Why did we lose ... coz of the toss?
For me, the blame has to be put on two factors - fielding + batting. When Dravid took 5 batsmen, we could still have won the match. When Dravid decided to field first, we could still have won the match. However, when we dropped between 10-12 catches plus one sitter of a stumping in the match, our outlook didn't look too bright. Finally when our famed batting line up (and the sixth batsman here would have just been eye-candy ... he would in most probability would have joined the procession to the pavillion) collapsed in the second innings, everything was up.
The question here is not of the sixth batsman ... tell me, if Laxman had played as the sixth batsman, he would probably have batted at 5 or 6 ... does anyone really think his presence would have prevented a collapse? See, maybe it would have and maybe it wouldn't have ... but definitely one cannot say that his presence would have prevented an Indian loss. However, the batsman making runs as they should ... and the fielders holding catches as they again should ... these two factors would have made India win this match for sure.
Shaun Udal takes 4 wickets to take England to victory ... can someone shoot me please??? No, on second thoughts, shoot Dhoni ... if we had any award for "Stupid of the match" like we have "man of the match" I doubt if we would have any other contender (again, let me repeat ... while Dravid's two decisions were not the best they could have been, they defintely were not "stupid"). And yes, I remember he is the guy who made the runs in the first innings ... but we Indians (players and fans) should understand one thing ... making runs in one innings or one match or two matches or three matches cannot / should not mean that throwing away ur wicket in any innings can be pardoned. Get out to a good ball ... u can be pardoned time and again. Get out the Dhoni way (2nd innings) and definitely one doesn't deserve a pardon.
Ok, let me state my personal preference on the 5 bowler theory. I say that if we have a completely dead / lifeless pitch (as in the first two tests in Pakistan) we can go in with 5 bowlers coz our aim should always be to get a win whatever it takes ... but if the pitch is not completely dead / lifeless, then put the responsibility on the 4 bowlers (and don't pardon the loss of form of one bowler etc ... all those things should be looked at before stepping onto the field) and play the extra bat. One may talk of 20 wickets being taken for a win ... but I always believe it is a batsman's game ... and an extra batsman would always serve u better. In case of a 5th bowler, one bowler will always be underbowled ... and the trick is in identifying which of the 5 bowlers would be under-utilized (and no ... it should not be left to vagaries like "form on that day") ... and replacing him with ur sixth bat. See, 4 bowlers or 5 bowlers ... there is only 20 opposition wickets to take ... but when u talk of scoring runs, there is no limit to the number of runs ur sixth batsman can score.
Right now, most media stories r about the toss and 5 bowlers and how Ganguly would have never made this mistake. Yep, in his five years as captain, I am sure Ganguly never made a mistake ... LOL ... anyways from Dravid, I don't expect this to be the last mistake ... he will make more and he is allowed to make them ... coz he is the guy who is doing the planning ... and he runs the show the way he thinks is best (or whether Greg C does it behind the scenes ... I don't really care) and sometimes he will screw up and that is still ok with me. So there!!!
Gavaskar crapped his usual crap ... he must be one of the happiest people around since he now gets to diss Chappell tactics ... he talked about too much ODI cricket and too much shuffling around being the cause for the batting failure and some such nonsense. Well, Mr. Gavaskar ... as far as I remember, Sehwag Dravid and Tendulkar have been in the team in a consistent manner and have always batted at 1, 3 and 4. Yuveraj, since making the spot his own, again has batted at 5. Jaffer as opener is bound to bat at 2. So kindly explain if u mean Laxman's ommission is what u mean as "constant shuffling" and also kindly explain if u think that Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar and Yuveraj would have performed better had Laxman been in the team.
Geez ... I wish Gavaskar would get a blog and stop polluting the newspapers ... at least I can avoid going to his blog.
The ODI team announced and my man, Venugopal Rao is in ... Raina and Rao, my two bets for the future.