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What just happened!


Never have Pakistani fans cheered as much after an Indian victory as they did in the last Super Eights match. The boisterous crowd led India on the path back to India. After winning four out of their five games, India have been knocked out of the T20 World Championship. One cannot say they had a bad tournament. They just had one very very bad match. Perhaps a bit unfair but c’est la vie.

Their first match against Afghanistan exposed India’s weakness. However, an English team playing spin with a prayer rather than the bat in hand delivered a nation false hope. India were deceived into believing their spin department was potent enough to make batsmen dance like Shakira. Then came the game every arm chair expert had predicted. Australia bulldozed their way through the Indian bowling. Watson in particular, was performing a song from the next U2 album ‘How to dismantle a bowling attack.’ He was brutal in his decimation and yet somewhat musical in his shot selection. India then beat Pakistan as is the tradition at World Cups. By this point India looked desperate and played that way. They were diving around the field and running ones and twos. They carried this same ‘I’m 40 and still a virgin’ desperation into their game against South Africa. They won but not well enough. South Africa managed to take India down with them.

The men in light green have been disappointing. They began the tournament as the strongest team. They are still strong but leave aboard the CHOKERS 747. Unlike India, their bowling was top class but their batting could have done with a bit more ‘personality’. Their top three batsmen played completely out of character. Hashim Amla, one of the finest timers of the ball tried to hit the ball a bit too hard. He was good in the start of the tournament but forgot who he was in the face of large targets. Jacques Kallis was the same. He was at his wicket taking best with the ball but with the bat, he was someone else altogether. The pressure of playing in a T20 World Cup definitely did not allow the South African batsmen to play their natural game. AB de Villiers coming down the order was a decision that bordered on being a symptom of clinical depression. As though destined to their fate, SA felt hopeless and hence did not even try. This and every South African team prior to this was a strong team but simply not World Cup material. At least they can be glad about still being the number one side in Tests.

The West Indies on the other hand, have found a strong team after a long long time. So strong that only two victories out of five matches were enough to take them into the semi-finals. Along with being a strong team, they are also a lucky bunch of all-rounders. Ever since Gayle returned to the West Indies team, they have looked like bears out of hibernation. The ease that Chris Gayle allows the other batsmen to bat with is the same with which he hits sixes. Their bowlers have also been fantastic. The only question that looms large over their heads is what happens when Chris Gayle fails. 

The teams in the semi-finals deserve to be there. Australia have in the words of Bumble Lloyd, 'walloped' their way to the semis. Sri Lanka have lost only a single game while Pakistan have been consistent. It is going to be an interesting contest.

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