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Yuvi saves team India from the blues …

Yuvraj singh 5 wickets haulMatch number 3 for India was against Ireland. Yes that same Ireland who caused a famous upset against England just a few days ago. So a lot of folks were looking forward to this match and how team India – the mighty contenders for the World Cup this year, would fare against the so called “associate” team. If one were to look at just the score card, they’d think India overhauled Ireland’s modest score of 207 with 4 overs and 5 wickets to spare. “A good work out” for our boys as Ravi Shastri opined at the end of the match… but for those of us who happened to watch the match, would think otherwise. If I have to sum it up like Ravi Shastri I would have said “A good wake-up call” for our boys.
 It is important to note the things that went right for team India, for the first time in the 3 matches - Zaheer took 2 wickets with the new ball, Bhajji bowled tidy 9 overs with an average of less than 4 runs per over, India managed to ensure that no Irish player scored a run away century and only one of their batsmen scored more than a fifty, Yuvraj, one of the regular bowlers took a five wicket haul and net result was Ireland could only score 207.
But I think that is where the good things ended ..  India’s batting showed the soft underbelly that worries me ….
At one point India were reeling at 24 runs for 2 wickets. 2 of the best batsmen in the business lost their wickets to careless shots. After scoring 9 runs of the first over, Sehwag again wanted to hit a boundary of the first ball of the next over… why? Gambhir, did not know where the fielder was and he converted a wide ball into a ball that gifted the 36 year old Johnson a 2nd wicket in as many overs.
When will Indian batsmen make the bowlers earn their wicket rather than gifting it?
Sachin showed some determination and discipline but he too perished to an irresponsible shot. I was actually happy that, unlike Dhoni, atleast he did not waste a valuable option of reviewing the official decision by asking the system to reiterate the obvious decision.
Kohli was the next one to go. He was the victim of poor running between the wickets. The running between the wickets was not only abysmal when Kohli got run out. There were just too many lost opportunities when Yuvraj didn’t apply himself  and didn’t care to take his first run fast and to create an opportunity for the second run. In fact, Yuvi was often converting easy doubles into singles and frustrating Kohli and then later on Dhoni. I would have imagined that Indian batsmen would have, by now, known the value of taking each and every run as if it was the winning run… after all,  in the tie with England last week, one “short run” on the last ball of the innings could have potentially given India its victory. But I did not see Indians learning from their mistakes.
Dhoni and Yuvi kept toiling for runs on a wicket that had completely changed in its characteristic in just the last few days. The pitch that has produced over 1300 runs in the last 4 innings, today it seemed like a slow and difficult wicket to bat on. Add to that the Irish gritty defense. Dhoni aptly pointed out during the presentation ceremony, Ireland made their 207 look like it was 240 runs by fielding and bowling tightly and to send a chill down India’s batting order… Thanks to a last minute cameo by Yusuf India finally completed the required runs to score a victory.
So for those people who will only look at just the score it is important to know the details. All in all I am glad that Yuvi got a good work out he converted his opportunity into a winning performance with ball first and then by bat too by scoring the vital, unbeaten 50 runs.

I hope India learns from this outing / workout and start to get their act together or else I am afraid some other professional and disciplined side will take home this world cup,