Wondering why there is no Part 6 and 7 as we have one more one dayer to go? The reason is simple, India have lost the mantle in Hyderabad, let alone the Guwahauti match.
In any sport there are two ways to win, one by out-playing the opponent and the other being rewarded by a bad play from the opponent. For materialistic geeks and number buffs, this might sound crazy, leaving aside that they always draw the same conclusion in their personal lives.
India lost the Hyderabad game not because we gave too much runs to Australia or they have batted better than us, it is because of the fact that with 6 wickets in hand and a power-play left and to get to 40 odd runs was a small task for a team like India. Sachin was hardly supported from the other end as getting to the target was always at hands reach when he was in the crease. The wicket had played beautifully during the course of the innings and you don’t have excuses for committing mistakes. Few of my friends think that we lost because Sachin palyed a wrong shot and got out, reiterating their ignorance towards the sport as well as understanding the game. I tried to explain the sport in vain but their brains were pre-occupied. There is a saying that you can take an horse to water, but drinking is always in its hands.
Guwahauti match is more of retrofitting cricket than actual one-dayer, a most unfortunate event that India had to face. Dhoni concluded that the pitch did not behave badly and he is more than right in giving that statement. However, if he thought that the first 30 minutes were such crucial he should have opted for bowling rather than batting. If Johnson can induce swing on that pitch, Praveen Kumar would have been virtually unplayable. I do not blame him for choosing batting as he had to assert his confidence in that formidable batting lineup. But for Sachin all other batsmen got out for choosing wrong play. The ball that Sehwag and Gambhir got out was hit for a boundary by Sachin crying out loud that there is a way to negate the swing. Unfortunately for Sachin, the ball that he got out had stopped on him and there is little or no-credit given to bowler (sorry Bollinger!).
Giving no disrespect to Australia for putting up such a brave display of Cricket, the biggest reason for loosing the series is not because they played better Cricket but we played bad one. Agree or not, this is the fact and more than often you will agree with me when YOU face that in your lives.
I thought of writing a special article for Sachin on completing 17k runs and producing one of the finest knocks in the history of one-day Cricket, but refrained from doing so. The reason is simple, neither he would celebrate nor do I. His passion is to play for India and not for himself and the team let him down, more so than any player in the history of the game. For Cricket lovers (who know the game of course), his batting was more than a privilege and when the ball strikes the bat, you will know why?
I conclude this series of articles with this one by wishing my team India best of luck for all the future matches and tours and hope that they always loose a match FIGHTING HARD and always win a match by FIGHTING HARD.