Sunday, March 18, 2007

1 down, 2 to go

When I saw the composition of the groups for the World Cup, I assumed, like everybody else I'm sure, that India would breeze into the second stage. After all, it would definitely win atleast 2 of its 3 matches since the other teams in its group were Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bermuda. But even that assumption is now on shaky ground after our team's shocking loss to Bangladesh yesterday. And the scary part is, it was our much-vaunted batting lineup that let us down. So India now has to win both its matches against Bermuda(tomorrow) and Sri Lanka(March 23) to move into the next stage. Considering India's history of buckling under pressure, that's scary news indeed...

Though it seems a little mean-spirited, it has always been the case that a loss for Pakistan(against any country) caused almost as much joy as a victory for India. So news about Pakistan's elimination from the World Cup after their even-more shocking loss to Ireland(they had already lost to the West Indies in an earlier match) yesterday, came as a small comfort after reading about India's loss. On the flip side, no match in the World Cup comes close to the tension and excitement generated by an India-Pakistan meeting. So its a little sad that there is no hope of that clash happening this time...

25 Comments:

At 12:04 AM, Anonymous ram said...

this post feels very incomplete without even a cursory mention of bob woolmer, the pakistan coach who unfortunately passed away this morning...requiescat in pace.

 
At 12:05 AM, Blogger Raju said...

cricket post from u ah Balaji? surprise..

Though Pakistan's loss was heartening, India's loss to BD happened earlier and so got diluted. And, Bob Woolmer's sudden demise is very shocking as well. I felt horrible.

Hmm.. back to the lighter side, if India doesnt beat Srilanka and thus heads home early, to utilize the next month of inactivity, India and Pakistan can play a 5-match oneday series. That would kill all the sponsorship money to the world cup. The ICC will deservedly go mad.

 
At 12:38 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

ram, yes it does... but didn't know about the news when i wrote the post(didnt read the WC news this morning since there was no india match yday!). would've defly mentioned it if i'd known...

raju, the cricketing experts(like u) i read regularly haven't written about it yet. so i squeezed a post in when i had the chance :)

lol on the plan... devious :)

 
At 12:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob Woolmer's demise is rally shocking. It is time we understood that cricket is only a game. we do take it too seriously.

In fact ever since 1987 , this has been going on most of India rejoiced at Pak going down to Australiainsemi final. The next day we were swept out of the tournament by Gatting!

In 1992 I was the only one cheering Pakistan In my immediate circle. ( My logicwent that after all thirty five years ago they were our brothers and England bossed over us for the best part of two centuries)

I do no that malcolm speed and co are trying to contact all the bookies to fix up results that India somehow goes through till at least the last four. Otherwise The tournament will be a wash out.

One other random thought , Greg Chappel has been vindicated in away hasn't he? Bangladesh's batting heroes were sixteen, seventeen and eighteen. Suresh Raina any one?

To complete my dissenting voice, Dada after playing cautiously ( too cautiously in my opinion) should have stayed on till the 50th Over isn't it? Am I wrong in feeling that Dada's shot soon after Yuvraj's departure smacked of " podhum en velai mudichandhu- team jaicha enna thotta enna"
Our fielding too was pathetic and the running betweent he wickets atrocious.
But still cricket is only a game but life goes on till 25th March 2007!
vengayam

 
At 12:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob Woolmer's demise is rally shocking. It is time we understood that cricket is only a game. we do take it too seriously.

In fact ever since 1987 , this has been going on most of India rejoiced at Pak going down to Australiainsemi final. The next day we were swept out of the tournament by Gatting!

In 1992 I was the only one cheering Pakistan In my immediate circle. ( My logicwent that after all thirty five years ago they were our brothers and England bossed over us for the best part of two centuries)

I do no that malcolm speed and co are trying to contact all the bookies to fix up results that India somehow goes through till at least the last four. Otherwise The tournament will be a wash out.

One other random thought , Greg Chappel has been vindicated in away hasn't he? Bangladesh's batting heroes were sixteen, seventeen and eighteen. Suresh Raina any one?

To complete my dissenting voice, Dada after playing cautiously ( too cautiously in my opinion) should have stayed on till the 50th Over isn't it? Am I wrong in feeling that Dada's shot soon after Yuvraj's departure smacked of " podhum en velai mudichandhu- team jaicha enna thotta enna"
Our fielding too was pathetic and the running betweent he wickets atrocious.
But still cricket is only a game but life goes on till 25th March 2007!
vengayam

 
At 1:01 AM, Blogger Bart said...

