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Monday, February 20, 2006

Final ODI and U19 World Cup

What can one say on the 2 matches that India and Pakistan played on Sunday, 19-Feb? 1-1 it was, with the seniors winning it for India whereas the juniors pulled it back for Pakistan.

Lets go to the seniors match first. India must have gained a lot of positives from this match - Sreesanth (who finally had some wickets under his belt), Yuvraj and Dhoni, of course. Gambhir shouldnt have thrown his wicket, especially after getting a life!!!

Ramesh Powar finally gave India an alternative spinning option compared to Murali Karthik. While his batting would be a plus, his fielding (and his weight) wouldnt be a pusher for Ramesh on a permanent slot. But, overall, I feel Ramesh did a very good job against the Pakis yesterday.

Zaheer and Ajit Agarkar with the new ball was a throwback to olden times and they tried to make it clear to the Indian thinktank that they arent good at bowling with the new ball, if they are given a chance that is. Sreesanth and Irfan opening and RPS at first-change is a very good combo as of now. Probably, Ajit Agarkar as second-change might work for some more time, till India gets another fast-bowler (Balaji, VRVS or Munaf).

As for as the batting is concerned, what can one say? We need to check Dhoni and Yuvraj in this form on overseas tracks. But till such a opportunity presents itself, we should bask in their glory. What a performance!!! When the required run-rate was more than 7, these 2 added 146 runs to take the Indians to victory, remaining unbeaten at the end. I dont think anyone in the Indian team had such a partnership earlier. Can someone tell me when did it happen, if ever?

A victory chasing 285+ and winning by 8 wickets with more than 3 overs to spare and without Sachin,Sehwag,Pathan and Harbhajan - must rank quite high on the list of Indian victories against Pakistan.

On the U-19 match, it was incredible again...What to say? Piyush Chawla should be asked to travel with the Indian team on all their matches just for him to get the top-level experience and gain more insight. He is just too good to stay at the age-group level!!! On the Pakistan bowling, it was surprising that at their age, they were bowling in the 140s...very surprising. As Srikanth mentioned in one of the TV channels, the seniors might need someone like these junior players to get them to the next level. One aspect of the junior play was that the fielding of both the teams were quite good - probably a facet of the game in the new century.
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