Zeenews Sports Bureau
When Balaji got rid of lanky Morne Morkel to hand India a win by a solitary run, we were confused to the fact that should we celebrate or not. For a fact we knew that the Proteas had played the royal party poopers, and India were out of the tournament. Earlier in the day Pakistan had convincingly defeated the mighty Oz, and had made the equation even tougher for India to qualify. To make situations worse Dhoni had lost the toss and was put in to bat first. This meant India had to win and win with a margin of 31 runs, which was anyway looking like a tall order considering South Africa are no push-overs.
The duo of Viru-Gauti were expected to get India off to a belligerent start, but they failed to live up to the expectations, and when in-form Virat Kohli departed, things looked bleak. When Virat perished, the stage was all set for Yuvraj to deliver. Yuvraj had started off brilliantly and we just felt that he has got into the zone when he clobbered two monstrous sixes, but when he gifted his wicket away it seemed that things had just gone out of hand. India finally managed to crawl to a tricky 152.
152 surely didn`t look good enough, but when Zak managed to get Amla out in the first over itself it felt things were far from being over. But what followed next was horrifying. It seemed Dhoni didn`t know that he had to restrict the Proteas to 121 runs or less to qualify for the semis. Body language of the men in blue suggested they had already accepted the fact that they won`t qualify and were playing just to win. The fielders weren’t placed in attacking positions, hence were not looking to stop singles. Throughout we were hoping against hope. It was sad to see Dhoni`s defensive approach being the quality captain he is. The intent from the Indian boys was missing big time.
Zaheer for a change was the only bowler who was looking to take wickets. Monday’s match also highlighted the fact that, India is heavily dependent on young Virat Kohli. Rohit Sharma`s 27-ball 25 was weird to say the least. It felt he didn`t have a clue about the task in hand. He gives one the feeling that he is suffering from identity crisis. We are finally forced to believe the fact that the over hyped star studded Indian line-up looks good only in paper.
Finally, the question remains -- DID WE WIN OR DID WE LOSE?
First Published: Wednesday, October 03, 2012, 00:50