Now, Bob's passing away followed by Inzy's retirement are real shockers so far. These have overshadowed Ind's loss and Pak's exit. Hope the game gets back in track for our two countries.
But the most positive thing to note was Bangladesh's much much improved quality of game and Ireland's belief in themselves (Pak needs to be blamed more in this case). Now Bangladesh series against any nation would deserve more attention atleast.
Yeah, but no match that we really look forward here on. Hope SA Vs Aus and Eng Vs Aus would make up for the loss of Ind Vs Pak.

 
At 6:04 AM, Blogger Priya said...

It is indeed a sorry state of affairs. Now India has to not only win both the games to get to the next stage, but also has to have a better run rate with the 2 wins.

As you rightly mentioned, for most of the Indians, we atleast try to take solace in the fact that Pakistan has already made an exit out of the World Cup!

 
At 8:30 AM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Bob Woolmer, so sad he was having a tough time coaching a team like Pak..numerous internal issues.

BB, Bangladesh are no longer minnows, remember they beat Aus last year and gave them a run before they barely managed to win the Test match at Dhaka :)

 
At 9:00 AM, Blogger VThinkTank said...

India have made life very hard for themselves at this World Cup after losing to Bangladesh in their Group B opener at the Queen’s Park Oval here on Saturday. Even winning both their remaining games — against Bermuda on Monday and Sri Lanka thereafter on Friday — does not guarantee passage to the Super Eight league stage.
As things stand, India’s net run rate stands at –0.139. In contrast, Sri Lanka have an NRR of +4.86 following their crushing 243-run win over Bermuda on Thursday and the Tigers are at +0.139.

India thus have to not only wipe out the negative deficit in their NRR but also score a big enough win to close the gap on the Sri Lankans, who are yet to play Bangladesh.

In a sense Habibul Bashar’s team is best placed to chart their destiny as they play the final league match against Bermuda knowing exactly what to do to send either India or Sri Lanka home on the basis of a better NRR. Given the sorry cricket Rahul Dravid’s side displayed on Saturday, turning things around will not be easy. The choice to bat first came as a shock to locals, who are aware that pitches at the Oval are lively in the first hour or so, though even they were taken aback at the pace and bounce of the track. That decision will haunt the captain but it cannot conceal the sorry collapse that saw India finish with less then 200 on the board. At 157/4, they could still have pushed for a 220-230 total, but the fall of the well-set Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh, and the procession behind them effectively finished India off.

So it now comes down to two do-or-die matches, both that the Indians have to win, and still hold their breath. In brief, here’s how teams will go through to the Super Eights, given the likely situation in Group B, according to the tournament’s playing conditions:

¦ For teams with equal points and equal wins, the team with the higher net run rate in the group matches will be placed in the higher position.

¦ If after the NRR calculation there are teams that are still equal, then the team with the higher number of wickets taken per balls bowled in which results were achieved will be placed in the higher position.

¦ If still equal, the team winning the head-to-head group match will be placed in the higher position.

¦ In the highly unlikely event that teams cannot be separated by all these calculations, the qualifiers will be decided by drawing lots.

Any which way one looks at it, at least for now, all bets are off.

Let us hope our guys deliver big and like someone said without India and Pakistan in Super 8 it will be a cake walk and predictable in Super 8 unless Bangladesh really runs its luck through and causes some interesting upsets.

 
At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not understand why Bangaladesh's victory against India should amount to more interest in Bangaladesh matches. If you see articles in papers in Bangaladesh they are very happy to have beaten India because even though they are a test playing nation India is the only country not to have invited them for a test series so far,because of fear that no one will turn up to see these matches.

Indian cricket team is the biggest joke in sporting fraternity. Its nothing but a money spinner for BCCI, the broadcasters,the players and of course Mandira. I just hope these senior lot is asked to retire even if we win the world cup and build a new team.

man Sachin wants to play 2011 world cup, that should be some sight, guess he wants to tie Miandad's record, I am not accusing him of playing for the records :).

-KP

 
At 5:25 PM, Anonymous sriram said...

Honestly. Even if India manages to win the next one against srilanka. They dont deserve to go to the super 8.
Watching the match on saturday I felt vindicated. I always had the opinion that Indians cannot bat when the pitch offers some assistance to the bowlers. India can never play when the ball does'nt come on to the bat. That is the fact. Added to that the Indian bowling attack was pathetic.

Inzi retired. Nasser Hussain did the same in the past. However even if India were to lose the match against Srilanka and return home, you wont see any change in the team in the near future.

