Daijiworld Media Network
Hobart, Feb 28 : India have finally shown their true potential in this match. Sachin and Sehwag batted with aggression and got the team off to a blazing start. The run-rate maintained at that time was close to 9 per over and that laid the platform for Kohli and Gambhir to guide the run-chase.
So, the last match of the CB series on March 2nd is not a dead rubber. The equation is simple now for Sri Lanka. They have to win against Australia at Melbourne if they have to reach the finals. For India, they have to wait and hope that Australia defeat Sri Lanka. A tie or a washout will mean that Sri Lanka go to the finals.
Just one more snippet for you all. This stat cropped up at the start of 2011. Whenever Dhoni has tied the initial league game of any competition, he has gone onto win the tournament. Can he achieve this again? I leave that all upto you to decide. Mind you, this time it is not in his hands and Australia will play a crucial role in achieving that
Virat Kohli is the MoM for his unbeaten 133 off 86 balls.
Kohli: To be able to chase down 320 in 40 overs and to win with the bonus point was simply wonderful. I committed a few mistakes in the last game. I just played myself in and I wanted to hang in there. I put everything into that cover drive that I hit off Malinga's bowling. We did not execute our plans well in the tour but we remained positive. We have to rely on other teams to ensure that we go into the finals. We will be rooting for Australia in the final league match. This was my best knock in ODIs and I am very happy.
Dhoni: I have been part of some good games but this has been the best. The start was crucial, with Sachin and Sehwag batting well. Virat was superb and the youngsters finished the job. I was thinking about a target close to 260-270 but I knew that we had the firepower to chase down any target. We will be busy shopping for the next five days since we have nothing in our hands. We are travelling and we will practice. We still have a mathematical chance to qualify.
Mahela Jayawardene: You cannot do much when they bat like that. The wicket was true and we did not pick up wickets. Virat Kohli batted out of his skin. We did not put pressure on them. It was not just Virat who nailed us. The rest of the batsmen batted well and they kept hitting boundaries. We need to win at Melbourne and I am glad that it is in our hands.
Mohandas Menon tweets: India becomes the only 2nd team after SL (324/2 in 37.3 ov v Eng Leeds 2006) to win an ODI while chasing over 300 in less than 40 overs!
Kohli brought up his 9th ODI century and this is probably his best knock ever. The unbeaten 120 run stand with Raina off just 55 balls was simply marvellous. One has to feel for Dilshan though. Both times he has scored 160 against India and on both times, Sri Lanka have lost the match. In the 9.4 overs of the powerplays combined, India blasted 112 runs for the loss of one wicket. Simply stunning indeed.
Gambhir scored a wonderful fifty but it was Kohli who stole the show. He was especially severe on Malinga whom he carted all over the ground. Malinga's reputation as the best death bowler has taken a severe beating and one wonders what frame of mind he will be in for the crunch game against Australia.