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Senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

India v South Africa, Group B, World Cup 2011, Nagpur

Can India peak at the right time?

Has India's World Cup campaign been a stuttering four-match performance or the prelude to what will be a thoughtfully timed assault on the tougher stages of the competition?

Sharda Ugra in Nagpur

March 12, 2011

Comments: 50 | Text size: A | A

Yuvraj Singh flicks one to the leg side, India v Netherlands, Group B, World Cup, Delhi, March 9, 2011
Yuvraj Singh's performances have been one of the few high points in India's World Cup campaign so far © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: MS Dhoni | Yuvraj Singh
Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup

What is to be made of India's World Cup so far? Is it about a stuttering four-match performance or rather the prelude to what will be a thoughtfully timed assault on the tougher stages of the competition? Is the very idea expectation or just an excuse?

Australia are the only other side who have not lost a game in this World Cup, so MS Dhoni's men are at least getting the results right. After raining runs in Dhaka, though, India's performance against England further dented their bowling's already dented reputation, and the batting was made to look all too mortal against the Associates. Results or not, the loudest favourite for the World Cup have been unable to do what champions are expected to - dominate chunks of play, send out a message, create an aura.

Many believe, and the idea is endorsed by Dhoni, that during this stage of a long event what India is looking for is not a full display of their talent but "momentum", "intensity", and "improvement". So that when the knock-out games arrive, the team can crank it up together. It is why India are playing like this through the tournament. They don't want to "peak too early", they are playing "within" themselves, they are saving it all up for the big matches against the big teams.

On Saturday in Nagpur, India's World Cup theory will have to come closer to establishing its truth versus South Africa, a big team, a big game. The outcome may determine little other than where the two teams may finish in their group but the quality of the cricket by both teams will reveal more than mere words about peaking can. Dhoni said on Friday that India's last two tough league games was the right build-up heading into the knockout stages of the competition. "You want to get a bit of momentum on your side - even though it's a fresh start every day, slowly the intensity will go up. You have to be at your best right from now on."

At every stage Dhoni has believed that India's best form is going to coincide with the second half of the Cup. At every stage he defends his men and explains how an unconvincing performance on the outside actually plays its part inside the larger plan. That for everything negative that may be written or hollered about over television, the team finds and feeds off a "positive".

That India's uneven batting performances may be of benefit because India have worked through all their options, chasing and defending, on flat tracks and slow, low turners. That average starts by the top three in three of the four games have meant the middle-order hitters have gotten a workout under pressure.

That running between wickets can be explained because India's best players rarely played together last year due to injuries. That the fielding wasn't going to get better, but at least they didn't drop catches. That squeezing the runs out in ODIs was equal to taking wickets because it lured batsmen into errors and increased the confidence of the bowlers.

It can be a reassuring argument because it keeps the team's confidence bubbling, observers respectfully daunted by the unforeseen, and the fans' dreams alive. History proves that peaking in long competitions may be unpredictable, but it happens far too often in sport to ignore: in the 1982 football World Cup, a luminous Brazil were knocked out and the Italians, who had squeaked through the league stage, won the title. Last year eventual champions Spain lost to Switzerland in their group game. In tennis' Grand Slam events, leading players often begin rusty and below par, raising their games in a fifth deciding set and then producing their best in the last few rounds. Cricket has Pakistan in 1992, Australia in 1999. Champions seem to instinctively know when to keep something in reserve and when to uncork it.

Yet to believe that the Indian team would not be looking for "form" or "touch" in the World Cup event is to believe that form does not exist. As the World Cup has trundled on, the Indians looking for form are many, but those visibly finding it on the field over the last few games, are few. Teams do not have a switch that can be thrown when it is time to peak. Dhoni said he judges his team's progress through a few signs: on-field performance and intensity. "Intensity really matters. It's about body language, the way with which you are fielding, the amount of effort you are putting into it, how are you are actually helping each other." He said he had seen the signs in his team. "Hopefully as the tournament progress we should be improving a lot over a period of time."

India has demonstrated both on-field performances and intensity only in patches: a few partnerships, Yuvraj Singh's presence, Yusuf Pathan's late assault over Ireland, and the sudden spurt in the field, only after Zaheer Khan removed Ian Bell and Andrew Strauss, to break England's methodical run-chase in Bangalore.

Identifying a cricket team heading towards a timely peak is hard, however. Athletes and swimmers can carefully calibrate how to do so through training and by using the stopwatch. Teams are totally different beasts, distinct individual skills interlocked in collective pursuit; cricket particularly so. For this complicated choreography to come together at the same time, for teams to peak, says Heath Matthews, "it boils down to team dynamic and the internal ethos."

