India and England played a tie in their Group B game. It was only the 4th tie in World Cup history. Ultimately, both sides scored 338 runs, lost 18 wickets and yet left all waiting for the last ball glued to their seat to know the fate of their teams.
India’s Destructive Batting
Overall India scored another 300+ score, and although it was a complete batsmen-friendly pitch, even a minnow is expected to defend scores above 300, unless there are exceptional matches where teams have even chased 400 plus target. Yet, considering the ever-worsening Indian bowling a target below 350 is difficult to consider safe enough, when even Bangladesh can challenge and score upto almost 300 runs while chasing.
In India’s second match the opponent was England which is not counted as one of the top-most contender for 2011 World Cup for nothing. Even against Netherlands the clinical ease with which they chased 292 runs was commendable. India set them a target of 339 runs. They hurried in the end, otherwise they would have won the match easily, instead of having been forced to share the points playing the 4th World Cup ODI tie in the end.
Two Innings with Five Phases
The two innings of match had 5 phases. Indian innings had 2 phases. First when they looked set for another 370 pluys score. Other phase saw them tumbling down to all-out for umpteenth time in ODI for a score of 338. England inning had three phases. First till their batting power-play when they were so sure for victory that many Indian fans decided to leave the stadium and switch off television sets. During second phase of powerplay, India looked set for an easy victory in the end. The third phase saw the tail-enders of England play the most crucial role where almost all of them hit sixes and finally earn a tie. Ultimately, a deserving and disappointed yet satisfying tie was earned by both teams.
Weak Bowling of Both Contenders for 2011 WC
The bowling of both teams failed again. Remember the Dutch batsmen have also taken English bowlers to task and scored their highest against a test playing nation, and England conceded then second highest score against them in a World Cup match. Now, India scored the highest-ever score against England in a World Cup match. But, still the English bowlers look better and if it was not for masterly Tendulkar, they would have successfully checked other Indian batsmen including Sehwag, the most dangerous Indian batsman.
But, the Indian bowlers did not show any hint of being World Class. Including Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan, all of them were taken for a ride till the batting powerplay of England inning. Again after the end of five overs of batting powerplay when Zaheer has completed his 10 overs and brought India close to a dramatic victory, Munaf Patel and Chawla gifted a point to England proving easy meat for the English tailenders under pressure to save the match.
What is India’s Soulution for Bowling Woes!!
If Indian frontline bowlers can concede 50 runs to the tailenders when opposite team is under pressure and the required run rate is more than 10 runs per over, then either India should play only with part-time bowlers or change the bowling line-up completely, barring Zaheer Khan. It is time to think and think. But is it time to only think about bowling department? I suspect, No.
Overconfident Blunder-full Dhoni
It is time to also think about captaincy decision. The match has left many open-ended question for Dhoni to answer. Although like always he would like to favour the batsmen, saying bowling department failed. Yet anyone who would have followed the India vs England match completely, can easily say that if Dhoni would not have blundered so many times during the match, India would have thumped England with ease, rather than being forced to feel happy with a tie.