A team which was almost striked off from the list of favorites by judging their performance over 3 months. Well, that team obviously knew how to answer the criticism and with all elegance they got 6 out of 6 in their league stages. Yes and that’s India. They showed commitment to their goal and carried the aura of being the DEFENDING CHAMPIONS only till that one game which got them all the criticism.
Though, India lost the semis, one should not forget that they lost to a better side and with side where a number of players were playing their first world cup. If we objectively analyze the second semi final, India lost half their battle when they lost the toss. This is because its always a mammoth task to chase a target in a big game, however small or big it may be.
Secondly, India lost the game when they allowed the partnership between smith and finch to settle down something they had not done in their previous games but I still felt that India did a brilliant job to pull the aussies back after getting some crucial wickets post the 34th over. They made sure that the Aussies did not reach the mammoth total very easily and at a point it felt as if they would get too 295 until Johnson recreated india's biggest fear which is of course the tail scoring runs. Possibly after such cameos it may be wrong to say that Australia do have a TAIL. Johnson bagged those brownie runs which gave them the appropriate score.
When we all went into that innings break, we knew that the 329 was humongous for any team to chase but a thought most Indian fans bore in mind was that their batting line up was one of the best in the world. And they were not wrong till the first wicket fell. The openers showed patience and calmness which is a prerequisite in big games like this. But India somehow lost its way when crucial wickets fell and the most spoken of them was of virat kohli. Obviously there was a ray of hope when the rahane and dhoni partnership got going. Indians knew what their captain was capable of but it was just not india's day and Australia got a berth in the finals and the Indian world cup dream ended in a way which saw tears in their captains eyes.
Of course, the next big treat for cricket lovers is the upcoming clash at the G and hopefully a cracker too. But before I conclude this article, I would love to deviate from the analysis and speak a bit about the ways people have reacted about india's loss. Number of people spoke about how winning all the matches in the league stage was futile, but I still believe that had India not played the way they did, we would have had been left with so little to be proud of. May be as Indians we all felt the way we did when India crashed out of the WC, but as true fans of the game lets give a thought to some good cricket India played this WC. With that thought, I hope you enjoy the upcoming final.
- Prashanti Ganesh