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Thursday, September 1, 2011

India loses the One off T20 at Manchester - collective failure again


It was at the city of Manchester, which name originated from the Ancient Roman name Mamucium, the name of the Roman fort and settlement.  It is the city which has historic connection with the textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. The great majority of cotton spinning took place in the towns of south Lancashire and north Cheshire, and Manchester was for a time the most productive centre of cotton  dubbed as "Cottonopolis" and "Warehouse City".  It houses the Old Trafford is a cricket ground situated on Talbot Road,  home of Lancashire County Cricket Club since its foundation in 1864.

It was here that  the 204th T20 match – the one-off between India and England was played.  Dhoni won the toss.  It had four debutants of which one had scored 12775 runs in Tests and 10765 in One dayers.  Yes it was Rahul Dravid once considered to be a player not scoring fast enough and even made to don  the gloves by Sourav Ganguly  to be accommodated in limited overs squad.  The rest were JC Buttler,  AD Hales (England); and AM Rahane (India)
It was dead of night Indian time and off the second ball the debutant Hales was out to Praveen kumar.  The third over bowled by Munaf Patel, the tourist for the entire test series and for some part during the WI tour was awful.  It was 4-1-6-1-4-1; after 4 England were 34.

Earlier it was a familiar story of India setting a target of 165.  In walked Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane and it was not a great sight.  How Parthiv with his limited strokes and continued failures could still make to the team as a batsman that too an opener defies logic.  The one good that IPL window did to Indian cricket was to make Indian  players, the lesser known ones accustomed to this type of cricket and chance to play alongside International superstars.  Some made it memorable with quick scores - Murali Vijay, Manish Pandey, Naman Ojha, Shikhar Dhawan, Paul Valthaty, Swapnil Asnodkar, Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Saurabh Tiwary, Robin Uthappa,  are some names to mind.    Well none of them is in the scheme of things for the shorter version  !!    Ajinkya Rahane  today got an opportunity and grabbed it with both hands.    Rahul Dravid making his debut after so many years and some years of oblivion even not considered good for the 50 over contests made it an unforgettable day for Samit Patel.  In the 11th over he hit one of his mightiest strikes over midwicket, followed up with another in the same area and one more over long on.

Earlier, the pitch was sluggish and outfield not so fast with couple of lofted hits either dropping dead or rolling slowly.  Rahane essayed some very nice strokes to make a well deserved fifty and eventually got out at 61 off 38 balls.  A very good innings at that.  Indians were 101 for 1 and still had 54 deliveries left – but the regular story of middle order failing followed.  Virat, Rohit, Dhoni all failed, later order did not add runs and the only resistance in the end came from Raina who had struggled in the Test series.  He hit Bresnan twice over the ropes and once Broad for a good 31.  In the end a score of 165 was not going to be good enough. Ajinkya Rahane's 61 is  the highest score by an Indian batsman on debut in a Twenty-20 international. The highest remains Ricky Ponting's 98 against New Zealand in 2005. From a total of 104 for 2, India lost the last eight wickets for 61 runs. The 61-run aggregate from the third wicket to the tenth wicket is the lowest for India in Twenty-20 internationals.  

Indians could not play out  the allotted 20 overs call for greater introspection. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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