Tendulkar will still be in the team based on his experience .

 
At 5:29 PM, Anonymous sriram said...

Anon. Miandad won a world cup for Pakistan. Can't forget 1992 finals and
Imran Miandad partnership.

If my memory serves me right pakis were 33 for 3 after 17 overs.


But they won the worldcup. It was because they knew what they had to do. Bat 50 overs.
All sachin can do is hit when the pitch is flat.

Cricket is just not about scoring. Its about endurance. Being patient when tested by bowlers and punishing them for bad balls.

 
At 9:03 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan said...

everybody talking about money money money! whatever happened to love ?

ring any bells balaji ?

:)

 
At 9:39 PM, Blogger Bart said...

KP, as you rightly pointed "fear of no one turning out for these matches". Now after this win (earlier they defeated Aussies at Bangladesh in one ODI), there would be some interest in junta to see these matches (atleast for revenge).
After the good win against Bermuda yday, now India stands a good chance to qualify if they beat SL. Lets see where we go..
Meanwhile the consistent logic of ICC playing teams like Bermuda, Holland, Canada, Scotland and Ireland in worldcup matches without playing them in any other competitive international cricket always baffles. A team like Bermuda looks as if they've even struggled to find playing 11.

 
At 10:11 PM, Anonymous Cacaphonix said...

demise of bob woolmer really upsets me. may his soul rest in peace.

bb,
i feel it was the bowling and fielding that let the indian team down. these nikkammas (impotents) had no right to be conceited and expecting to bundle bangladeshis within 190 with their pathetic bowling and fielding display. more than indian's batting failure and rahul's "lack of strategy" it is these fellows who needed to be beaten to death for the defeat.

 
At 11:15 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

anon, yep i've always seen it as a game. have followed in intently b4 but never been a fanatic. still, i remember rejoicing in that semifinal when pak was ousted by aus. :)

and haven't been following cricket that much b4 the world cup. from ur comment i'm guessing greg chappell wanted young blood in the team... but who is suresh raina?

bart, true. woolmer's demise was a news item that was greater than the game.

priya, we've kinda started on the right path with that huge win over bermuda today. all eyes on the match with SL now :)

srivatsan, yeah coaching the pak team couldn't have been easy.

and havent been following cricket all that much, esp. if india wasn't playing. so didn't know/remember bangladesh's status. kinda assumed they were pushovers... maybe that was the mistake our team did too :)

vthink, wow excellent analysis. enjoyed reading that as much as i am enjoying reading prem panicker's reports on each game :)

a fav phrase for us in games is "we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory"!. and even when winning, our team always creates some kinda tension at the end. now they've done the same kinda thing just for entering the super 8!

KP, "India is the only country not to have invited them for a test series so far" - didn't know that!

sriram, yeah i think the same too. reasons will be offered for the failure and the team will go on...

sundar, bloodstone??

cacaphonix, thats the 1st time i've heard that the bowling/fielding let us down. maybe we did fair poorly in those depts. but we r so proud of our batting lineup and everyone speaks so greatly of it that a failure in that overrides failures in other departments i guess...

 
At 1:27 AM, Blogger S.Ganesh Kumar said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:04 AM, Blogger S.Ganesh Kumar said...

Check my post regarding the same topic- here.
One doubt;when India won against Bermuda by a record-breaking margin;how's it that it gained only 2.6 pts. when Srilanka and South Africa received 4.86 pts. each for a slightly lesser margin?

 
At 4:04 AM, Blogger S.Ganesh Kumar said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7:54 AM, Blogger Nisha said...

I don't follow cricket and i've absolutely no idea how the game works. That said, Bob Woolmer's demise made the news in my country and it was rather upsetting to read. May his soul RIP.

 
At 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the comment about India's lesser run rate, it is due to the fact that our first match was a loss...it has THAT much of an effect

 
At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Indira said...

Balaji,
under your tamil movie reviews, found emtan magan under 'e' categorization. you might want to change that.

 
At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Indira said...

India has this real potential of shocking us where least expected with a win and proving a dud most other times. we might pull it off and actually progress to the super 8 stage.

 
At 5:17 PM, Anonymous sriram said...

Dont read too much about the victory over bermuda. India struggled to bowl them out.

If Indians lose toss on friday they are sure to lose the match.

Sreesanth and pathan will perform better after being out of the team.
My guess is that they will be back in the team for the Friday match.

 
At 10:38 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan said...

bloodstone it is

:)

 

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