Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Men in Blue dishonoured in Honour Series

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

What was being touted as the honour series between India and Australia has ended unfavourably for the home side. Aussies clinching the series 4-2 with the last ODI being washed out in Mumbai. Seeing the results one might think that the Men in Blue have fallen flat but that is far from true. India did not loose the series because they were second to the Aussies when it came to cricketing skills but certainly have a lot to learn from the Aussies about holding their nerves.

Two of the four matches that the Aussies won went into the final over where Indian batsman failed to win over their nervousness and excitement. In the first ODI at Vadodara, Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar brought India within striking distance of victory after which Harbhajan played a rash and unnecessary stroke and handed over the match to the Aussies. Being the second senior most player in the team Bhajji should have seen the team through.

Defeat in the fourth ODI at Hyderabad will hurt the Indian cricketers and their fans for ever. The world witnessed a one of the best ever ODI innings by Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar who mesmerised the crowd. In the end his 175 proved to be not enough to guide his team home to a herculean 350 in what would have been the second highest run chase by any team. In the end the Men in Blue felt short by 3 runs with the entire lower order crumbling like a pack of cards.

Virender Sehwag proved to one of the biggest culprit of the series getting out to rash strokes in almost all the matches. Cricket is not just about sixes and four even if Viru thinks it that way. Praveen Kumar turned out to be the biggest find for India and showed he could become a quality all rounder if his batting skills are little worked on. Praveen's performance and Sachin's gem of an innings were the only highlights for India.

In the end the series ended with a defeat that many Indian fans would not have expected. The Aussies side which was hit by string of injuries kept their basics right and clinched the series. The difference between the two teams in the end turned out to be rash strokes and unnecessary run outs in both of which the Indians were far ahead of the Aussies. Hope the Men in Blue regroup soon and give a good show against the Sri Lankans in their next dual.


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