Sunday, April 03, 2011

Indian Cricket Comes of Age

TEAM India defied all odds yesterday to lift the World Cup. The timing could not have been better with the country already reckoned as an economic powerhouse.

This team was playing with a self-belief that I've rarely seen before. With one of the world's most destructive bastmen (Sehwag) out for a duck on the second ball of the first over and India's greatest bastman (Sachin) going out on 18 in the sixth over, many thought it was all over. The statistics were also against India - only two teams earlier successfully chased in the finals, and there also the highest total was 241. To top it all, a host never lifted the coveted trophy. Nothing was favouring India.

Yet, India won and in what style!

They all delivered when it mattered most. Gambhir played an innings of class and maturity. Dhoni promoted himself and played with a purpose. His form returned when the team needed it desperately. The young Kohli handled well, the pressure and Malinga both. Yuvraj continued from where he left.

For the records, the maximum runs (11) were scored in the 47th over of the Indian Innings. Contrast this with the 274 that India was chasing. That summarises the run-chase for me.

It was poetic justice that the two players, playing a major role in the country's victory were at the crease when the winning run was scored.

On a lighter note, Dhoni's six would finally replace the beaten-to-death image of Kapil Dev's running catch to dismiss Richards in the 1983 cup. Well done India!

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