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Friday, March 23, 2007

इंडिया need 255 to stay afloat (Match Fixing Contd..)

In case that headline looks latin to a few of you, let me clarify - that's India in Hindi and I've not done it deliberately. Thrice i tried writing India in the Roman script, but to no avail. Blogger translated that to Hindi each time, so I finally gave up.

Tony Greig has just disappointed Mandira Bedi with this bit of info - "Only twice before on this ground (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad) has a score in excess of 250 been successfully chased." From the look of things, there ain't much reason to disagree with Tony. Sri Lanka were in a spot of bother early on, and they recovered well to attain that score of 254. At one point, 240 looked the highest possible score they would reach and John Wright, commentating on Set Max had even sounded the possibility of 200. What John also said was that 240 was a 50-50 score which only suggests that anything over that should definitely provide the Lankans with an edge.

I just checked out William Hill - one of the top betting sites on the Internet. (no, no I didn't place any bets - that's illegal in India) What surprised me is that Will Hill is offering 1.66 for every buck placed on India but 2.10 for Sri Lanka. So, the bookies think that India are favourites to win. In the current muddled atmosphere, that leaves me with more than some food for thought.

Uthappa has failed twice in two attempts but if he could come good today, all will be forgiven. Sehwag is a defending centurion, Ganguly, Yuvraj and Sachin are in good nick. Dravid hasn't done much yet but he looks alright. What will be required is for 3 of the 7 batters to come good - that ways it doesn't sound a bad prospect. My feeling is it's going to be either Tendulkar or Ganguly who will put their hands up for India this night, though I don't mind anyone else joining in in the fun. There's a case for holding Ganguly back so that he could tackle the spinners in the middle overs but it's unlikely that Dravid will experiment today - after all his captaincy is at stake today.

If India wins today, they carry 2 points to the Super Eight plus they have at least one easy match against Ireland. All that they will need to do then is to win two of the remaining 5 matches and I'd fancy India's chances against England, Newzealand and West Indies. That's if we can first cross the Palk Strait successfully.

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