As the World Cup has trundled on, the Indians looking for form are many, but those visibly finding it on the field over the last few games, are few. Teams do not have a switch that can be thrown when it is time to peak

The sports performance director at the Centre for Sports Medicine in Mumbai's KD Ambani Hospital, Matthews has worked with teams and athletes in both South Africa and India. In team sports, he says, it is the senior players who dictate the dynamic, through form and from it to morale and belief. In a long event like the World Cup, "when the seniors absorb the pressure and the expectation, it frees up the younger players, energises them, helps them make key plays that can affect matches."

It is what Zaheer's bowling could do to the rest of his tribe, how Yuvraj's form could work for Virat Kohli or that of the openers for Gautam Gambhir. For a team collective to peak, a number of central figures in the side, like its senior leaders, need to peak at the same time. Like Imran Khan did at the 1992 World Cup through leadership that unlocked Inzamam ul Haq, or the Ranatunga-De Silva duo in 1996, or Shane Warne in 1999. It may be what Dhoni is trying to do, by giving Piyush Chawla his support.

Matthews, a South African himself, says Saturday's match gives India a chance to "check the levels of their intensity". It works the same way on the other side of the fence too. South Africa also wants to hit the right tempo, captain Graeme Smith saying on Friday that a formula was yet to be found. "Everyone in sport is trying to work out what the right method is. Some teams seem to get it right - who knows what the reason is?"

The length of the World Cup has made finding the right answers even more difficult. The South Africans have spent more than a month in India and played only three games, a schedule Smith called, "weird". So far, he said, it had been, "a bit of a stop-start for us with the long breaks". The sudden clutch of South Africa's three matches over 11 days would actually help. "Hopefully we qualify well for the quarter-finals and then we are ready to go." He means take off.

What both India and South Africa want to control now is momentum, which will help them hit the peak when they most need to. In physics, momentum is mass times velocity. In this World Cup, it means the weight of performance that will set in motion a force that even the most immovable objects in cricket cannot stop. In this World Cup, only one team will ever have it, only one team will ever peak.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by RamanaY on (March 15, 2011, 20:31 GMT)

I think its high time our bowlers get back to the draft board and reassess their dark areas.If possible and permitted they should get some guidance from may be Venkatesh Prasad or Robin Singh.We got to win this World Cup. May be for the match against Windies we should have Raina in place of Pathan(no offense) and Ashwin(home ground) in for Nehra.

Posted by Vinod on (March 15, 2011, 4:27 GMT)

A true captain of the team leads from the front. He doesn't criticize his own men every time in the public. It is ridiculous that Dhoni who himself out of batting form ridiculing his team for poor fielding..after all he stood by this team..isn't it ?

Indian team is also playing for the blunders of Greg Chappel, in who's regime India lost two most talented players by poor mismanagement..Irfan Pathan and Mohammad Kaif. It's pity that Indian bowling except Zaheer Khan looked less than ordinary. Not only in the World Cup but even prior to that Indian bowlers didn't look like taking wickets.. They don't know how to bowl yorkers..They don't know how to have variation in their bowling. When Malinga can bowl every ball in his spell on good length and try to york, our bowlers at best can toss the ball in the slot to be hit for a six..

Dhoni should bat at number 4 and should lead the team... You can't be a responsible captain when you yourself has shown any character to lead from the front.

Posted by din2383 on (March 14, 2011, 9:59 GMT)

many peole is criticising dhoni its okay i am not problem with it .india is democratic country they have right to do so.but when i see people like kambli,manindersingh,kirtiazad who had done nothing in their life they were orinary cricketer i began to laugh at them.what they had done in their cricket life .played few international matches telling tendulkar,dhoni how to bat.pity on them

Posted by tomlee1316 on (March 14, 2011, 5:40 GMT)

why is sreeshanth not playing..? is he offered only one chance, because he was hit for 10 per over doesnt mean he is not a good bowler. he has good number of wickets palying against NZ, and he did good in the warm up match.. just because one game went bad doesnt mean putting him out is a good idea..if you look at the aggregate last last 5 matches, he has taken over over 10 wickets closely.. I doubt if Munaf or Nehra have done that. also he is an aggressive bowler. and R Ashwin bring him back to the squad. take out Nehra n Munaf as soon as possible. thank you.

