Hmm..this is for the second time in the tournament that India have lost with Sachin Tendulkar scoring a century. But, as most of the tongues wag, I don't blame it on the maestro keeping in mind various superstitions. When cricket is a team game, leaving something completely upon one player is just stupid and a shameful act as well as cowardly. One can go through the scorecard of yesterday's game between India and South Africa at Nagpur to see what actually happened. If not for the opening duo, no other batsmen really stood to the occasion. Of course, Gambhir did.
But, with the likes of Yousuf Pathan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh being there in the team and that too in full form, things should have been a lot better. India were at one stage charging in at 267/1 at the end of the 40th over at over six an over and with ten more overs still to go. The total seemed to be somewhere close to 400 with all the aforementioned batsmen and tail-end batsmen like Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan who can do their bit with the bat at the fag end of the innings. Oh! I forgot to mention Kohli.
With such a strong batting line up and with such a great initial start, something much was expected and unfortunately, the total ended 4 runs less than 300. But still, all was not lost with the Indian bowlers being capable of doing things as expected with Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra being among top wicket takers for the team. They did well initially when South Africa were at one stage 247/6 after at one stage being at 223/3. 13 runs were needed from the last over and my goodness! I wonder how that was possible under that much pressure!
Failures with both the bat as well as the ball should and must draw all sorts of criticism no matter who scored a hundred or who held their nerves to restrict the opposition when there were 6 other batsmen who got out scoring single digit runs or just above the ten run mark and someone like Ashish Nehra who gave away 65 runs from 8.5 overs at 7 and a half an average that included the last over. I don't discourage Dhoni for giving the last over to Nehra instead I criticize him for under-using his bowlers when Sehwag & Sachin Tendulkar could have bowled.