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simply Sunny
First win in Oz series should give India self-belief
By Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil GavaskarIndia lifted their game and by winning the second of the two T20 matches, they also lifted the spirits of their die hard supporters. The win was all the more remarkable as it came on the back of some excellent fielding which has not always been India’s strong point in international cricket.

The inclusion of younger, more athletic players does invariably lift the fielding standards even if it may not do much for bowling or batting and the younger lot in the Indian team are without exception, outstanding fielders. What was also important was that Dhoni had the right fielders in the right positions and that meant that runs were converted into run outs.

Having Jadeja at backward point to the leg spinner meant that the ball that was cut was going towards his throwing arm which is the left hand. The Australian batsmen thinking that there was a single or more for the taking took off and realized that they were in trouble a bit too late.

Jadeja also needs to be commended for keeping his cool and throwing to the correct end and getting the batsman out. There were some brilliant saves from Raina, Kohli and Rohit Sharma too and the catch that Gambhir took to get rid of the dangerous Warner is something that should be preserved and shown to youngsters to learn how to run backwards keeping the eyes focused on the ball.

That wicket was the spur that the Indians needed and they never let up after that. Shaun Marsh's misery continued with him getting out for yet another duck and only Aaron Finch along with the man of the match from the previous game Matthew Wade looked as if they could pose a danger to the team.

Australia in line with their thinking of keeping an eye on the T20 World Cup later in the year made three changes ensuring that everybody in their squad got a chance to play. India on the other hand retained the same combination much to the chagrin of those who felt that it needed some innovativeness and difference in their attack.

Praveen Kumar showed what India had missed in the Tests by getting the ball to move impressively both ways and causing the batsmen problems with the movement. Rahul Sharma bowled well and though his economy was over 7 runs an over some of those runs were streaky boundaries off thick edges. It was the fielding that made the difference this time around with no less than four run outs.

India were hardly under pressure with an asking rate of less than 7 runs an over and they got off to a brisk start with Sehwag and Gambhir playing some crisp shots. Kohli made sure there was another good partnership and then Dhoni finally saw the reading on the wall and promoted himself and stayed till the winning hit was made.

Gambhir who has had a rough time in the Test came good and it bodes well for the tri series that begins shortly.

It was a morale boosting win and it should give belief back to the team which seemed to have had lost it completely halfway through the Test series. — PMG 





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