Given the very obvious disparity between the two sides it was always on the cards that India would run out easy victors against Kenya in the Standard Bank tri series. But against the backdrop of Kenya batting through the full 50 overs against South Africa to get 159 for seven before losing by seven wickets, a rare ten wicket victory for India is reason for celebration.
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One sided victories can be a double edged sword. On the one hand, they give a side supreme confidence and serve as proof that it has developed a ruthless streak. On the other hand, they can lead to complacency ahead of the sterner tests that may lie ahead.
Given the very obvious disparity between the two sides it was always on the cards that India would run out easy victors against Kenya in the Standard Bank tri series. But against the backdrop of Kenya batting through the full 50 overs against South Africa to get 159 for seven before losing by seven wickets, a rare ten-wicket victory for India is reason for celebration. Indeed, the match only underlined the fact that Kenya are there just to make up the numbers. South Africa and India can already look forward to clashing in the final and can start thinking of any necessary changes to be made in matters of tactics and strategies.
That said, it must also be stated that one liked the manner in which the Indians approached the game. Their plans worked to a nicety, there was no sense of complacency and the execution was cold, ruthless and quick.
For example, it was a good move by Sourav Ganguly to send in Virender Sehwag and Deep Dasgupta to open the innings. For a formality of a victory target of 91 and against Kenyan bowling, there was no need for Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar to come out first. This outstanding pair of opening batsmen do not have to do any more to prove their capabilities and not against Kenya at any rate.
On the other hand, such an outing would have done wonders for the confidence of the two young men, keen to make their mark on international cricket. Sehwag, after that breathtaking hundred in Sri Lanka, was dropped for the Test series. He was in need of some kind of extended outing in the middle and it was good to see him make the most of the opportunity, displaying his trademark aggression, which marked that memorable century.
Dasgupta, whose place is normally at No 8 or No 9, would probably never get a proper break in the normal course. This knock would have boosted his morale no end. In short, the runs, if they had been made by Ganguly and Tendulkar, would not have meant much to them; but for Dasgupta and Sehwag, the 91-run unbroken stand they put on 11.3 overs will mean so much more. This will definitely stand the two youngsters in good stead in future encounters and, in the final analysis, the Indian team is bound to benefit. One only hopes that Sehwag and Dasgupta are mature enough to know that they will not be up against such amiable bowling all the time.
The Indian bowlers did what was expected of them. The fact that nine of the batsmen were either bowled or leg before in a way is a tribute to the line and length the bowlers maintained. All in all, it was a pretty exemplary performance by the Indians, who however would do well in not reading too much into the lop sided victory. It is important that they should not get carried away but capitalize on the obvious benefits of such a result.