Posted by maddy20 on (March 13, 2011, 17:45 GMT)

@Mark00 Because since it is being forced upon them why not show the world how stupid it actually is? If UDRS has to be perfect then third umpire's call should be final during a review. Otherwise we will only have the on-field umpire's ego coming in the way of making the right decision(just like it happened when Asoka De Silva goofed up in the Ireland vs WI game).

Posted by   on (March 13, 2011, 13:43 GMT)

I go wiith Pijush Dey 296 is not a BAd score to defend,,, evn if india hve scored 300-350+ Runs. thn too it was difficult to defend such total/...for TEAM INDIA.. So better go with a gud combination.. not by ur Captaincy every tym . u wont have LUCK

Posted by Sidthoughtworks on (March 13, 2011, 13:39 GMT)

Please note that we have had a last ball tie with England, lost to South Africa , allowed B'desh to score more than 250, and had hiccups chasing N'lands.

The bowling always looks up to Zaheer for initial breakthrough and Bhajji to strike in the middle order...the rest are just going through their motions!!

Winning a world cup does not mean that you score approx 300 in each needs a allround effort in bowling and fielding too!!

batting power play gives one the opportunity to find the gaps or go over the top...not blast 4's and 6's. The passion may be there bu the roles and responsibilities of individuals and the team seems to be vaguely defined..sometimes a standard approach may be better than a unconventional one!!

Posted by MazMK on (March 13, 2011, 13:24 GMT)

Indian team have now been exposed. I was sick of listening to Shastri's and Manjeraker's biased commentary until the 40th over of Indian's inning. Which was well replied by SA as a team and in the field.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2011, 13:15 GMT)

Too much expectation on a team with some inherent shortcomings: Lack of wicket taking bowlers except Zaheer; remaining options including harbajan is not even able to hold one end up and keep up the pressure. The only option yet to be tried is Ashwin, and the captain can only play around with the squad available. Second aspect is the fielding: compared to the other teams we dont have the edge on this front. The third aspect is how roles for each member of the team: having someone like Kohli coming in at 7 or 8 is a utter waste of one slot, whatever be the situation if kohli is in the team, he should follow Gambir at number 4 slot. The roles for Pathan and Dhoni should be clear, both should go for attacking and not the scratching criket played by Dhoni which is too slow for even test match standards. Cricket is a team game, you dont depend on one or two to score big and the rest to score in single digits, rather its better if the middle and lower order chip in with useful 20-30s

Posted by   on (March 13, 2011, 12:50 GMT)

bowlers performance taken away the match from India ,,, though batting order collapsed,,,,296 is a very good total to defend...

Posted by   on (March 13, 2011, 11:05 GMT)

first of all indian selection s the worst thing. why didnt selectors select pragyan ojha????? can any one tell this??? piyush has not played cricket for about 1 year nd why not ashwin not in side with any of world cup games????? ashwin s a very good bowler ........

Posted by   on (March 13, 2011, 7:06 GMT)

Can someone please pass this on to Kirsten & Dhoni?

- Sack either Munaf or Nehra and bring Ashwin for all remaining games. - Bowl Ashwin in power plays - DO NOT tinker with batting order of Sehwag, Tendulkar, Gambhir, Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni and Raina/Yusuf. - Seriously think of bring Raina in the side in place of Yusuf Pathan. Yusuf plays one good game and goes quiet for next 3 games. Such inconsistency can not/should not/will not win us the world cup.- - No experiments from now on. - Zak to be bowled in 4-2-4 mode with middle two overs coming in just before the ball change to extract any reverse swing and last 4 can be at death/batting powerplays. - Bhajji to bowl from 20th overs onwards and keep him at one end till death overs. - Earlier overs, bring R. Ashwin with part-timers to bowl in tandem with Bhajji so they get more chance of taking wickets. - Always anticipate that the ball is coming towards you rather than reacting.

Please pass this on to all Indians. hope Dhoni gets it

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (March 13, 2011, 2:36 GMT)

Typical India again got all out despite the first wicket partnership was almost 150 runs (142 runs) in just 17.4 overs and they were 267 runs with only 2 wickets. Mr. Dhoni played outstanding being a captain stayed not out without hitting any boundary. There was a captain-Mr. Kapil who blasted 175 runs after India's first 5 wicket got out in just 17 runs. Don't say Zimbabwe was an associate team. Zimbabwe defeated Australia in the same World Cup. In this match, India's situation was a lot better than that 1983's match, however, our captain-Mr. Dhoni played like Canadian batsmen playing these days. Wickets were falling on the other hand, but Mr. Dhoni did not lose his coolness, and took only singles after playing 2-3 balls. MS Dhoni is an incredible captain. What a Captain!!!!!! Just like a Sardar in the JOCK.

