This is the match for India to win.
The match is currently going on at Nagpur. As of now, SA are at 66 runs for the loss of 1 wicket (Graeme Smith). Earlier, India scored 296 runs for the loss of all wickets, which was not my forecast ! Like most others, going by the early aggressive play at more than 8 runs per over, I had forecasted that India would get more than 350 runs. I revised it to 320 runs later on, but did not anticipate that 5 wickets will be gone like dropping match sticks – the guys took one or two runs and were bowled out completely. That was a pathetic display of ineffectiveness on the part of India, though Sachin Tendulkar scored 111 runs and Virender Sehwag boldly led the batting attack.
If only Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan and Virat Kohli had batted well, India would have set a score of not less than 320 – 330 for the South Africans, which would have been difficult to reach given the softness of the wicket. But it was not to be, and now the Indians will have to field extremely well to stop the run rate from crossing 6 runs per over.
India has lost both matches against South Africa in previous World Cup matches before 2011. So, the expectation is that it is going to be tough for India to win this match today. But, it was heartening to see the firepower of India in full display today, till the first 3 wickets were active (Sachin, Virender and Gambhir). After that it was all downhill for India.
So, let us now see how India fields and secures the match for itself, which would put India at the very top of the nations fighting for the World Cup this year.
Enjoy the lively cricket this evening !
12th March 2011