No back door entry this time
The Indian team almost pulled it off again. One last gasping effort and they were depending on another team to lose. The fans were hoping for an Australian win today, surprisingly. Watson and Hussey were the sudden heroes for the Sachin-bred fans. But, this time, there were no such miracles. The Lankan team have beaten the Aussies by 9 runs and have sealed the final spot. It will be the Aussies and the Lankans facing off in the best of 3 finals now : the 2 best teams in the final. Fitting indeed.
The Indian team was off to a good start by winning 2 out of their first 4 matches with one match against the Lankans ending in a tie. After the terrible drubbing in the Tests, this was a nice situation to be in, both for the team and the fans. Gambhir’s solid form was a major element in this turnaround.
After that, there have been reports of differences within the team. Lots of humor pieces have been floating around the internet regarding how Gambhir has been incensed by Dhoni’s limelight seeking behavior. The frustration with Sachin is another matter altogether. The man just can’t seem to kick on. He had a lot of good starts. Each start was accompanied by hopes of the elusive 100th century. But, every time something or the other happened and the dry run continues. It’s all set to continue through to the Asia Cup as well.
This is turning out to be a major quandary. Being the most experienced cricketer ever, he must put the team ahead of the self. The team isn’t benefiting much from his presence. Attractive 20s and 30s aren’t the need of the hour that too at the top of the order. The captain or the selectors don’t have the guts to take him aside and have a chat regarding his future and the team’s composition. When is this going to end? God knows. Talk of agonizing waits and this one tops the list.
Few days back, Kohli was the toast of the nation, FB, coffee table discussions and what not. That blitzkrieg was truly special and the way Malinga was hammered for 96 runs in 46 balls, making him the most expensive bowler (spell wise), was something out of the world. It was Kohli mania all over. FB statuses, twitter trending, he was all over the place. The vice captaincy in the ODI team was the icing on the cake. Fans had forgotten the nightmares earlier on the tour and Kohli gave them enough reason to rejoice. He has been the star and the bad-boy rolled into one, on this tour.
Malinga was compared to the Peepli Live farmer and the Sri Lankan star has come back today in awesome style by scalping 4 wickets to take his team to the finals. Comebacks take mental strength and Malinga has got oodles of that.
On the whole, no backdoor entry this time. Fitting and deserving. On a nightmarish tour, a finals spot would not have been poetic justice. Pack your bags folks. It’s time for introspection, if you know what that’s meant. Can’t expect major changes. That’s how the system is. We will live with the same team and start expecting the 100th hundred all over again.