ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

India v West Indies, World Cup 2011, Chennai

Zaheer strike turned match - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 20, 2011

Comments: 43 | Text size: A | A

Zaheer Khan is congratulated on dismissing Devon Smith, India v West Indies, Group B, World Cup 2011, March 20, 2011
MS Dhoni said Zaheer Khan's strike in his second spell allowed India to attack © AFP
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MS Dhoni, the India captain, identified Zaheer Khan's dismissal of Devon Smith in the first over of his second spell as the turning point of the match at Chepauk. Zaheer had only bowled two overs in his first spell and was, presumably, being saved for when the ball got a bit older and reverse-swing came into play. He struck with the older ball, in the 31st over, with a slower ball that bowled Smith, who had anchored West Indies' chase with a well-compiled 81.

"The game really changed once Zaheer gave us the breakthrough; until then Devon was batting really well," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation. "After that we could apply pressure from both ends, and eventually we got more wickets than we needed and we seized the game in the end."

Prior to Zaheer's strike, West Indies had eased their way to 154 for 2 with first Darren Bravo and then Ramnaresh Sarwan building fifty partnerships with Smith. The game seemed to be slipping away from India, but the fall of Smith's wicket allowed Dhoni to attack - at one point he had three close-in fielders for Harbhajan Singh - and West Indies crumbled under the pressure.

India's performance with the bat had been reminiscent of the performance against South Africa in Nagpur. This time it was Yuvraj Singh's turn to score a century, only to see the position he had brought India to squandered by a late collapse. India lost their last seven wickets for 50 runs, with four falling for just 28 after Yuvraj's dismissal in the 45th over.

Against South Africa, the collapse had been 9 for 29, and Dhoni recognised that losing wickets in a flurry at the end of the innings was becoming a problem for India, particularly because it wasn't allowing them to take advantage of the batting Powerplay.

"It [losing wickets] is a concern. But there is a gradual improvement and I am sure we will be at our best in the quarters. That's the positive I will take out of this."

India's 80-run win set up a quarter-final with Australia, to be played in Ahmedabad on March 24. They have lost to Australia in nine out of 15 matches played in India during the last five years, and Dhoni was aware of the challenge ahead of his team.

"Australia are a very strong side and very expressive on the field. But it's about how we prepare. Preparation is very important and we are just thinking about that particular day and match rather than thinking about the result. Being in the present is a better option than thinking of the past or worrying about the future."

© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 43 
Posted by ms.arjun on (March 22, 2011, 8:11 GMT)

Plese play Raina and Ashwin in for Pathan and Munaf. Pathandoes not suit this line up and his talent is so wasted, Raina has much more experience than him. For Goodness sake, take out Munaf. He is so energy less, He gives away atleast 20 runs extra while fielding. Cant u ppl see that. Have Zak, Nehra, Ashwin and Harbhajan as front line bowlers, and have Raina and Yuvi to fill up the next 10.

Posted by Livinitupnowww on (March 21, 2011, 17:33 GMT)

Australia gonna lose & I for one is gonna enjoy seeing that smirk on Ponty face changed to a frown!!!

Posted by lananad on (March 21, 2011, 14:49 GMT)

It will be a very intersting game to watch. I India will have the edge on paper but I bet Aussies will win mainly because their ability to play under pressure and will do well during crunch games. India batsman will struggle under pressure in front of their home crowd.I hope the crowd will behave better if India lose the game. Remember 96 WC Semis?? All in all it should be a tight contest. That's what we need in WC.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2011, 14:31 GMT)

65-35 aussies! jus because our bowlers are not bowling well!

Posted by   on (March 21, 2011, 14:25 GMT)

in the three games in which the Indian batting collapsed in the end (against england, south Africa and Pakistan) there is only one bowler on each occasion who destroyed us...bresnann, steyn and ram paul..instead of being patient with those bowlers and went on with other bowlers, our batsmen mindlessly tried to dominate the best bowler and succumbed...our batsmen should leave their ego and play for the team's cause...

Posted by   on (March 21, 2011, 14:23 GMT)

@KURUWITA: You are right. Aus threatened by SL, beaten by PAK and scheduled to meet IND. All 3 teams that lost to them in world cup finals recently. Tells something?

Posted by dalok on (March 21, 2011, 14:18 GMT)

Yes someone already said but it is worth repeating. India only has one full time bowler in Zaheer and the rest are part time bowlers happy to swing their arm and hoping to contain the batsman.

Posted by Nampally on (March 21, 2011, 14:08 GMT)

ODI Cricket is always being in the present. It is the performance on the match day that counts more than all the talk and planning.India keep losing wickets in a heap because they go about it in a wrong way.Even 6 singles in an over and an occasional 4 or 6, will do the job better than losing wiskets in a wild chase.Just swinging wildly will not earn you runs. Pathan.Patel & Zaheer were bowled swinging across whilst Harbhajan was unlucky to be superbly caught.It is also important for the guy who is at the crease the longest, Yuvraj in this case, to stay at one end without throwing away his wicket.Actually Kohli was out to a very rash shot after his fine innings. These should be the lessons learned and avoided in the following games but India repeat same mistakes consistently. Against the Aussies, it is a "do or die" game.It is vital for the batsmen to put a total of at least 300 and then the bowlers to bowl economically.If you want to be in "future" take care of the "present" , MSD.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2011, 13:34 GMT)

In praising one bowler do not insult the other bowlers. Zaheer is the best bowler India have at present but respect the others too. How did India get all ten wickets think man.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2011, 13:29 GMT)

@MaruthuDelft - You seem to suffer from hatred for Sachin! You can't forget to take the name of Sachin whether the conversation is about bowling, batting or any other skill. This itself indicates that Sachin is once in a life time cricketer. Also - there is nothing to be taken away from Lara and also may I remind you to value Lara's opinion on Sachin? Regards to Shoib - I see why rates Lara more. Go and listen to the on field conversation between Sehwag and Shoib on Sachin.. you might actually realize how he Sachin is rated so high by both his teammates and the opponents alike:-)

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