Dhoni’s Men to Play for Pride in Final Blow of T20 International against Proteas

October 07 00:08 2015

dhoniNew Delhi, Wednesday, October 7 – The last match of T20 tournament between India and South Africa is to be held on Thursday, October 8. Despite the fact that it remains just a formality given that the tourists have sealed the series by logging back to back wins in the first two games of the shortest format, supporters hope the home team bounces back.

Even if India win the last one, it is not to change the whole outcome. But yes, a triumph in the last part will help the Men In Blue gain form and confidence before the One-Day International matches kick off from Sunday, October 11.

Eden Gardens, Kolkata, is the venue for the last blow. Proteas must be enjoying their recent win on India but somewhere they know Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men are tough to beat. It was unfortunate for Indian fans to see India losing in do-or-die match that was pivotal to keep their hopes alive in the ongoing T20 Series. Had India been able to level the series a couple of days ago at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, pressure would have been shifted equally on the South African players.

But the win attained by the travelers wasn’t by chance. Outstanding fielding by the guests made India stay under stress right from the beginning. Rohit Sharma was on his way to pile up some substantial runs but was sent back to the dressing room in next to no time due to a brilliant run out by David Miller. Not to forget that a slight confusion between Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu run for a single or not made the middle-order batsman be out on a naught. Even though such dismissals are common in cricket but India need to understand that such thing may cost them a match.

In the first T20 International, India were looking too strong. In fact, every viewer thought the home side will put a humongous total after 20 overs but the pace of attaining runs slowed when wickets started to fall from the other end. They, though, scored 199 runs, that turned insufficient to defeat South Africa. JP Duminy’s not out knock of 68 runs in 34 balls, with a four and seven sixes, and Farhaan Behardien’s unbeaten innings of 32 runs in 23 balls, together with 4 boundaries and a biggie took victory far away from India. Their innings outshined Rohit’s considerable contribution of 106 runs, which came in just 66 deliveries. His knock consisted of 12 boundaries and five massive sixes.

Undoubtedly, the young Nagpur boy well utilized pitch conditions to get a brilliant ton, which spellbound everyone. But crucial partnership between Duminy and Behardien proved weighty over it. Axar Patel’s over at a crucial stage allowed the opponents opt for attacking mode and mount up several runs to get close to the target as early as possible. Irate fans soured the joy of 2nd T20 when India seemed incompetent to defend 92 runs what they scored in 17.2 overs. The hosts couldn’t even bat for whole 20 overs which would certainly have added some specific runs in the overall total. None Indian player hit a biggie in game two. Low score was on the cards as players chose to play safe to save wickets from falling early. Whatever happened in Cuttack stadium was shameful. Hurling water bottles in the ground can’t be accepted in any condition.

Crowd interference at Barabati Stadium on Monday lasted for about an hour. People need to be mature as a viewer whether match is watched live or at home. Such acts could give birth to threat in future and no wonder if the audience in different cities may do the same if India start losing a game. Winning and losing are parts of sport. Both teams can’t win or lose at the same time. If these things repeat in future, it won’t be possible for the organizers to hunt out for the places where matches could be hosted without any problem.

If truth be told then Dhoni’s boys must be under huge stress. Winning the final one must be their motto as it is a question of pride now. Suresh Raina has the ability to hold the fort and display his natural game that’s imperative to take India ahead.  Right-handed player Rayudu will have to perform, beating all odds and accepting the challenger if his aim is to fix his spot in the team. Shikhar Dhawan hasn’t shown much of his potential. He could emerge as a bigger threat for the challengers but for this he would have to spend some time on the crease.

Dhoni’s performance will be crucial in final match of the 20-20 over game. Bowlers have so far done their jobs impressively. Wicket of AB de Villiers is always eyed thanks to the fact he mercilessly attacks the ball. Since the wicketkeeper-batsman tries to show each ball a way towards the fence, Proteas accumulate many runs in speed. Words are less to describe how brilliantly the leading wicket taker Albie Morkel and Imran Tahir bowled to give their team required breakthroughs in a match played a few days ago.

Rotational bowlers of SA were notable as well. South Africa have a strong opening player like Hashim Amla. Even though he hasn’t exhibited the kind of game for which he is known to the world, India know what he can do if gets set for once. Desired support from him will be required if Proteas think of a whitewash. Since the match is just a day away, preparations are in full swing at the Kolkata ground. Security arrangements are certainly going to be tight taking into consideration the annoying attitude of Cuttack crowd. Viewers want India to at least win the 3rd match and avoid humiliating defeat at the hands of South Africa. And, they would have to wait a tad more whether Indian camp gets success in avoiding defeat or not.