It's been a while since I watched a cricket match live on TV. Given the ominous form India has been in the on going Videocon Cup against SriLanka, I was getting excited to watch a cracker. But I was up all night yesterday doing random stuff and was off to the Railway Station early morning to pickup my sister and brother-in-law. Then we were off to a temple in the morning and then to People's Park for breakfast. By the time we came home, SriLanka was batting and Attapattu / Sangakarra were settling in. Decided to take a nap, so that could catch up on the Indian batting.
When i woke up, SriLanka was going strong at around 230+ for two with another 8 overs to spare. Finally they managed a 298/4 with Sangakara remaining unbeaten for the entire innings. Was expecting the in form Tendulkar to blast through the initial overs. But when has Tendulkar delivered in chasing a crunch total? The only match i remember was the famous Sharjah chase against Australia quite some time back where he will take India to the final and then win the cup.
In came Dhoni. I had read about his 148 knock against the Pakistanis sometime back, and was hoping that he will deliver today. The couple of clean hits he hit against Vaas was awesome. Shewag was reduced to a spectator Dhoni taking a bulk of the strike and a lot of the initial scoring. He raced to fifty and then to hundred in style even though Shewag got out cheaply yet again and Dravid playing second fiddle and asking Dhoni to keep his cool. SriLankans were clueless against this scintillatingattack by Dhoni. He stood through till the end, seeing that India wins in style and with that finall six equalled Saurav's highest one day score.
Records tumbled today. From what I heard during the commentary,
1) Highest Individual score by a wicket keeper, previous best being Gilchrist.
2) Highest number of sixes in an innings bettering Sachin / Saurav's seven each.
3) His personal highest, the highest on this ground and the second highest by an Indian.
All in all, a fantastic cricket match. As Ravi Shastri said during the presentation, Dhoni did the Diwali fireworks a day ahead of Diwali.
What will happen to the Indian cricket team when Kaif, Zaheer, Nehra, Balaji and (if at all) Ganguly return? It will be a stiff competition to get into the playing 12 (including the super-sub). I guess if Yuvaraj and Shewag continue to show demo's of 20-30 runs every innings, they will made to sit out. And poor Laxman's dream of playing in the World Cup is sealed for ever. With the experiments by Chappell and Dravid yielding results, interesting times in Indian cricket lay ahead.