The Sri Lanka – India ODI dosage this time had more spice even before a ball was bowled. The obvious reason was that Randiv No Ball. Suraj Randiv received a one match suspension for his antics by SLC in addition to 100% fine of his match fee along with partner in crime, TM Dilshan.
Most of the Sri Lankan fans were vary of this gesture by SLC, if anybody in the Sri Lankan team did not come out in support of him, there was at least one, showing his placard, ‘Randiv we are with you’.
Sangakkara, for his part said "We don’t try and hide behind the press or hide behind our board”.
The anger in Sanga was visible from the New Zealand match. Most people in Sri Lanka feel while Randiv’s act was not in keeping with the spirit of the game, it was not illegal. The apology by Randiv to Sehwag was enough.
Dhoni winning the toss was the only bright spot in India’s performance on Sunday. True, Yuvraj played a an innings worth of note, but it was not usual Yuvraj stuff. He was on 16 off 44 balls at one stage, truly Yuvraj of old does better; he conceded two maidens on the trot off Mathews.
Sehwag’s dismissal was the key factor in any match in any format these days. He was getting hundreds and ninety nines of course before. When Kulasekara bowled that in dipper at him, he was beaten and the ball was heading for leg stump. If some felt it was only kissing the leg stump(as suggested by Cricinfo commentary), it must have been a French Kiss.
Even if UDRS was in place Sehwag would have been gone, another good reason why India would not use that.
Dinesh Karthik was flummoxed by what he got. The over enthusiastic Sri Lankans were going up in unison for each and everything, and umpires did oblige. However, the Karthik decision was the only one to make a real impact on the game. It is true that Raina got a roughie too, but he was reprieved a few minutes before, and the worst came when Yuvraj was given out, but by that time the match was out of reach for India.
Mahela Jayawardane and Rohit Sharma got rough decisions too in the "no ball match", but India won and none of the experts and media complained.
Bad decisions have become an integral part of a match, and it is high time UDRS was used in all forms of game. ICC must ensure, hot spot or no hot spot, TV replays should be used wherever possible. A person sitting in the couch at home can make better decisions than people who are involved in the middle in the current scenario.
One expected Dhoni to play a long and handy innings today, but Thissara Perera had other ideas. This must be sweeter for the bowler, who was ignored in all but one match in the IPL by his franchise Chennai Super Kings, led by the Indian captain himself.
Perera who had been overlooked for Fernando previously in the tournament has always been a steady bowler and a batter in the mould of Lance Klusener. In fact, he reminds me more of "Zulu" as the South African also batted left handed and bowled in similar style. He was playing his first match in Sri Lanka, since making his debut in December 2009, and as played 11 matches and eight of those against India in India, Bangladesh and in Zimbabwe.
Perera must be finding it difficult why he has been dropped from Sri Lanka’s line up this often. He was overlooked for the Asia Cup although he delivered whenever given opportunity. One hopes Sri Lanka would use more of him in the lead up to the World Cup and in the World Cip itself.
The decision to open with Mahela Jayawardane is again open for discussion.
Does Sri Lanka believe Mahela is a better and more trusted opener than Tharanga? Upul Tharanga has batted well, but in a do or die situation like yesterday he has not been tested. Probably Sri Lanka thought rain would come into play and to make better use of the power play, Mahela should open.
As Mahela batted well, there would be no fuss over this issue. It showed how desperate Sri Lanka was to win the match and enter the final. Only once, have they bowed out of triangular final in home soil.
Just like the TV commercial of the sponsors Micromax says that they are REALLY SORRY FOR INTRODUCING THAT PARTICULAR PHONE MODEL, India we can only say: REALLY SORRY FOR BEATING YOU LIKE THIS.