Cricket is all about patience. When it comes to batting, people generally say a batsman should get his eye in before he starts hitting the ball all over the park. However, sometimes it is necessary to play according to the situation and pitch. Playing a long inning but a slow one will never help any team. In fact, a player needs to understand that in modern-day cricket you can’t be playing too many dot balls.
In ODIs or T20Is, it becomes quite crucial that a player doesn’t take up a lot of deliveries. This could hurt the chances of his/her team winning and it has happened numerous times in Indian cricket. Let us take a look at 5 Instances when Indian batsmen played slow and selfish knocks which cost the team.
5 Instances when Indian batsmen’s slow knocks cost the team:
1. Rahul Dravid
After MS Dhoni took over the ODI captaincy from Rahul Dravid in 2007, the latter didn’t get to play a lot. Dhoni’s decision to drop Dravid and Sourav Ganguly from the tri-series in Australia initially didn’t go down too well. However, under his captaincy, India won the tri-series for the first time in Australia and the historic win didn’t let the senior pros make an ODI comeback.
However, in 2009, Dravid was called back into the ODI squad for a tri-series in Sri Lanka and subsequent ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa. The match which we are going to point now is the Champions Trophy clash between India and Pakistan in Centurion. Pakistan batted first and scored 302 for 9 on a wicket which was batting-friendly.
Gautam Gambhir scored 57 runs off just 46 balls to give a good start to the Indian innings. Suresh Raina also played a handy knock of 46 runs from 41 balls. During both their innings, Dravid was at the other end playing one of his typical one-day knocks. He scored 76 runs from 103 balls. India went on to lose the match by 54 runs, but experts criticised the pace at which the legendary batsman played. The loss, in fact, became the reason why India failed to qualify for the knockout stages.
2. Ravindra Jadeja
This incident would be one of the most embarrassing moments of Ravindra Jadeja’s career. Back in 2009, Jadeja was slowly earning the spotlight after playing a few blazing knocks for his then IPL franchise, Rajasthan Royals. Cut to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in England, Jadeja was expected to be Dhoni’s trump card. India were up against England in their second match of the super eight stages.
Having lost their previous game, it was important for the side to win this match else to stay in the hunt. England were restricted for 153 for 7. During the chase, Dhoni made a surprise call by sending in Jadeja at no. 4. The left-handed batsman knocked around a few balls initially. However, his innings never got the real acceleration it needed.
He batted for 35 balls and scored 25 runs in that match. Even by the standards of T20 cricket in 2009, the Rockstar had let his team down. After some late flourish from Yusuf Pathan and MS Dhoni, India only managed to reach 150, falling short by three runs. This loss resulted in India getting knocked out of the tournament.
3. Yuvraj Singh
After turning out to be a hero during India’s World Cup win in 2011, Yuvraj Singh went through a battle with cancer. Once he was done with that, he finally started returning to the Indian team from late 2012. He had an average year in 2013 with the bat, which led to him getting dropped from the ODI squad. However, Dhoni trusted him with good performance in the 2014 T20 World Cup.
India won all the matches and entered the final and was up against Sri Lanka. India was batting first and was building towards a good total. Yuvraj Singh walked in at No.4 with the score being 64-2 from 10.3 overs. Virat Kohli, who had a slow start to his innings started scoring freely.
However, Yuvi just couldn’t find any timing. He struggled a lot to keep the scoreboard ticking. From 21 balls, he managed to score only 11 runs. When he got out in the 19th over, things had already gone bad for India. India socred just 130 for 4 in 20 overs. Sri Lanka chased down the target with 13 balls to spare. Yuvraj was heavily criticized for his slow innings and was blamed for the loss as well.
4. Sourav Ganguly
Going into the Indian Oil Cup 2005, Rahul Dravid was announced as the captain of the Indian side. Sourav Ganguly, the regular captain wasn’t going to lead the side for the first two matches, which led the selectors to continue with Dravid for the rest of the series. Ganguly had started to feel that Greg Chappell has some issues with him. With the left-handed batsman not getting runs, it was quite certain that he might get dropped.
When returned to the side for the match against Sri Lanka in the second round, Ganguly was determined to get runs. He batted for a few hours in Dambulla. He took 110 balls to score 51 runs. It was one of the slowest fifty in history of ODIs by any Indian. India still managed to score 220, but the score wasn’t going to be enough.
Ganguly’s slow knock cost India the match. Probably, this knock was one of the reasons mentioned by Chappell when he tried to convince the selectors why Ganguly should be removed as the captain. After the next series, Ganguly was dropped from the Indian side as both captain and player.
5. Sachin Tendulkar
Since the time Sachin Tendulkar got his 99th international century during the 2011 World Cup, there was the talk around his 100th century. Everyone was eagerly waiting for him to get to the milestone. But, it took him a while. Finally, in the Asia Cup 2012 match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Sachin reached the three-figure mark for the 100th time in international cricket.
The problem was it was a very slow inning. What was a good wicket for batting in Dhaka, Sachin’s knock made it difficult for India to reach a huge score. The master blaster took 138 balls to get to his record ton, one of the slowest centuries by anyone in ODIs for India. He ended with a score of 114 runs from 147 balls.
India reached a score of 289 runs. It seemed like a below-par total, even with a couple of quickfire knocks by Dhoni and Suresh Raina. Bangladesh chased the score down and India suffered a loss, which they would remember for some time. Unfortunately, even after defeating Sri Lanka and Pakistan, India failed to reach the final due to this loss.
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