Frustrated Lankans craving for cricket | Sunday Observer

Frustrated Lankans craving for cricket

From a double wash out of Sri Lanka games the solace for Lankan fans came in the form of watching on TV the high riding yellow birds of Australia and invincible Indians who are bidding for a sixth World Cup success.

The Aussies had two victories over Afghanistan and the mighty West Indians.

They were stopped in their tracks by India who swept to a 36-run win in their clash at Trent bridge, Nottingham on Sunday.

Before the game began the ground was packed with the Indian spectators sporting blue and it looked as though it was the Mumbai Indians playing an Indian premier league game in Mumbai. It looked like little India and the Aussie supporters could have been counted.

With the weather remaining fine and the wicket looking perfect for big run making, it was obvious that the captain calling correctly would gleefully accept to have the first go.

And Virat Kholi who won the toss showed that it was a good toss to win and his batsmen reveled on it to amass a massive 352 in their 50 overs and let the Aussies sink or swim in their chase for a win.

India after their maiden World Cup victory in 1983 where they beat a cock a hoop Windies side at Lord’s to inscribe their names on the silverware, won it a second time when Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s warriors beat Sri Lanka in the 2011 final in India.

The Indians this time round are fielding a team with immense talent in all aspects of the game.

They have batsmen who can take any attack apart, bowlers pace and spin that can rip the hearts out of any opposing side and fielders who can grab the half chances.

In their first outing they pushed aside South Africa hardly raising a sweat and then when up against another side Australia who are also straining every nerve and sinew to make it the sixth world cup, the Indians showed that they are better than the best known by putting the Aussies to second best.

When openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan took strike, the lovely sound that ball made with bat, showed that it was a good toss to win and a batsman’s delight to have first hit and their openers reveled on it and in the process exposed the limitations of the Aussie attack.

Sharma who has been a prolific scorer and Dhawan are two of the most punishing openers in cricket today. When they get going they are a treat to watch and heartbreaking to bowlers and fielders. Both have strokes all round the wicket and can innovate.

Together they put on a 117-run stand and laid the all important foundation for batsmen of the calibre of Virat Kholi, Hardik Pandaya and Dhoni to build on and give their side a formidable 352 for 5 in 50.

While Sharma made a half century following his century in the first game against South Africa, Dhawan a masterly 117, Kholi a blazing 80 and Dhoni a cameo 27 to swell the score. Dhawan is left hander in the mould of former West Indian opener Roy Fredricks and when he begins to cut loose can be devastating like he showed.

In the process the Indians exposed the lack of sting in the Aussie attack. Once Starc is mastered and Cummins deprived of wickets, the rest of the attack is ordinary and there is no way that the Aussies could bid for the trophy with an attack that looks mediocre. Coach Justin Langer must look for bowlers with more sting.

When the Aussies replied skipper Aron Finch and David Warner gave them a good start, until some insensible running between the wickets saw Finch 36 being run out when looking set for a big score.

In this cowboy game there is nothing called a set batting order. This is not set yoghurt.

The order can be changed to suit the situation and the demand. Changing the order does not mean upsetting the batting. On the contrary it can change the scenario and make the impossible, possible.

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