They say a number is worth thousand pictures and a picture is worth thousand words. Sachin’s 68 of 45 balls neither does it give you the right picture nor do I have the right words to describe it. Even though he scored at a strike rate of 150 there wasn’t a single rash slog nor were there any mistimed shots looping in the outfield. It was like watching highlights of 2003 WC, the six against Ishant reminded us the one against Caddick. It felt like a 16 year old trying to woo his female classmates in the crowd. Gavaskar sahib would have been a very happy man seeing those high elbow and straight bat shots.
At the end of the day Mumbai’s 187/6 doesn’t reflect how well Sanath and Sachin played; if Sachin took the initiative to start with, Sanath played second fiddle. Once Sachin cooled down Sanath began to explode. At 111/0 in 11 overs there wasn’t scope for even damage control from the KKRs. It looked like Mccullum’s team had given it up, just going through the motions. As a bowler one could feel like a candle burning from both the ends. If Sanath bludgeoned over the infield, Sachin caressed through, both complimented each other very well. As a bowler you had to pick between getting caressed by Sachin or clubbed by Sanath.
When batsman start getting used to the pace and bounce of the wickets, generally one needs to take the pace off. Mendis, Gayle and Hodge did that but the ball travelled even further into the boundary, couple of them even saw the Port Elizabeth city. One has to just feel for KKR’s bowlers, there wasn’t much difference in the bad balls and good balls bowled; everything reached the fence, only probably difference was the speed at which they reached. Shukla ji bowled with a lot of heart picked up both the wickets of Sanath and Sachin. Bhajji did pinch on KKR wounds, rest of MI made us realize that there was something called pitch and conditions which affected the scoring.
Chasing 188 against the likes of Malinga, Zaheer, Bravo and Bhajji is a tough task and a touch tougher when Malinga starts with a Yorker. Gayle and McCullam’s opening seems overrated; Hodge and Ganguly did try to accelerate but got sucked up by Nayar’s variations. With lack of batting power the KKRs stumbled to a cliched score of 95 all down in 15 overs. Had SRK invested in same low cost players rather than a 600K Mortaza who hasn’t featured yet, it would have done KKR some good. The future for KKR this season as last season looks dark as their jersey.
One can confidently say that the MUMBAI INDIAN chewed the Calcutta Mithi Pan.