MTJAG was back in action . This time, we sneaked into the stands at the Chinnaswamy Stadium @ Bangalore to witness the crazy run feast. Here are the diagnostic results:

 

Oh it’s just a Common Cold , silly:

1. It was widely believed that fans going to the game would be facing a nightmarish ordeal. NOT TRUE.  We got there pretty early after the usual  3S (shave, $hit, Shower), had a pretty heavy breakfast and got to the gate entrance by 12 noon. We were  at our seats within 6 minute 28 seconds (give or take a few seconds).  I heard that some of the other stands had a much tougher time, but I’d say a majority of the crowd got into the stadium (and out of it too) without too much of a hassle.  There were also  KSCA folks who guided as many people as they could to their seats.  Well done, amigos.

2. Fear of Tendulkar’s form not carrying onto the world cup – DISPELLED.  Sachin was pure awesomeness.  His innings was pretty well paced (started slowly but caught up soon), and his hits were clean.  His 2nd wicket stand with Gambhir was excellent, and they handled Swann very well.

3. Strauss ‘s ability in the ODI game –  Rarely does Sachin score a century and yet get overshadowed. However, Levis Andy Strauss ensured just that with his fantastic display, possibly his best so far. The captain signaled his comfort in these conditions in their first game against the Oranje, and this time, he  almost took England all the way on his own, and he seemed to find the boundary at will too.  18 boundaries and 1 six (compared to Sachin’s 10 and 5  respectively) tells you that he seemed to find the gaps really well , or, well  more on that later.

 

You might want to get a 2nd Opinion on this:

 

1. The Indian Middle order : Normally, 339 would be a monumental total for any side to post and the opposition to overcome. However, with India’s bowling , any amount of extra runs would be welcome.  The last 2 overs in the Indian innings resulted in 5 wickets and 13 runs.  Yusuf or Kohli or Bhajji need  to understand that  you don’t have to swat every ball over the boundary like a fly but maximize whatever you have to get those crucial runs.  I feel we missed out on a few runs there, and 1 of the middle order batsmen needs to stand-up and learn how to end an innings with the tail,  while batting first.

2. Yuvraj to the Party:  With the score at 180 when Gambhir was dismissed , India  correctly brought on Yuvraj Singh to the crease.  The thought process was 2-fold , continue the left-right combination at the pitch, and see if one of the crucial middle order batsman for India could get into some rhythm as the cup continues. The move paid rich dividends  with Yuvi scoring a 50+. Let’s wait and see if his form and confidence continues to soar up.

Um..You might want to call your relatives..:

1. Indian bowling and fielding : can we say *FAIL*??!  The bowling and fielding really went hand-in-hand (or butt-to-butt considering the abysmal lows).    In the larger context of things, our key spinner Bhajji was economical but not penetrative. He just didn’t seem to be in it yesterday.  The 2 sixes off Chawla’s final over was a death blow, but it would be too unfair to hold it against him , a relative newbie, when so many other things were going wrong. Zaheer was brilliant in his last spell, and extremely ordinary in his first. Munaf was back to his meh self.  Perhaps a little more variety, a few more yorkers in his armor would help!  The 2 part-time spinners gave up 61 runs in their 10 overs, which was 10 less than our front line bowlers!

And the fielding…good Lord… I’m really not sure what would help other than just sheer passion for it.  Kohli fluffed a chance at slip, Bhajji let Strauss off early in the game (this was a killer).  Raina had a few mishaps.  More importantly, it’s just the lack of effort. In such a flat oupitch which doesn’t assist the bowlers too much, you need to raise your game collectively and give them hope, give yourself a chance, and give the fans to raise their voices even more to lift you up!  I don’t recollect seeing 1 attempt at the stumps (granted, half the time there was nobody backing the stumps up!) . When the ball went towards Munaf at deep mid-wicket – it was a granted 2 runs for England.  Sloppy sloppy sloppy!! When England were fielding,  I remember us fans being amazed at how many times Pietersen just threw himself saving numerous boundaries!

2. Field placements/Bowling : These go hand in hand as well. How did Strauss manage to find more holes than swiss cheese through our fielding formation is beyond me.  Or was it the bowlers who simply possibly refused to adhere to the field given to them??  Oh how I miss Kumble!   3 tight overs in the middle  are so important. Having that happen around the 42nd over might sometimes be a little too late, as we found out.

 

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