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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cricket: India Beat Sri Lanka in Perth One-Dayer! Rotation Continues!


Virender Sehwag came back into the team, but Gautam Gambhir was out! It was some weird kind of a rotation policy that drops one established or maybe a ‘senior’ player and takes in one youngster that is to say Rohit Sharma—to be more specific. He was kept out of the Test series consistently and now somebody is trying to make amends! The pertinent question is why rotation? For a team that almost forgot the winning habit overseas winning must be the main objective and for that you have to put in the best team possible. That India managed to win against Sri Lanka by four wickets in the second match of the triangular series in Australia was not a masterful statement of authority, the team with rotation in full swing is still suspect against Australia or maybe even Sri Lanka in matches to follow.

Zaheer Khan came back too into the team and kept the Sri Lankans at bay by capturing two wickets. With disciplined bowling and R Ashwin’s great bowling of 3 for 32 restricted Sri Lanka to 233 for 8 in the allotted fifty overs. The target of 234 for a win was not a stiff one and Sri Lanka definitely fell short of at least 20 runs for a challenging total.

Except for good batting by Virat Kohli (77) and Sachin Tendulkar (48) the Indian reply was almost the predictable one with all top batsmen back in the pavilion at the score of 181 for 6. That was the moment when Sri Lanka could have stormed back and won the match. But all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and spinner with some batting ability R Ashwin batted sensibly and had an unbeaten partnership of 53 runs seeing India through with 20 balls to spare. They in fact showed the right way to the genuine batsmen how to play for win when the asking rate was not all the concern. R Ashwin deservedly won the man of the match award.

The ill-advised rotation policy must end if India fancy chances of going into the final of the series and even winning it. Just thinking if Yuvraj was also fit and playing what the rotation policy would have been like! Anyway, it was refreshing to see World Champions overcoming their World Cup final opponents yet again after about ten months.

Nurturing youngsters for Test matches, particularly overseas, remains a huge problem that needs lot of introspection by the people who matter. The lifeless and slow Indian pitches are no answer to this problem whatever form of cricket you play thereon, T20, one-dayer, tests or Ranji matches. 

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