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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Australia and Sri Lanka are the new T20 Champions....

T20 WC is over…….. not the finals that we looked forward to … perhaps not the result that we wished ….  In the end Lanka won…. Actually they  won from the start.

There is no doubt who the best women's T20 side in the world are. Australia overwhelmed England to secure a hat-trick of World T20 titles, cruising to a six-wicket victory. They were miserly in the field, restricting England to 105 for 8, then quickly put themselves ahead of the rate in the chase which was fittingly led by Meg Lanning with a powerful 44 as she became the leading run-scorer at the event.
Lanning and Charlotte Edwards - Photo : cricinfo.com

Hours later came the main match …. among the clichés evoked by Jayawardene's T20 success has been the thought that he makes quick runs "playing proper cricket shots" -  he and Sangakkara remain relevant as they signed off with a grand victory in a format not considered suited to their style of play …. There were rains, which delayed the start by 40 minutes – but did not result in loss of overs.  In a big match, where there is so much of  prematch hype and pressure build up, Lasith Malinga disregarded the scoreboard pressure of a big final and asked India to bat first. India have beaten Sri Lanka in the last two tournament finals, chasing successfully on both occasions ~ today was different.

In the end India had 6 wickets in hand …. Raina, Jadeja did not bat at all and Dhoni scratched for 7 balls..  Yuvraj struggled for 21 balls making mere 11.  After 16 overs India were 111/2 …. And made 19 runs in the last 4 overs …. Amazing… Indian spinners have proved themselves to be match-winners on pitches aiding turn, justifying captain Dhoni's decision to play three slow bowlers in the tournament. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is the most successful Indian bowler with 10 wickets while legspinner Amit Mishra has grabbed nine and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja five.  Today it did not work that way …. Ashwin bowled well, but for that last over : 3.5-0-27-1; Amit Mishra 4-0-32-1; Raina bowled well for his 4-0-24-1 and Jadeja 1-0-11-0.

Some points which come readily to mind are : -
ü  Horses for courses are always better. Don’t have same team for all formats ~ perhaps different Captains for different formats too…..
ü  Don’t depend too much on a single player (Virat Kohli) – Virat played a marvelous knock today too……….. but there was a World of difference.
ü  T20 is not all about hitting 4 and 6 of every ball
ü  Blending youth with experience is too important
ü  Full marks to Chandimal (the Captain) who followed IPL strategy of Sangakkara of dropping Self…
ü  Malinga (and Kula too) proved match winners with that great exhibition of death bowling.
ü  IPL success should not guarantee one’s place in the team (Rohi !)

The Team which played better won and full marks to them for that
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

6th April 2014 @ 10.00 pm.

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