Yuvraj's brilliant fifty, the second fastest by an Indian
, propelled India to a mammoth 348 against Bangladesh
in the deciding one-dayer at Dhaka. All the Indian batsmen got runs with Sehwag and Tendulkar going berserk for a couple of overs early on. Dravid and Ganguly also milked the bowling around and Kaif gave Yuvraj great support with some deft placements and crazy running.
However, the performance of this full strength side can do nothing
to mask the obvious failings of Sunday
. The fall-guys were the new/comeback players. It is in fact ridiculous to suggest that the youngsters hadnt performed
when it was in fact the seniors who failed to put their hands up when it counted. Ganguly, Sehwag and Yuvraj played atrocious shots while Zaheer seemed determined to bowl every delivery worse than the previous one. Agarkar's lofted ondrive which landed safely in the hands of long on standing 3/4 of the way to the rope. All of them were responsible for India's defeat yesterday. Sriram must be wondering what he has done wrong in the two games he has played to be left out in this deciding game. Mongia and Murali Kartik would obviously feel that they didnt get enough opportunities to prove the selectors right (or wrong). Instead, Zaheer Khan is persisted with, in spite of his profligacy being a very important reason why Bangladesh exceeded 200 yesterday. Why Irfan Pathan didnt play today, if India were putting up its first choice XI, baffles me. Apparently he is India's fourth choice seamer after Zaheer, Agarkar and Joginder!
It was totally predictable that Bangladesh would always struggle after the euphoria of yesterday. By dropping those who really should have been given an opportunity to step up and win the series, Indian cricket has gone a couple of steps backward.