Mind-blowing! That is the one word that comes to the fore when looking back on India's fabulous run chase in the second one-day match. When Australia posted 359 runs on the board, not many would have given the Indian team a chance to get there.
The Sawai Mansingh Stadium turned out to be a fortress not just for Rajasthan Royals but also another home team, India, and once again the team won by chasing a target. Over 725 runs scored and non-stop entertainment for those who had turned up. It made up for what was one of the hottest days in which to play cricket.
All the more reason to praise the Indian batsmen for the manner in which they kept going despite the heat taking its toll. Rohit Sharma had a bout of cramps but he did not give up, and even after getting his century, carried on, and that kind of spirit is great for Indian cricket.
There’s always been all kinds of loose talk about young Kohli’s lifestyle, but there is nobody who works harder than the young man when it comes to his cricket. In this respect, he is similar to the Pakistani legend Imran Khan who also had little sleep but would be the one to lead the team in the training before the day’s play.
In Pune, the Australians were pretty successful in using the short ball. Even there, the way Shikhar Dhawan got in line and then just swayed out of the way showed how much time he had to play the quick short stuff, and mind you, Mitchell Johnson was letting it rip.
In Jaipur, on a pitch that did not have the same bounce that Pune had but was still encouraging for the 'effort' bowler, Dhawan played a couple of pull shots that made all of us feel ten feet tall. He just dismissed the ball from his presence, almost slapping it away.
Rohit Sharma favoured the off side and was quick to seize on anything slightly wide to get the boundaries. There were just a couple of overs when the asking rate went above the eight-run mark, but with Kohli opening his shoulders, that began to shrink very quickly indeed.
As Sharma, having completed a terrific century, realised that Kohli too was on target for one, and that too the fastest by an Indian, he smartly gave more strike to the vice-captain, once again bringing out the fine camaraderie that exists in this Indian team. Fantastic stuff guys, let’s have more of the same.
Professional Management Group