All round effort seals Indian victory
A low scoring game means that it is unlikely that any one player would capture the attention. To do that, he must excel in all possible ways, and have the bits add up to something larger than the sum of the individual parts. The big matches cause some people to choke and others seem to thrive on the pressure. Reetinder Singh Sodhi certainly rose to the occasion today.
With the ball in hand, Sodhi was miserly. He bowled wicket to wicket and tied the batsmen down. Though he did not deliver a single maiden over, his ten overs cost just 26 runs. Unlucky to pick up no wickets, Sodhi rapped the pads of the batsmen several times but could not impress the umpires.
After finishing his spell, Sodhi took what was certainly the catch of the tournament. Ranil Dhammika attempted a pull shot to a ball that was faster than he expected. The ball ballooned into the air and looked like it would land in no man's land. Reetinder Sodhi charged in from mid wicket, threw himself full length and just about got his hands under the ball. Tumbling hard on the ground, Sodhi held onto the ball and came up in exultation. To complete what was an excellent day on the field, Sodhi flicked the ball superbly from his fielding position to complete a direct hit and run out the last man.
When India came out to bat, the openers could not duplicate their effort against the Australians. They both got starts but could not go on. The captain Mohammad Kaif followed but he too could not stick around. Yuvraj Singh, the most sensational of the Indian batsmen batted confidently but was given out LBW after he had made 27. In walked Sodhi and took the match away from the Lankans. Sodhi was solid, mixing aggression and patience judiciously. He was defensive when the situation demanded it, but never let the bowlers dominate or bog him down. His virtually run a ball, unbeaten innings of 39 took India to a memorable victory. Having taken India to victory in an Under-15 World Cup in the past where he was the man of the match in the finals, Reetinder Singh Sodhi has taken a step forward. Speaking to the press afterwards, Sodhi said that he was eyeing a spot in the senior side for the 2003 World Cup. If he goes on at this rate, he will certainly be a part of the senior side in the near future.