Blistering West Indian Chase Against the Lankans Puts India's Resolve Into Question
West Indies hounded Sri Lanka every step of the way yesterday in the 2019 ICC World Cup match between the two and despite losing, praise for the Windies' blistering chase translated into criticism for India's slow counter-attack against England.
(Photo credit: AP) India need not bow under the criticism heaped on them post its defeat against England in the ICC World Cup. A steady course of action ought to seem them through into the semis.
On Monday, West Indies almost managed to chase down a mammoth score of 339 against Sri Lanka in the ICC World Cup, thanks to a timely ton from Nicholas Pooran. In the end, Sri Lanka clinched a win over the Caribbean side by a mere 23 runs, with Pooran's blistering 118 and Lasith Malinga's three-wicket haul being the highlights of the match.
The match also provided uncanny parallels to on-lookers, becoming what one could even consider the antithesis of Sunday's game between India and England, a game where Indian middle order batsmen, particularly Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav came under censure for an apparent lack of intent in the death overs.
In yesterday's game, Avishka Fernando's maiden ODI century and Kusal Perera's belligerent 51-ball 64 propelled the Sri Lankans towards a colossal 338, the biggest total they have registered in the tournament this time around. The Windies, faced with a daunting task, placed themselves in Nicholas Pooran's hands, who racked up a 103-ball 118, also his maiden ODI ton, to take them close to victory. Even tail- ender Fabian Allen stay put, scoring a 32-ball 51.
Twitter was abuzz after the match, with comparisons drawn between India's run chase versus England and that of the Windies.
One particular tweet that drew attention was former England skipper Michael Vaughan's reply to Indian cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle's tweet, where the latter had expressed his admiration for the West Indian performance.
Unlike India !!! https://t.co/24SIIDFKkh— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) July 1, 2019
The seemingly unending volley of comments below Vaughan's jab was wide-ranging, comprising a mix of verbal sledging, indifference or solidarity.
A team that fails to chase 220 against Lowly Lanka has the audacity to say this 😂— Rajdeep Singh (@rajdeep189) July 1, 2019
At the end both lost.. so why waste Energy #Khelodimaagse— Vivek Sharma (@IMViiku) July 1, 2019
India were fixed!! West indies young players showing how to chase big targets— Waseem Bangash (@WasimBangush) July 1, 2019
The realization that neither Sri Lanka nor West Indies gain in the slightest through yesterday's contest, with both out of the running for a semi-final berth, paints India in more damning shades, despite various reasons being provided by both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma as to why the middle order took a defensive stance.
"They (England) bowled in good areas and the ball was stopping, hence it was difficult to bat towards the end. We have to sit and assess and improve on things in the next game", the Indian skipper had remarked.
Notwithstanding the criticism, India should not bow under pressure. Instead, it must brace itself and follow a steady course of action. A win, a tie or even a washout against Bangladesh today guarantees The Men in Blue a spot in the semis. So India need not play rash from the get-go. Cool-headed decision making ought to put India through.
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