Dambulla, Sri Lanka: SL started the 16th final against India as favorites. India made sure the analysts were not proven wrong. SL dumped the Indians to another low by a thumping win in the final. The result shows 74 run victory but the match completely belonged to SL.
Toss and Floodlights
Poor Dhoni lost the toss and had to bat under the feared floodlights. So what if the pitch was batsmen’s delight. Indians did not prove their captain’s fear wrong and just failed to settle on the pitch (probably could not see the ball under lights!!). Surprisingly the man who voiced floodlight concern, captain Dhoni scored the highest 67 runs from Indian side.
Dilshan and Mahela Start the desctruction
After some initial cautious approach, the openers Dilshan and Mahela attacked the Indian bowlers (who were probably surprised by sudden loss of favor from the Dambulla pitch). All the four pacers bleeded. Munaf was spared, but it did not change the end result. The series got the first 100-plus partnership for the first wicket from the most deserving openers of the series. Both added 121 runs.
Sangakkara Led from Front to Prove many Points
Sangakkara started making mockery of Indian attack with his arrival. Even before Dilshan’s departure, the SL captain had taken the charge. It was his fluent and attacking game that shattered Indian hopes.
After the end of Dilshan’s show, he took responsibility to strengthen the inning. His 71 was the key factor in SL reaching 299, the highest total in the tournament. The unwarranted incidents in the tournament have shown a visible change in his approach on-field and off-field. SL benefitted with his motivation drwan from such altercations.
In the last four matches the pacers were getting so much help that in their last league match Indian team will 4-pace attack and won emphatically. But, the pitch for the final was not bowling friendly. That was enough to bring them back to their chore of giving runs to the opponents. Captain also failed to read the pitch again and did not include any spinner in the team.
There was no reply, just the effort to make a beginning towards the chase. For few overs the run rate was more than required run rate. But, batting 50 overs or 299 under floodlight is too much to ask the Indian batting. Sehwag was run out and others hardly matter. Karthik, Yuvraj, Raina and Rohit Sharma formed the core batting beside Sehwag and Dhoni. Virat Kohli was the youngster. Still except Dhoni none could score substantially.
Rohit Sharma’s bad luck in good luck (getting selected in the team) continued. In the end jaded Dhoni was confused how to keep the run chase on, as he himself could not hit required runs in an over and was not trusting his tail-enders to such an extent that he refused to take clear singles. A team with such shameless approach has to lose. India lost by 74 runs.
Big boost for SL as they have discovered new fast bowlers and spinners in their armor for the World Cup preparation.
The life continues as usual for Indians. After all, their biggest challenge before the World Cup and after IPL 2010 was the 20-20 Champions Trophy, which will be held in 2-3 weeks from now in South Africa, to be played for their respective clubs. Money is Honey!! Isn’t it!! They know BCCI, too busy counting their eggs, will continue with the same team forever.
New Zealand must be also happy with their preparation as their bowlers succeeded.
Comment: Dhoni said in presentation ceremony, youngsters will learn from the tournament. Does anyone know except Virat Kohli who was the youngster in Indian playing XI throughout the tournament? If you know the answer, do share with me.