Strauss seeing winner turned into tie could just say Great game of Cricket. Indians with win turned into lurking loss and then finally earning a tie could just bid goodbye to the 1983 World Cup repeat now. The tie has raised serious concerns over India’s contendership to the cup now. Strauss guided his team to a record chase, and was unanimously the player of the match.
Sehwag blitz started but could not continue long. Appeared as if he was surviving more by luck during the inning of 35 runs. Tendulkar started slow but controlled the game later to reach run-a-ball 120 knock. Gambhir was good yet not confident during his 51 run knock. Yuvraj appeared to have been playing to prepare for future matches. Dhoni was as clueless as he can in using his willow. He promoted himself above Virat Kohli. But coming into Powerplay overs he may have wanted to play like Pathan. He ended up playing a subdued short inning. The decrease in run-rate left lower middle order and tailender panick and Indians were bundled out for 338, when they were looking good for at least 350 runs, if not 375 or more.
Strauss and Pietersen started dissecting the Indian bowlers and they were set to win the match. Alas!! Batting Powerplay did them in. They almost lost, until saved by their tailenders who helped their team to earn a tie and hence avoid defeat in the match which was completely waiting for their victory.
Blunders that Cost the Match
For Strauss it must be the decision to take Powerplay so early, when they could have easily won the match by delaying it. Powerplay brought the fielders close and restricted singles and doubles, hence putting pressure to take extra risks. In the effort, English batting collapsed, run dried.
For India, there were many such occaisions. While batting many a times, Indian bowlers avoided sharp singles, did not convert singles into doubles, even when the chances were easy. And, of course the most prominent was the run out of Zaheer Khan, the last wicket of India. Zaheer and Munaf did not complete the first run properly, ran the second that was not existing and Zaheer got run out. If good sense prevailed they could have played the last ball too and scored at least one more run, or even during run out if they had completed the first run, that vital run could have been added and might have resulted into victory.