The Twenty Twenty champions had arrived at MCG with a lot of promise. The record 84,000 plus crowd was anticipating a humdinger of a Match, but the Aussies once again showed that when it comes to the big stage, they almost always come out trumps.
It is said, Cricket is a great Leveler. A young exuberant side led by MS Dhoni with almost no twenty twenty practice had shocked the World by winning the World Cup in South Africa. It was a team effort but the team did have its share of heroes. Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir with the Bat. Harbhajan and RP Singh with the ball. The World champions arrived at Melbourne to take up the Aussie challenge. The might of the Aussies had been humbled twice. But they were no the ones to take this lying down, even in the absence of Ponting and Hayden, it was a cake walk for the Kangaroos.
From an Indian point of view, it was a feeling of melancholy. Through out the Aussie summer this was one clash that was being anticipated. But, the Indian batsmen could not even last the stipulated quota of twenty overs, forget making a decent score. It was appalling to see Sachin Tendulkar sitting at the Dug out watching the wickets fall down like the bowling pins. Now we need to understand the importance of experience.
Look at the Aussie side, World Champions, the best team in tests and their recent win over India in Twenty Twenty makes them a force to reckon with. Australia have had great youngsters doing well in the Domestic circuit, but sadly there is no place for them in the international side. Guys like Hayden and Hussey had to wait till their thirties to make their respective debuts. Australia focuses on performance and form rather than age as a criteria to fetch the players their coveted baggy green.
It was the same old story yesterday. A batting collapse, we all have got used to. Sehwag with a poor choice of run. Gambhir and Utthappa trying to go over the in field even when they had barely gauged the bounce of the pitch. Karthick and Sharma falling to irresponsible shots. Dhoni trying to clear the field but only holing out to the fielder at Square Leg. And Indians could have been bowled out for the lowest total in twenty twenty ever, if it was not for a face saving knock from Irfan Pathan. The only Indian batsman who exercised some caution while batting.
Twenty Twenty is a game of fours and sixes, but remember the boundaries are still at the same distance and hence all the rules of Cricket apply. Whatever the format of cricket be, you just cant score from the first ball. You need to get yourself set first. Indian batsmen it seems were awed by the great occasion and this is where the experience of Sachin could have helped. And you cant really prove that guys like Karthick, Sharma or Utthapa are better players then Sachin.
The scene that caught my eye yesterday was the one in which, there was a spinner bowling to a number eleven batsmen with all the fielders crowding around the bat. Trust me, it may have been a hat trick ball but you will not ever see this happening again. This was hurting the pride of the Indians, as the Aussies have most certainly avenged their two earlier defeats.
The selection for the team had itself been a flawed one. With batsmen like Ganguly, Dravid and Laxman sent home, the Indians were looking for trouble. The Indians have a mammoth task in front of them if they are to win the series against Australia. The debate between experience and youth will continue. But if Sachin would have taken to the field, the result could well have been different.