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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hosts Thrashed Again: Pakistan Clinch ODI Cricket Series In Kolkata!



The rot in the Indian cricket team became only too visible again today at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata when Pakistan thrashed the hosts in the second one day international by a massive 85 runs taking an invincible 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI cricket Series. The money spinning and superstar-laden hosts are no longer safe even in their own backyard. It was not for nothing that India suffered successive eight Test defeats abroad; it was not for nothing that England visited them at home and annihilated them in Tests; it was not for nothing that their batsmen, spinners, pacers and fielders continued to fail miserably match after match. The IPL brand icons could not even win the T20 Cricket Series both against England and Pakistan. And, nothing still is going to happen to the Indian team as we had said earlier. How could anyone dare change it? Once the superstars are out of the national team their respective club teams would be thrown out of business! 

Overcast conditions again here in Kolkata like in the first ODI in Chennai and for a change captain Dhoni won the toss. The ‘conditioned’ skipper naturally did not opt to bat first fearing the seam and the swing of the dreaded Pakistan bowlers. But the Indian bowlers could not take any advantage, as always. Pakistan roared to 141 for no loss in just the 24th over and looked set to run away with the match scoring in excess of 300. Yet, Dhoni’s IPL favorite all-rounder Jadeja led a fight-back with Ishant Sharma in particular and Pakistan lost all ten wickets for the addition of only 109 runs with nearly two overs remaining. The target of 251 was not unattainable at all for India in India. For Pakistan Nasir Jamshed achieved his third successive hundred against India (his first in Dhaka in Asia Cup in March this year and the second in Chennai on 30th December, 2012) scoring 106 splendid runs. 

Dhoni justified his defeat in Chennai by saying that the seaming pitch behaved better in the Pakistan innings, but here in Kolkata perhaps the pitch conspired against him considering the way the Indian batsmen struggled to get runs and perished in heaps. The IPL maestros suddenly lost the perspective of scoring quick runs in limited over formats as each batsman consumed a huge lot of balls for the runs. Captain Dhoni (54 not out in 89 balls) presented the only half century of the innings, but he seemed to have lost his faith completely in last minute miracles. Team India fell 165 all out in 48 overs.The Scorecard:

Maybe this shameful Series defeat against the archrivals Pakistan at home will not be taken lightly by the cricket administrators. Maybe something could change for Indian cricket. But the looming IPL in April-May this year cannot be wished away!

The India-Pakistan cricket magic has been disturbed this time. No twists and turns, only heavy one-sidedness. No if-you-win-first-me-next turnarounds, only Pakistan and Pakistan…winning. The third and last ODI in Delhi on January 6 thus gets reduced to a formality. But with England coming ‘thrashing’ back for the ODI Series against India the superstars may just make a last ditch effort, not for national or any kind of pride, but to stick to their positions in the team for deal life till, of course, the IPL.

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