5th Sept 2007, It was a very special day for Indian Cricket Team, especially for Robin Uthappa. Cricket Lovers will never forget this day. India has managed to secure a thrilling two-wicket victory over England in the 6th ODI in the Natwest Series.While chasing a target of 317 in 50 overs, Indians have reached their destination when 2 balls to spare. It was a nail biting end for the match. After winning the toss, English captain Collingwood has decided to bat first. England has lost wickets in quick succession. But one man who has kept his nerves and scored his maiden ODI century, was Owais Shah. English debutant Luke Wright also hit a smashing half-century. Their partnership has helped them to reach near 300. But the real hero from the English side was, Dimittry Mascarenhas who hits 5 consecutive sixes of the last over from Yuvraj Singh. His firework helped England to reach 316 in 50 overs. In return India has started well. Once again the talented & experienced duo of Saurav and Sachin put up a Century partnership of 150 runs in the opening stand, before Ganguly was dismissed by Broad. Tendulkar batted through the last stages of his innings in pain and dismissed by Panesar. Once again Sachin fell very close to the hundred. Later on Gambhir, Dhoni and Yuvraj has played some good knocks ,but skipper Rahul Dravid failed at the crucial moment. When required run rate was above 10 runs, Robbin Utthappa came to crease in an unusual position where he has never played in his career. Along with Dhoni, he put up a 50 partnership. Later when Dhoni was dismissed, he has taken the responsibility to take India to the victory. His scoops were really troubled the Englishmen and a lovely off-drive through the mid-off has finished the game for India. Indians have won the thriller to level series. It reminded me the Natwest Cup win last time at Lords. When moving on to the last game at Lords on 8th, this victory will be a real boost for the Indian Camp.
As far as India is concerned, they have suffered from the poor umpiring from the first match they have played in the English soil. Even prominent umpires like Simon Taufel and Steve Buckner have made mistakes all through the test series. It was continued from some others in the One Day series as well. Both the media and cricketers were behind the umpires for their poor display on the field. Two very strange decisions have been taken by the umpires in the 6th ODI between India and England. First one was the dismissal of Collingwood. While attempting for a single, Robin Utthappa’s throw when hit the stumps, Indian players have appealed for a run-out. Umpire has denied appeal and walked towards the stumps. Indian wicket keeper Dhoni was indicating for a third umpire call during this, which was denied by the umpire by shaking his head. While walking towards the stumps, he has seen the dismissal in the huge screen placed inside the stadium. Suddenly he has called for the third umpire. Eventually, Collingwood was dismissed by the TV umpire. Though he has protested against it, umpire didn’t mind about that. Later, when Owais Shah was on 46, he has clearly out when Dhoni caught him in Chawla’s bowling. All the Indian players were charged up and appealed. But umpire has just nodded his head to deny the appeal. It was clear in the replay that, he was out. I couldn’t understand, why these umpires are reluctant to use the technologies to give a proper decision. Sometimes one wrong decision might hurt a whole nation, where that mistake can be avoided. Quality of umpiring needs to go high when ICC introduce the technology to the umpiring. But the degradation is happening instead.
When Dada was thrown out of the captaincy, no one has any doubt about the next captain. Right from the beginning itself, everyone has questioning Dravid’s attitude as a captain. He has secured so many feathers in his cap like Series win in Windies and England, Test win in South Africa. But he was always questioned for his attitude in the field as well as in the dressing room. We could never get a chance of seeing him aggressive in his decisions on the field. Where a captain needs top be aggressive, he has handled the same in a soft manner. Sometimes he used to take some foolish decisions. Without taking care of the conditions, sometimes his final 11 and the decision on toss were became big blunders. After the match he used to admit the same in the press conference. Moreover he became a godfather for some non-performers. All these have given some black marks in his captaincy career. A very similar decision was taken by Dravid in the last match as well. When a strike bowler like Agarker has two overs to go, he has given ball to Yuvraj to ball in the last over, when he has already consumed 7 runs over. He has taken that unwanted risk. That resulted in 30 runs in the last over, whin which Dimittry Mascarenhas hits 5 consecutive sixes. That risk could have paid very badly for India. But fortunately, India got a new hero called Robin Utthappa. Every time I used to feel that, India need a thinking & aggressive captain. He should play not only with bat and ball, but with his head as well!!! Unfortunately Dravid is not a thinking captain!!!
I am waiting for the decider!!! All the Best India!!!