Posted by victortrumpet on (March 13, 2011, 2:17 GMT)

If India, South Africa, Australia and Sri Lanka all peak at the right time, India simply won't make the final. They're a team of champions, not a champion team. That and a toothless bowling outfit spells EXIT.

Posted by Mark00 on (March 13, 2011, 1:25 GMT)

The real question is why, if they have no faith in the UDRS, do they keep asking for UDRS reviews?

Posted by   on (March 13, 2011, 0:07 GMT)

poor batting performance by india

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 21:58 GMT)

It is simple drop Gambhir bring in Ashwin and Raina if India wants to win

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 21:12 GMT)

before the WC started i said that india has a weak bowling attack and some of the indian fans didnt like my comments well hopefully after todays match against south africa i hope i have proven my point LOL 267 for one and 296 all out with still 7 or 8 balls to bowl india has never ever and never will produce a fast bowler some one like tait, lee or akhtar who have pace they might go for few runs but boy will they get wickets for you. india thinks that by scoring 350 plus in every game their weak bowling might stop the other team chasing but little do they know that their medium pacers are loved by all teams so far they havent pulled off a convincing win against the big teams that shows how good they are and i cant believe that people say that they are the favourites LOL australia are the ones that are the favourites followed by the sri lankans

Posted by IMObserver on (March 12, 2011, 20:55 GMT)

If India looses to WI and England win against WI they will have same number of points. Who makes it to QF may depend on run rate if BD wins last two games, and SA wins the other game.

Posted by IMObserver on (March 12, 2011, 20:50 GMT)

India has been peaking, while batting, in first 25 overs and going down hill there on. Tendulkar, however, may not have peaked yet.

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 20:17 GMT)

With every match there seems to be more people going out of confidence than gaining it. Sreeshanth, Chawla, Kohli, Nehra - the list keeps growing. Neither the bowling nor the batting order looks settled. Think its about time that we put our best 11 forward and build from there instead of chopping and changing.

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 19:43 GMT)

ohhhh man. ur bowlers .. failed to do it,,,gve a Chance 2 Shree.. atleast.for a SIngle Match ...let him.. try2 make a gudcumback.. a Aggressive Bowling is in need for India. .For Bigger MAtches...I think.. munaf/nehra Need Sum Rest.. :) Evn Kohli too.. get raina .. back in place for westindies ....INDIA needs Raina & Sreesanth back in Team for Quarterfinal,


MS Dhoni (C) (BAT) Sachin Tendulkar (BAT) Virender Sehwag (BAT) Gautam Gambhir (BAT) Yuvraj Singh (BAT/Bowl) Suresh Raina (BAT/Bowl) Yusuf Pathan (BAT/ Bowl) Zaheer Khan (FAST) Bowl Munaf Pate (FAST) Bowl Sreesanth (FAST) Bowl Harbhajan Singh(Spin) Bowl

Posted by gerrardl on (March 12, 2011, 18:38 GMT)

Let's be honest...India has CHOKED!! Dhoni saying, 'don't play for the crowd, play for your country' could be the funniest thing I've ever heard in a post match interview!

Face it... India are all hype, they do not have the all round team strength of Sri Lanka, South Africa and Australia. India as a team remains a one trick pony - they can only play one way, smash smash smash.... WELL TODAY THEY HAVE BEEN OUT-THOUGHT, OUT-PLAYED AND OUT-SMASHED....

Sri-Lanka vs South Africa final... best teams at World Cup.

Thanks for coming India... you will get the prize for hitting the first ball of each innings for 4 LOL, that is after all the kind of thing that the Indian players are concerned about...

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 17:39 GMT)

Team India be ashamed, yet another game when Sachin delivers the best others let him down. Sachin deserved the man of the match. Author failed to see the -ve effects of such a loss in home ground. Wonder the bowling options for MSD. It is the selectors mistake for not picking the right bowlers for the squad..stop blaming bowlers ..

