We lived our dream to win WC 2011. It was an emotional moment for everyone involved. A dream come true. Another dream to win WC 2014, this time a T20 was on cards. Our team India was looking ominous by being the only team to remain unbeaten in the entire tournament. We had a star studded batting lineup as it has always been the case. Our bowling especially spinners were looking good given the assisting pitch and similar home conditions. So Indian team were tough to beat. But in the finals we had to face an equally good, another subcontinent team SriLanka.
After loosing toss and batting first we had a blessing in disguise. It was always a good option to put up a challenging score and put pressure on the opposition as this being a big tense final even 150-160 would translate into 170-180 because of the pressure. At halfway stage we had a decent run rate and looked good to put up a huge total as we had lost only 2 wickets and had some hard hitters to come. But what India finally managed to make a meager 130 runs with wickets in hand was something no one would have predicted or imagined.
Fast-forwarding, Sri Lanka were almost in a similar stage at 14-15 overs with our bowlers especially spinners bowling beautifully and hitherto clinching wickets. But Indians couldn’t match the death bowling what Sri Lanka managed to display in what could be the best death bowling in recent times. So Sri Lanka win and India loose. Now that India have lost that too in a final we have to criticize someone.
So we analyze it further. Tat India’s batting session between 16-20 over’s where India managed to score only 19 runs is under the scanner. Batsman involved were Kohli who was on song yet again and Yuvi who was out of touch yet again. So we blame that Yuvi did not score enough runs after have come to bat at 11th over. Yuvi was completely out of touch as was evident clearly. The ball he got out was a full toss. But he tried hard not to get bogged down. He tried and tried but never succeeded. To add to his misery,the Sri Lankans particularly Malinga were bowling with a plan which was difficult to counter attack wen he decided to score after he depended mostly on singles wen spinners were bowling.Pacers were bowling wide yorkers which doesn’t seem to be present in dictionary of Indian bowlers. Even captain cool Dhoni couldn’t get enough runs in few balls he faced after he promoted himself to bat. This shows that India couldn’t get enough runs because Yuvi was not scoring, Srilankans were bowling exceptionally well and Kohli couldn’t get enough strike. So we have already selected the bait Yuvi and criticize singling him out. We don’t care what the rest of the 10 players do. As rightly said by Sachin, he can be criticized but not crucified and be written off for the rest of his life.But what do we do???We go overboard and attack his house, troll him on social networking sites.This is complete rubbish. We worship players when we win but we need to be more strong/supportive during our defeat.
Yuvi has won us more games than most of the other teammates. During 2007 T20 WC, he was exceptional in scripting famous wins. During 2011 ODI WC, he was man of the series. He was exceptional not only with the bat but he bowled minimum 8 over’s almost every match consistently clinching wickets at crucial time of the game and thus becoming the game changer. Apart from these he has been a match winner for many many games.After famous WC win(when he nauseated and vomited blood) he was diagnosed with career(if not life) threatening cancer. He fought that with great gusto and made a inspirational comeback. After that he fought hard to be the match winner he has been over the years, every time he donned India cap. He tried every time giving his everything. That’s Wat he did the other day. But he failed when it mattered the most in a final. Never mind that’s part and parcel of the game.
P.S : Having said that, I fear we are seeing last of Yuvraj Singh on a cricket field.
Picture Courtesy: aajtak.intoday.in