The semi-final between India and New Zealand

13 JULY 2019


   This semi-final is a classic proof what happens when you fail to strategize whatever you do.

It is important to have a strategy for the whole team and to communicate to them as the game is progressing depending on the latest development in the game.

When Rohit fell the team should have arrived at a strategy of saving wickets in spite of not scoring fast. It always helps on a relatively low or moderate score game to save wickets first and then hit out rather than trying to score runs right from the beginning. If you want to win, you should focus on doing only one thing at a time: you have to choose between saving your wicket, (no hitting through the air and hitting only through the ground hitting, hitting only loose balls if and when they come and be comfortable with dots balls, taking risks and hitting out depending on the number of overs pending and the runs to be scored, or tightening the fielding and bowling if you are the bowling side.

We failed to save wickets when Rohit fell and like a pack went on to lose 3 more wickets for paltry runs at a time when the only thing we should have been doing is to keep the wickets. It is not that these 4 people were incapable of solid defence, they did not attempt strong enough to do it.

Knowing Dhoni blocks one end completely, sending him as number 7 was another strategy-less thought. When the need of the hour is to hold wickets why did we not send Dhoni who has done it in practically all games this world cup?

You let pressure to build by losing 4 quick wickets and send Dhoni at no. 7: What a pressure situation it was when Dhoni walked in! How admirably he handled it! Only the most arrogant so-called players and commentators would blame Dhoni for not hitting out at that time and it is the most stupid thing to do – in the childish hope of getting out of the rut. Such commentators should ask for public apology from Dhoni to have criticized him in this and in earlier matches. He has a calculative head and so cool to get out of any pressure situation, he also knows when to start hitting.

It was unfortunate that he got run out in an attempt to retain the strike as the pressure created by his illustrious but strategy- less predecessors. He got out unfortunately as admitted by the man who ran him out telling it was luck factor too. And he had to fight against the invisible opposition – the third rate umpiring for a ‘world’ cup match duly comfortable in the thought that I C C rules support them against the players irrespective of the periodic sleep they indulge in standing in the filed! How could they not call a no-ball and how could they not see 6 people in the outer circle as the ball was being bowled?

And of course kudos to the “bits and pieces’ cricketer Jadeja: Sanjay Manjrekar is known for giving the correct cricket shot which is an emphasis on the means at the cost of the ends namely getting required runs, even by playing a shot not in the books. Sanjay Manjrekar is an efficient but not effective cricketer, Jadeja just the opposite! Sanjay should publicly apologize to this valiant cricket Jadeja, instead of trying to explain his inclusion by himself in the semi-final and defending it telling it was the team he guessed but not his team. So more shame on him!

Dhoni ultimately proved he is way above the rest of the cricketers before and with him. Kudos to the architect of the modern Indian team which, in spite of the defeat on a given day, is no doubt the best team we have ever had. And the numbers also do not prove Dhoni did not hit fast enough given the situation he was put in.

Dhoni’s presence in the Indian team is a must for a couple of more years only for others to know how to handle a pressure situation and to think strategically and then execute the strategy so worked out – not just efficiently but – effectively.

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