What Went Wrong?
25 Feb ’09: Newzeland managed a 6 ball victory over the touring India side in the first of the 2 T20 international match at Christchurch. Jacob Oram smacked a six of what was to be the 24th six of the match, the most hit in a T20 international till date, to wrap up the match. Newzeland opening batsman Brandon McCullum was awarded the man of the match for his sensible and stylish not out innings of 60 odd in a 162 run Newzeland inning. Earlier India started the game in explosive fashion, Sehwag smashed 3 consecutive sixes off the first three that he faced in the first over. India at 19 for No loss at the end of first over. Gambhir hit his first boundary early in the second over before being dismissed out bowled when he tried one too many shots in the same over. Sehwag continued his form scoring another six off in the third over before he was out bowled trying to smack a six of a full pitch delivery. Join me for more action of the game inside..
With India tottering at about 40 for 2 at the end of 4th over, having lost both their openers lost another man in Rohit sharma trying to hit everything for six, out caught by Brendon who took a good skier. Suresh Raina on the other end was seen mixing mind with aggression as he dismissed loose balls for six, while defending the good ones. Yuvraj Singh, the most exciting T20 batsman as the commentator called him, lasted no longer than 3 deliveries out lbw to an arm ball from Vettori in the 7 over of the inning. Captain MS Dhoni received a low bounce in swinger to knock his off stump off the ground leaving India at 60 odd for 5.
Enter Yusuf Pathan and out went the ball. Everything was going according to plan except when Vettori decided to bowl Brendon’s older brother Yusuf Pathan took the aerial route as he smacked the first ball, a knee height full toss for six over deep square leg. Another full pitched delivery that was just bowled outside the off stump also went flying over the deep mid wicket boundary for SIX. The third ball of the over was slightly better but Yusuf was no man to be stopped, heaved the third one for with enough power to carry the ball just over the boundary. When things looked like turning NewZeland’s way, the three sixes shook vettori off and the run rate suddenly spiked. It took a great catch from Jacob Oram to get Yusuf caught at the boundary off the 4th ball of the over. It was a sensible catch by Oram who jumped to take the catch, throw it back in the air as he was about to go over the boundary, comeback into the field to complete the catch. Probably the turning point, with India just about 90 for 6.
Irfan soon followed as he offered catching practice to Nathan McCullum at point who accepted it hands down. Harbhajan and Suresh Raina consolidated for a bit before both smacked the last 2 overs for 28 to take India to a par score of 162/8.Suresh raina completed his 50 and Harbhajan scored a sensible 20 + before getting bowled with the last ball of the inning.
India started off well in the bowling department as Ishant picked up the dangerous Jessy Ryder in hs very first over. Ishant could have easily had his next victim if not for a poor umpiring decision. The ball was heading straight to the stumps as the batsman, Martin Guptill was struck on the pad leaving the ball. Guptill capitalized on the oppurtunity and smaked a quick fire 40 runs before being out LBW to a straight Harbahjan singh delivery. It was a easy ride from then on as Ross Ttaylor and Brendon McCullum scored some quick runs. Jacob oram joined McCullum with just 70 odd runs required off remaining 8 overs. Jacob Oram did his bit of smacking the Indian bowlers to take his side to victory with 6 balls remaining. Both teams again meet for the 2nd of the T20 internationals on the 27th of Feb in Christchurch.
What did India do wrong?
it was a day when India played with over-confidence. It was evident in the way they batted. It was always known that Sehwag and Gambhir will go after the bowling, but what happened to the rest was completely not easy to digest. The ground was small and with Wickets in hand India could have easily scored over 100 runs in the last 7-8 overs of their innings. when Sehwag left teh field, it was just about time for Yuvraj to get set in, He played a useless shot to get himself out. Rohit Sharma got himself out trying to smack the ball for a six in a very casual fashion. Dhoni received a tough one and nobody should blame him for the loss of his wicket.
Yusuf bats the way he likes it. There was nothing wrong in trying to smack all the balls for Six, It was poor shot selection that got him out. Nathan McCullum should receive equal credits for the wicket as he bowled each ball wider and wider outside the off stump knowing yusuf was targeting the Mid wicket boundary. The ball that got yusuf out was almost bowled close to the wide line on the off side, As he tried to go over Midwicket he was hold out at long on by Jacob oram who no doubt took a fantastic catch. Yusuf should however have tried to smack the ball over off side. It’s time he learns. Ross taylor is the one he may look up to. I remember watching taylor w=move way out of his leg stump trying to smack the ball on the leg side. When the bowler follows him he smacks it over extra cover. Intelligent batsman and what great hands.
The bowling department did not do anything bad, It was good and it was what is required in a T20 match. The only thing that went against us was teh short boundaries, The Newzeland batsman smacked our bowlers all over the park with some just carrying over the rope. Dhoni bowled one too many overs from Yuvraj singh when he should have tried Sehwag. Nothing to complain about though, In that situation you are better off going with the Gut instinct than think about it. Overall a good match with some happy memories, India is now a part of history (24 sixes in the match, the most ever in a T20 international), a one off day and I’m sure the team will strike back. Very happy to see Newzeland win even when in form main players Kyle Mills and Gramme Elliot were sitting out. Hope this tour has as much excitement as the India Tour of Australia.
PS: Luckily the boring test match between Srilanka and Pakistan ended. What kind of matches are these? Mathces like these will bring Test cricket to an end. ICC surely needs to step in! You just can’t have flat pitches for test matches.