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India v Sri Lanka, World T20, final, Mirpur

April 6, 2014

The Sachinisation of Kohli

Nitin Sundar

If it's an ICC tournament final, rain worries are always around the corner.

Thankfully the rain cleared up without reducing the length of the game.

Of course, all eyes were on the retiring legends. They'd been on the wrong side of four ICC finals. Fifth time lucky?

Remember the toss shenanigans at the 2011 World Cup final?

Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bowl. That immediately ruled out one eventuality.

If the final were a style contest, only one team could have won.

India got off to a nervous start. Ajinkya Rahane threw it away early, while Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli knocked it around. Sri Lanka were nervous too, with Lasith Malinga missing a run out chance with a tough throw to the bowler.

It got worse for Malinga, when he dropped the in-form batsman, Virat Kohli, at midwicket.

ESPN brought the game to the American populace, by showing it live on the ESPN2 channel.

Just as India looked set to turn it on, Rohit Sharma popped a catch to Sachithra Senanayake in the covers.

That was the opening Sri Lanka wanted. India sent in Yuvraj Singh, and his scratchy innings cost them plenty.

Kohli carried on where from where he left off in the semi-final.

Yuvraj struggled. And then struggled some more. Dhoni and Raina were stuck on the bench, waiting for a chance.

Yuvraj's struggled ended at 11 off 21 balls, when he holed out in the 19th over from Nuwan Kulasekara.

Sri Lanka needed 131, and though India fought hard on the field, it was their game to lose.

Kusal Perera perished early, and India removed Tillakaratne Dilshan cheaply too, caught smartly by Kohli on the boundary.

Sri Lanka ticked along calmly as India sought to separate the stalwarts.

Jayawardene gave India some hope by swiping straight to midwicket.

Right on cue, Dhoni took a remarkable catch off the toe-end off Lahiru Thirimanne's bat.

Sri Lanka promoted Thisara Perera ahead of Angelo Mathews.

India's challenge wilted in the face of some big hits from both Sangakkara and Thisara.

Thisara wrapped up the win with a couple of big hits off R Ashwin. Cue - jubilant celebrations in the Sri Lankan camp. Disappointment for India fans?

Ah, the sour grapes routine.

It was a fairly emotional presentation ceremony, with Sangakkara winning Man of the Match award. Kohli took the Player of theTournament gong.

Five different winners in five editions of the World T20. Who's going to win the next one?

So it came to be, that two of the nicest champions in the game got a fitting farewell from the shortest format of the game.

Nitin Sundar is a social media manager at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Philip_Gnana on (April 10, 2014, 19:53 GMT)

At last the big guns had to keep their mouths shut. Credit needs to be given where it is due and not make excuses and look at other reasons. By looking at the weaknesses and the faults of India, it is only undermining the will, character and planning that has gone in the game.

Dhoni, quite rightly pointed out the game plan of the Sri Lankans. Well done to him for being gracious in defeat.

Great piece of work by keeping Malinga as the captain on show and letting the seniors do their bit. Well done too, by the coach Farbace. Who has moved mountains during his short stay. The coaching staff, comprising the greats of SL cricket which can been seen in how the young guns have fared.

Posted by bouncer709 on (April 8, 2014, 17:14 GMT)

@Topgun10 : LOL negative bowling. poor indian fan.

Posted by   on (April 7, 2014, 17:51 GMT)

@topgun10 - So bowling juicy fulltoses are the positive bowling to you? So that out of form indian batsmen could punch bowl out of the park? Go and watch baseball..

Posted by   on (April 7, 2014, 12:13 GMT)

In West Indies Semifinal Gayle hit a 13 ball three @a SR of 23.07...and yesterday Yuvi hit 21 ball 11 runs 2 SR 52.38...Both for a losing cause...What Kohli will do with both in RCB!!!!!

Posted by   on (April 7, 2014, 9:53 GMT)

The whole point of limited over cricket is to be as restrictive as possible. Wicket taking ability is almost an afterthought.Negative bowling is rewarded in Limited overs. So that is a non issue after all.There is certain level of skills associated with bowling wide and not being called a wide too.There is a thin line,and they walked that line brilliantly.There is no such thing as negative bowling in limited over matches.

Posted by piyo_thanda_jiyo_thanda on (April 7, 2014, 7:56 GMT)

@siddharth_r2001 I agree with you completely. Dhoni is the one to be blamed for selecting Yuvraj in the first place. Yuvraj almost lost the match against WI as well with his slow batting. That should have been enough hint to Dhoni to give Yuvraj a break. @Ashraf Chopan Mahela and Sanga are good players but calling them "legends" is bit much. As recently as Champions Trophy 2013, Mahela received a Level 1 citation (serious offence under ICC) and was fined his match fee for excessive appealing and influencing the umpire. They do have a colorful past, these 2 fellas.

Posted by moizkhan036 on (April 7, 2014, 7:23 GMT)

yuvraj singh made sure that Ishant sharma is not missed anymore

Posted by Mahesh4811 on (April 7, 2014, 7:21 GMT)

I'll miss the tweet report :(

Posted by android_user on (April 7, 2014, 5:42 GMT)

Whatever the reason, it was a fitting farewell to the two modern day legends in the unforgiving format of cricket.

Posted by siddharth_r2001 on (April 7, 2014, 5:37 GMT)

@Topgun10: As much as I agree with you that Dhoni showed a bit too much faith in Yuvi, I don't think that was 'negative' bowling from SL. Being able to execute a strategy of bowling full yorkers wide outside off stump is a brilliant performance in T20 cricket. If Dhoni should be blamed for anything, it should be for sending Yuvraj at no. 4 ahead of an in-form Raina and himself.

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