Well "cricket ka maha-yudh" is here. The ICC World T20 Championships is here. Though to be honest I think I've had an over dose of cricket these past few months. But well, it is the World Cup, and India are defending champs. So yes I'm still going to be following the games. :)
It was a nice start for India to the WC. Rohit Sharma seems to like opening the batting. Gambhir and Dhoni got stuck a bit in the middle and were not able to score freely. They couldn't create the momentum that was required. That job was left to Messrs Yuvraj and Irfan. Yuvraj was outstanding. It was just beautiful batting, clean hitting and awesome entertainment. His 18 ball 41 finally took India to 180 and that gave the score a bit of respectability.
There were plenty of nerves around with Holland having beaten England and WI having beaten the Aussies before this particular game. So B'ladesh must have been hoping that they too could continue with the 'giant-killing' spree. But it was not to be.
Though the openers did a fantastic job in B'desh's run-chase, India kept picking up regular wickets, and the pressure just proved to be too much for the B'deshis to handle. A good bowling performance by Pragyan Ojha, where he took four for 21, settled the game in India's favour. The rest of the bowling, with the exception of Bhajji, looked a little rusty and that will worry the team management. I don't think Zaheer was 100%. Irfan and Ishant couldn't halt the momentum that the B'desh innings had gathered in the beginning. It was Dhoni's move to bring Yousuf Pathan early on that gave India it's break through and from then on wickets kept falling.
I must admit that I was impressed with B'desh. The bowling was good. They faltered a bit at the end under the Yuvi onslaught. But generally the bowling- especially the spin bolwing was very good. The fielding was exceptional. And the way the B'deshi batsmen went about chasing down India's target was good to see. They seemed to be fearless and played some very good strokes. It's very different from the B'desh players I remember watching a few years back. I'm sure that this young team is a team to watch out for the future.
India's next fixture is against Ireland and should be a fairly easy one. That means India should cruise thorugh in to the super 8's. That's where the real competition will be.
Hoping Dhoni and his boys will continue the good run. :)