U19 World Cup, First Semi Final: Indian batting report

The Indian innings was very well paced. At the end of the first 15 overs they were 77 for the loss of Dhiman's wicket. In the next 20 overs, Pujara and Sharma added 100 runs without taking any risks (177/1 in 35). India lost both Sharma and skipper Shukla in the 37th over, stuttered a bit between the 35th and 45th over and yet managed to score 51 runs during that period (228/3 in 45). The last 5 overs yielded 64 runs as Tehlan, Jadeja and Pujara slogged their way happily to an imposing score of 292. The last over produced 25 runs (wide+4, 4, 2, 2, 2, 4, 6) with Pujara improvising in style after reaching his hundred.

Gaurav Dhiman (scores coming into the game - 90, DNB, 10 and 74) has strong shoulders and a great sense of timing. Like most slam-bang sub-continent openers, he doesn't really believe too much in footwork, but backs his power to the hilt. After a quiet 3 overs which yielded just 5 runs, he hit 18 off Waters' second over (4, 4, 4, 2, 4, dot). Moeen Ali, the English skipper was forced to resort to spin very early (the left arm spinner, James was subbed in as early as in the 10th over). Dhiman continued his aggressive ways against the slower bowlers, played one shot too many and was out caught at mid-on trying to sweep (72/1).

Mumbai's Rohit Sharma, the other in-form batsman (scores coming into the game - 10*, 4, 78 and 50) was the next man in. He played a neat knock sans any risks and made 59 with 4 fours in addition to a lofted six over mid-wicket to reach his half-century. He looked good for more before he committed suicide by running for a second run without looking for his partner's response. By the time he realized that Pujara was not interested, it was a tad too late for him to get back to his crease (184/2). He was later injured on the field as he landed on his shoulder while diving to stop a ball. Hope it isn't too serious to keep him away from the final.

The skipper Ravikant Shukla walked in next. He has been woefully out of form (with scores of DNB, 45, 1, 3 and 3)in this tournament and the stage was well set for him to get into some form. He lasted 3 balls. Picked a single off the first, a two off the second and holed out to the fielder at long on off the next. For some reason, he hesitated a long time before deciding to walk off to the dressing room. He needs a good knock in the final to feel good about himself when he lifts that trophy aloft (provided India goes onto win the final).

With the loss of 2 quick wickets, Mayank Tehlan (Viru's cousin) and Pujara took some time getting the momentum back in India's favour. Tehlan then started improvising with all sorts of shots from the book and also from way out of the book (there were a couple from the Marillier's school of batting). He got bowled while trying to force the pace in the 47th over (243/4).

Ravinder Jadeja from Jamnagar (no relation to Ajay?) got to play just eight deliveries but he managed to hit 3 lusty blows to the mid-wicket boundary and ended up with an unbeaten 14.

Man of the Match, Cheteswar Pujara is definitely up there in the "career progress to be followed" list. He had scores of 66*, 47*, 10 and 97 coming into this game. With his knock today, he has an aggregate of 349 runs with an average of 174.5. He is now the clear front-runner for the "Man of the tournament" award. He started very slowly, did not get over-awed by Dhiman's crude hitting at the other end (during the awards ceremony, he gave Dhiman the credit for taking pressure off him), played second fiddle to Rohit during the crucial second wicket stand and then after reaching his century, tore into the hapless attack (his last 20 came off just 5 balls). He did get a life when he had just 1 run to his name and he made the most of that reprieve. Pujara made his first class debut this season for Saurashtra (which won the Ranji plate group title and managed to get into the bigger league for next season) in the Ranji Trophy and scored 145 in only his second game. He would be tested against better opposition in the next season, but he sure does look like someone with a good temperament and a wide range of shots.

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Blogger Pratik 11:44 AM

Good stuff. How do you know all this? You manage to watch it somewhere?    



Blogger vishnupavan 12:46 PM

How do I know? I watched it live :) sky sports via sportingstreams.com    



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