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 16:33 GMT)

DHONI what u gona Do now?? Rest all the Bastsman.. fro using 9 Wickets to Score 29 Runs??BEtter play with 3-4players :) Sachin,sehwag, Gambir, Zaheer. because i hve seen resting the seamer. for a single bad game..... Itz not a bad score.. 296.. other teams can defend . it quiet easily...its ur chance now..ITS is a GOOD SCORE

Posted by cricket_is_my_life on (March 12, 2011, 14:13 GMT)

Most of the comments below are correct in pointing out that whatever Dhoni says or does has something in it - careful use of words, some well thought out plan etc. But at the same time, what Ms. Ugra has written can not be ignored too. Yes, we know that Inddia has not peaked yet, champions often peak late etc. etc. But is it going to happen to India? As Indian supporters, we all are looking for that answer. Every Indian supporter is getting impatient to see the flavor of a champion side in the Indian team - the charisma and enigma that a champion team carries with it. Nobody is there to assure it for us. So, as long as we do not have that, Indian supporters will remain impatient and their feeling will keep on getting reflected through Ms. Ugra's articles.

Posted by Amitwin786 on (March 12, 2011, 13:21 GMT)

Very poor batting performance by Indians... Why need to hit each bowl in the powerplay???? Shame...... I think instead of Virat Kohali or Yusuf Pathan, Raina would have to take chance.. Hoping Indian bowlers do well...

Posted by gurusinghe on (March 12, 2011, 13:06 GMT)

OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH indian's was going to show up their BIG!!

ha ha

but they lost the way!!

well done SF i never like indian crowd!verry bad crowd! well done sachin!

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 13:03 GMT)

Inconsistent batting and weak bowling will eleminate India in the knockout stage. It's not a dominant team as a lot of people believe.

Posted by cooljack_143 on (March 12, 2011, 12:58 GMT)

Wow what a team we have.Dhoni was simply a slumber at the end.I didn't understand what he was trying to prove by keeping his wicket till the end.May be he was expecting extras from SA:-)That wicket of pathan takes away game.huff!!!!!!!!

Posted by Balumekka on (March 12, 2011, 12:53 GMT)

Well, much expected and over hyped Indian batting: Last 9 overs:29 runs for 9 wickets!!!!!!! Only SRT and Sehwag were delivering up to the expectations.

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 12:53 GMT)

Mr. dhoni...plz stop giving idiotic explainations in your defence...and face the reality that u probably are the weakest link in indain batting lineup....along with equally questionable captaincy anmd strategy.

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 8:50 GMT)

Dhoni wins toss and bat first. Indias strength vs SA strength. Cant wait to see Sachin n Sehwag bat and Steyn n Morkel cranking the pace... As for peaking theory I agree with the author, teams which peak at right hv gone on to success in WCs so far. Good luck to India n SA

Posted by blondblackberry on (March 12, 2011, 8:37 GMT)

india playing first scoring 300+ is enough to put any team under pressure.playing second, india has to restrict opposition less than 300.if it happens in crunch games india wil come out as "invincibles".for india aussies are the only opposition to watchout for.

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 8:14 GMT)

Dhoni is a thinking captain. More often than not he makes the right decisions. Whether these decisions pay off at the very first instance is a variable and this either interprets as a masterstroke or mere folly in due course. But what is constant is the fact that the team takes top priority, be it at the cost of being criticised by the media, or playing Chawla a little more than what appears to be required. On the whole, it comforts me that it hasn't been a cake walk for India thus far. Theories are aplenty but only an intense on-field performance propelled and personified by the right body language will win you crunch games. It appears as though India is scheduled to peak at the right time. Whether the players attempt to push this peak beyond its normal course and in the process hit a trough at a key moment is another matter; remember 2003? Although the article is a bit much for lesser mortals like myself, the title is simple enough and in the end, the answer still remains to be seen.

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 8:04 GMT)

Nice comment @ Spidy888 LOL! I agree with Majr.. Dhoni is by far much matured Indian captain, he knows what he doing lets have faith in him and let him do his work… and let just hope he takes India to glory

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 8:03 GMT)

Indian media have made India an over hyped team in performance cause best or worsed.On analysis ENG also performed below par they narrowingly escape from IND and SA from poor bowling and batting respectively wereas thrashed by Low ranked side BD and IRE.Pak with solid performance from couple of intial matches slide to nervy win over minow CAN & humuliating defeats against NZ.SA started strongly but shown a sign of traditional Chokers in their tense 6 run loss agst ENG.Srilankans Batting till match agst Zimbabawe were not been upto the mark and they too are little bit shakky,and Kiwis on basis of their last series performance in sub continent is not welcome sign,and finally Australian weak middle order,vulnerablity against spinner in turning track and lack of quality spin bowler will make them pay anytime in this WC although they have Class pace attack but they can be tored apart on given day on this flat track.SO PLEASE INDIAN MEDIA STOP CRITICISING WHICH WILL INCREASE THE PRESSURE.

