On Sunday when everyone was relaxing at home, and watching the first ODI of the Hero Honda Cup between India and Australia, the witnessed a thriller. Yes a thriller.
India lost to Australia by just 4 runs after a few good performances from both sides. Let us quickly have an analysis of the match, and then we will see what India needs to learn from the match.
Australia were off a steady start after losing a quick wicket. Fifties from Paine, Ponting, White and Hussey helped them to reach 292/8.
The Indian pacer Ishant Sharma made a fine comeback from his bad form and grabbed 3/50.
The other bowlers also took some wickets.
India were off a flying start in the first few overs, as Virender Sehwag in his usual form, hit a couple of boundaries. But he had to depart soon as Brett Lee took his wicket. Sachin Tendulkar also had to depart soon after that and India was on the backfoot. But then Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli 58 run partnership and steadied India's position slightly. But after Virat Kohli departed on 30, wickets started tumbling at regular Intervals and India were 201/7 after 40 overs. Everyone thought that India would lose, but then came in Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar who together smashed 84 of just 57 balls to take India to 285/8 in 49.1 overs. India just needed 8 runs to win and Harbhajan was in good form and was on strike. He had just smashed 11 runs of just 3 balls in the last over and was looking like he would smash even more. But he got out while attempting for a big shot and the Indian hearts were beating really fast. In came Ashish Nehra but he couldn't do much. India needed 6 runs of the last ball and managed just 1.
The Aussie bowling was expensive except for two bowlers who bowled economic spells.
I hope you all are not bored by my analysis, but it was important.
The Indian middle order needs to really improve. Youngsters like Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja need to learn ho to play in difficult times. They should not give away their wickets when we need them the most. Smashing is not the only thing one needs to do. You should first settle down and then slowly smash in the end.
Tailenders like Harbhajan Singh should not get over ambitious and wait for the right ball and play their shots accordingly.
Pacers should work on their bowling. Their job is not only to grab wickets but is also to bowl a tighter line.
Openers should not look to smash all the time, they should settle down first and then smash. They should not give away their wickets early in the game because they are the ones who need to lay a foundation for the innings.