This is sooner than expected!!

This morning I was constantly thinking about the role of a cricket captain and wrote a post which came out very different from what was envisaged at the beginning.  When I wrote the post, I had no clue about the way the Indian-Sri lankan match would go and I wasn’t even thinking about that at all.  But having watched portions of it and read some of the utterances of the players post match, I see a lot of correlation between the actions of the captain that I wrote about and what really transpired this evening.  Let me explain.

I have a strong feeling that having been pushed to the wall, MS Dhoni and co decided to be proactive and give all that they can to win.  For the first time in this series, we had Sehwag, Tendulkar and Gambhir playing together scoring decently and that I see is a result of a strong desire to win the game.  And we saw the impact of that being a rousing start to the Indian innings.  Well, I’m getting ahead of the time here!!  I am also happy that Dhoni did not persist with his rotation policy on a prestige mode but took a decision based on the expected outcome.  (The strike-through as above is on account of a factual error that was pointed out by Ram, thank you)

Then the toss.  Dhoni won it but asked Lanka to bat possibly because he felt that  chasing a total within lesser overs is more probable than try and restrict the opposition.  This was key to winning the bonus point and hence Dhoni took that call.  Many would have questioned his decision when Sri Lanka set a target of 321 to be achieved not in the 50 overs but in 40 overs if India wanted the bonus point and hence stay in contention for the final spot.

I did not follow the Sri Lankan innings and hence cannot offer any examples of Dhoni taking decisions on bowling changes and field settings.

We have now come to the beginning of the Indian innings where the target is 321 in 40 overs translating into 8 runs per over from the beginning.  Anyone who has seen India play in this series (both in Tests and one dayers) would have written off this as impossible.  Perhaps for the first time in this series, we saw each batsman contribute to the total in a significant manner and not even one player got out in single digits as has become the norm in this tour.  With a rousing start from Sehwag and Sachin that was consolidated by Gambhir & Virat Kohli and with a final flourish thanks to Suresh Raina, India reached the target not in the stipulated 50 overs, not in the desired 40 overs but much earlier in 37 overs.  Who ever would have thought that such a team can produce this remarkable result!!

When I read Virat Kohli’s remarks in the post-match conference, it became apparent that this was not a chance victory but one that was painstakingly built on a foundation of strategy and intention.  when it was clear that the target was to be achieved in 40 overs, they saw it not as a one-day international but as 2 twenty over matches.  They were on course at the end of the 10th and 20th overs and were only slightly behind at the end of the 30th over but the late onslaught against Lasith Malinga got them home in 37 overs.  Virat Kohli hit a boundary almost every over and that was intentional because that is a more sensible way of chasing such a big total.  There was a plan and they stuck to it.

To summarize, Dhoni played for a positive outcome through and through and was vindicated by the result!!  What a match it turned  out to be!!

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4 Comments

  1. Ramkumar said,

    February 29, 2012 at 5:16 am

    I never knew you were so passionate about cricket like me 🙂
    BTW, you are not factually correct while stating that Sehwag, Tendulkar & Gambhir are playing together for the 1st time in this series. They all played in the previous 2 matches too, my friend!

    Nevertheless, the summary is true. And taking this to other areas of life, we can see that it pays to be positive! As we know, it’s a matter of choice available to all.

    • badrirag said,

      February 29, 2012 at 6:41 am

      Ram,

      Thanks for pointing out the error. Will rectify it in the post. What is important is to have an intention and keep it in existence throughout.

      Badri

  2. N Ramesh said,

    February 29, 2012 at 5:58 am

    Once again, I wish to repeat what I had stated yesterday in response to a similar post from you, in the form of a comment, that life is both a Drama and Game of Chance and Choice intertwined together in a non linear fashion, which we are unable to differentiate and distinguish !

    As I had already expressed earlier on, life is a mixture of Choices and Chances which keep coming to us in our lifespan, which is applicable to any Game and more particularly to the Game of Cricket, which is a sensational Sport, provided one really knows the rules of this Game !

    • badrirag said,

      February 29, 2012 at 6:42 am

      Ramesh,

      I only wish you use your linguistic skills to write comments that convey some meaning instead of going in circles.


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