That was quite a chase for the Indians against Zimbabwe but it wasn’t really unexpected. In such a long tournament, you must expect the bat to start dominating sooner than later. This is so as the pitches tend to get better for batting, with the freshness going away as the tournament progresses. The constant rolling too is bound to take away life from the pitch. Also while the bowlers quickly adapt to the pitches on offer, the batsmen tend to take a little more time. Well, they have had a month now and you can expect the runs to flow more freely, even from the lesser experienced sides.
Saturday’s game was an example of that but then you also expect a champion team to emerge victorious even from the stage India were, four down for next to nothing. The trademark exemplary calm of Mahendra Singh Dhoni was all too evident again. Only he can do what he does, take it calmly till the very end and then finish things in style. Every time Dhoni plays there is a lesson to be learned, more so on how to just hang in and stay focused despite the pressure. The bigger lesson should not have been lost on the top four batsmen who got out early. Watching the partnership between Dhoni and Suresh Raina, the batsmen before them would have had ample time to reflect on their mistakes, their shot selection and the manner of their dismissals. The real story of the match was that if one stays at the wicket anything is possible and hopefully that would have rubbed off on the top four.
This is especially so as you can expect more such off-days for the bowlers as the event gets more competitive. The Indian batsmen will have to rise to the occasion and deal with the situation.
For Zimbabwe, it’s all over in this edition but you have to say they played with a big heart. Whatever their limitations with bat and ball, one cannot fault their attitude. As for Brendan Taylor, he didn’t just prove to be a fine batsman but also a fine thinking batsman. He can fit into any side.
Brendan has rendered fine service to his country. It’s not easy to keep turning out for a side that loses more than it wins, not easy at all to continue to keep your head and keep performing too but Brendan has managed just that. There couldn’t have been a better end to his international career.