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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

India loses T20 at Chepauk by a whisker

It was a thriller and real fans would have enjoyed though the finish was not to the liking of Indians.  James Edward Charles Franklin from Wellington is not a new name – this left handed pacer played for Mumbai Indians and bowled a couple of tight overs to ensure that Indians could not get out of the noose.

You could not blame the man who gets opportunity for only 2 balls – but Rohit Sharma with plethora of opportunities is no longer an encouraging sight – while we have seen bowlers hoisting final deliveries for sixers, he got brace off both the balls, he faced, leaving India short by a solitary run.  In a match when Kohli and Rohit Sharma were at the crease, Gavaskar commented ‘you are seeing the future of India’ – while we continue to over-depend on Virat Kohli, who has done admirably well in recent times in all forms of cricket, Rohit continues to fail still getting chance every time over better players ! This year [2012]  this is how he has scored in ODIs [starting from Melbourne on 5th Feb 2012] ~ 21; 10; 33; 15; 0; DNB; 4; 68; 5; 0; 0;  4; 4…….       
Of late, we have seen Dhoni adopting a style of leaving things till the very end and coming up with some big shots – yesterday it did not click – he never got going and his partnership with Yuvraj put India in a quandary.  Yuvi did look good and got closer with a six.

Set to make 168, India required 65 off 48 and 13th over was good for us.  Vettori was hoisted by a six by Yuvraj and another by Kohli. 16 came off it as India looked somewhat comfortable requiring 49 off 42 with 8 wickets at hand.  In 14th, Franklin got Kohli out – giving away only 5.  Vettori bowled one tight over giving away only 5.  After over 17, 32 from 18 looked stiffer.  13 needed of the final and Indian fans were still expecting the miracle to come from Dhoni’s blade.  Off the 4th Franklin cleaned up Yuvraj and 6 were required when Rohit Sharma faced the last 2 deliveries.

The final result was Indians left tantalizing close at 166/4 in reply to NZ’s 167/5.  This solitary T20 had its moments -  an emotional return for Yuvraj Singh and his fans, an anti-climax for India and an incredible comeback from New Zealand. Brendon McCullum came good with  91, Virat Kohli counter-punched with a majestic 70- Dhoni, having promoted himself ahead of Manoj Tiwary and Rohit Sharma, ended unbeaten on a perplexing 22 off 23 deliveries, failing to find any timing on his swipes and slogs and reduced to nudging singles on the leg side.  Officially, Virender Sehwag did not play due to injury ! – the woes of Indian bowling especially in the death was very much to the fore.

MS Dhoni said that the slowness of the pitch in the second half of India's innings made it tough for the batsmen to score as India lost the second Twenty20 in Chennai by one run. India managed 24 runs between overs 14 and 18 making a chase, that appeared in control, go out of hand in the last two overs.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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