in control of the game and let it go away from their hands even though England fluttered and faltered at regular intervals.
I think only a few may be aware of what Shane Warne’s said before the match had begun.He tweeted “Looking forward to the game between india and England today should be a cracker.. My prediction a tie !”And truly,it came out to be one.Its incredulous to see that 676 runs were scored and still there wasn’t a winner.If we look at the history of Cricket,it comes to notice that there have been twenty six ODI ties so far.And it is the fourth consecutive tie in the World Cup.
Before concluding,I must say that MS Dhoni needs to settle issues with his bowling(and fielding to some extent).You cannot win with just one bowler bowling good for you.It would be a blight for the Indian team if they employ not other techniques of play in the days to come.