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 7:44 GMT)

Interesting - Lets see what the future holds for India

Posted by CricEshwar on (March 12, 2011, 7:42 GMT)

India hasn't lost a match yet.Cut them some slack. Except for the England game, we haven't performed too bad with the ball either. We are not known for thrashing the minnows. The ratio of that happening is too low if you check the stats. So overall it has been going on as expected.

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 7:15 GMT)

Sharda Ugra's articles have a subtlety. I enjoy it thoroughly.

Posted by Spelele on (March 12, 2011, 6:59 GMT)

Ha! Ha! Ha! Classic mistake from Smith: "Hopefully we qualify well for the quarter-finals and then we are ready to go". Go where? Home? Ha! Ha! well, at least the author cared to explain. I can't imagine this India beating S.A though!

Posted by chad_reid on (March 12, 2011, 6:56 GMT)

India will lose in the quarters and also this match against SA

Posted by Trapper439 on (March 12, 2011, 6:19 GMT)

Form can be maintained. It's not like the way an Olympian athlete 'tapers' their training to peak on a certain day. In fact, winning is a habit.

Posted by ashrogue on (March 12, 2011, 6:08 GMT)

At times, I feel the journalism towards cricket is playing devil's advocate. This is one of those times. I can not appreciate your knowledge in cricket, what makes you think every country India played so far is far inferior to us? What makes you think India are champions? Did Dhoni say it? It is a hype is it not? A hype u and me created? A blind belief that every other cricket team would be and should be dead beaten by Indian team? Dhoni has respect for every team, needless to say teams like South africa. If the argument that the top order has not scored consecutive centuries and thus Indian batting line up is stuttering tells us how superficial and self centered your thinking is. South Africa collapsed infront of a English bowling attack, the same attack that could not derail "inferior" (by your standards) teams like Ireland and Bangladesh. Does that make them a weak bowling side? South africa who also was one of hot favorites could not chase a meagre <200 total, so they suck?

Posted by sankydagr8 on (March 12, 2011, 5:51 GMT)

I followed lot of your cricket articles on cricinfo and your earlier work they have been excellently written but last few articles of yours seem to be too harsh on indian captian and team managements decisions.I would suggest to motivate the captain by appreciating his good work not being extremely critical..put the media pressure on visiting captain ..I guess we should follow what australian media can criticize all you want once the world cup is the way all you have said is true & fyi momentum is what carried india through to 2003 final.

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 5:35 GMT)

Very Good But a Boring Lecture.....

Posted by Spidy888 on (March 12, 2011, 5:26 GMT)

Dear sharda, you are taking yourself way too seriously here! U deserve a break n v deserve a break from u, reading a sports article has never been this painful.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (March 12, 2011, 5:18 GMT)

Frankly speaking, I think the Indian media is reacting just too much to India's performances in the matches they have played so far. Just too much. Probably they are irritated by M S Dhoni's speaking in very cliched words and phrases like 'momentum','peaking' etc.I wish Dhoni would take note of this and speak in lesser of jargon and more of common phrases that reflect his own desperation in agreeing with the media.However while I do not agree entirely with his continued persistence with Harbhajan and/or Chawla at the expense of Ashwin, he may have his reasons in doing what he is at present doing. If he wants to use Ashwin as the surprise package for the knockout stage games, he should be allowed to instead of the media selecting the team. If there is some method in his madness as it does seem to many, let him proceed undisturbed. Maybe, just maybe he will have the last word. So let us wait and see where he takes the Indian team. To laurels or disaster.

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 4:57 GMT)

thats only if the peaking theory is true. what if everyday is a new day? australians and west indies of the 80's managed to be at the peak everytime so dhoni's arguments are off the mark. if peaking theory was indeed true, one would see a gradual buildup in the intensity of games played as the series progressed. tht surely aint the case...

so maybe the right theory is everyday is a new day and what you do on that day is what matters. what this means is that we cant be sure to win the QF, but that also means that our performance against the associates should not be of too much concern.

A simpler theory is: Margin of Victory = Ability X Effort

Posted by   on (March 12, 2011, 4:46 GMT)

Lovely article..India have to go peak from now on..

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In India's win at Lord's, Ishant Sharma took the best bowling figures by an Indian in the fourth innings of a Test outside Asia. Here are five other best bowling efforts by Indians in the fourth innings of Tests outside Asia

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