Didn’t bother fielding or bowling to defeat Bangladesh after Sehwagology opened the tournament. Had three weeks off, then made a shit load of runs against England, panicked, and then somehow ended with a tie. Beat Ireland without too much flare. Tried to smash the Dutch off the map, but had to settle for a five wicket win. Looked like they were going to embarrass South Africa before Steyn steam rolled them and South Africa’s middle order got them over the line. Got bowled out by the sweet hips of Rampaul, but still easily beat a snoozing Windies. Kept Australia to a chaseable target, stumbled a touch before Shaun Tait brought them back to an easy win. Sehwag pushed them a few runs past a middle aged middle order of Pakistan with a bit of help from fielding.
Batting – Godzilla.
Bowling – Better than it looks.
Fielding – Better than Pakistan’s.
Started with a bye against Canada. Lost to Pakistan without Malinga or a middle order. Stepped over the bloated corpse of Kenya. Was about to have their middle order tested by Australia when the rain came down. Did what they had to against Zimbabwe. Made a decent total against New Zealand and then destroyed them. Stopped England from ever getting a par total, and then had a party that only two were invited to with the batting. Had another game against New Zealand, this time it was closer, but they still got home with barely more than a trip.
Batting – Hard on top, soft in the middle, non-existent at the end.
Bowling – Predators.
Fielding – Good enough.
It seems that India is, and with Mathews out, even more so.
Nehra is out, just when he plays his best game. May not be a loss considering the pitch.
Gambhir is in, hamstrings are a risk, and he won’t get a runner.
Murali is in, the man is moving like someone has nailed his feet to the ground, he can’t get through the crease at all, he’s still Murali though.
Mathews is out, was the one class ODI batsmen in their middle order, and his bowling could have meant that they played three spinners without too much fear.
What India must do to win
The reverse Shastri. They aren’t perfect, and they probably know this, their last two games have been grinds rather than blasts, which is what suits them even better. There might be more pressure on them to win this than they can handle, but they have the batting to blow this bastard apart. What they can’t do is expect the top two to do it, if everyone bats their ass off; Sri Lanka might not have a long enough order to match it.
What Sri Lanka must do to win
Tie the top order to the bedpost. They might not bat as deep as India, but their top four is pretty, and their bowlers are far more powerful than India’s, so if they can squeeze out every run they can from their top order, that might be enough if their bowlers are on song. They also might not feel like they are worse than India, but can use the underdog nature and lack of pressure at the ground to throw all their shit on the wall.
Who will win
Sri Lanka, actually I have no real idea. One team has limited bowling and a great batting line up that can collapse. The other has a good bowling line up, a tasty top order and a line up from 5-11 that looks highly flammable. The reason I say Sri Lanka is that I picked them at the start of the tournament, and I think it would be nice if I was right.
Weird factoid about the final
Neither team can win, because old ancient cricket gods have decreed that you shouldn’t pick a wicket keeper as captain.