The King is dead.Long Live the king – Australia’s reign at the World Cup came to a crashing end in the Motera stadium at Ahmedabad. However the successor to the throne is far from decided. Cheered on by a Partisan Indian crowd which included the Ambani’s and Chief Minister Narendra Modi, India beat Australia in a tense Quaterfinal. Yuvraj Singh earned his fourth Man of the Match, in his best performance so far in the World Cup. It was a pressure situation and Yuvraj came good, which augurs well for India. Yuvraj was having problems with his technique on the bouncy South African pitches. But the selectors kept their faith in him and on Indian pitches he is as good a match winner as any but he needed the confidence and this knock can carry him to greater heights. The Australian’s though are a sad follow-up to the Champion teams of the past. Ricky Ponting played a champion’s innings on a slow track but 260 was always going to be tough to defend. The rest of the batting was really mediocre, not as much as their bowling though. The bowling has a “Buffet” bowler in Shaun Tait, an off spinner from another age who keeps tossing the ball up and doesn’t have the doosra, and a couple of part timers. India could have won by 7 wickets but Virat Kohli and Gambhir gifted their wickets against the run of play. It was a tense clash but made so only by India’s mistakes than by quality from Australia. The thing India did right was that they fielded like never before. Yuvraj, Kohli and Raina wer brilliant. Raina also came into form with a blistering cameo. He will be significant in the next two matches, as he brings a lot of energy into this team.
West Indies were poor to say the least in a one-sided encounter in the first Quarter Final. A team which has Chris Gayle as their best batsman, is sure to struggle against any opposition. Chanderpaul and Sarwan should be retired and at home. Darren Bravo and Roach show some promise but West Indies need a shot of natural talent to come into the side. Where are the TAll fast bowlers and the swaggering batsmen? They beat the minnows but played like minnows against the major team. Pakistan on their part were very good and at their destructive best.
What a great clash it sets up at Mohali. The neighbours clash in the Semi Finals and India seem to have the edge but they won’t be taking Pakistan lightly.
Greame Smith thought before the World Cup that it was time to bury the “C” word. Well not yet Greame, you still can engineer quite a Choke !!! New Zealand were dead and buried with no hope as SA were chasing a small score easily at 125 for 2. Oram picked up a great running catch of Kallis and then we witnessed an unbelievable collapse. Oram led the way with 4 wickets on a docile friendly wicket. Christmas arrived 9 months early for the Kiwis who made it to their Sixth Semi final and I think that is as far as they will go. Where do South Africa go from here, another 4 years of being the undisputed “Choke” kings!!