Why India fail to win close games

Sachin Tendulkar won a great personal battle against the Australians on Thursday but India still lost the war, going down by three runs in an epic run-chase. India again lost a match which it had all but won. It’s not the first time either that the Men in Blue have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. MS Dhoni has evolved into a clinical finisher but even he succumbed early on Thursday.
Indeed, increasingly it seems that old virus is plaguing Indian cricket once again: more than team effort, the team is again banking on individual brilliance. When the Indians win, they win by a mile. And when it comes to close finishes in pressure-cooker situations, they are invariably found wanting.
A case in point has been India’s two victories in this particular series. A blazing hundred by Mahendra Singh Dhoni saw India cruising to a 99-run victory in the second One-dayer at Nagpur. Similarly, in the third One-dayer at New Delhi, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh featured in a 148-run stand for the 4th wicket as India won by six wickets chasing a modest 230-run victory target.
A champion team knows how to win; rather they win by hook or crook. And it is here that India are still way behind the Australians. In all the four matches that witnessed close finishes in the series, India have been left despairing. In the first One-dayer at Baroda, Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar revived India and with nine needed off the final over bowled by Peter Siddle, the hosts should have made it. Not really. Harbhajan Singh got out to the second ball and the target was beyond Praveen Kumar and Ashish Nehra.In last one-day at Guwahati Indians were look at the mercy of Australian. This is called the Punter’s Punch to victory over series, because they never loose their tempetation about winning the series before finally they do the same. And another side Indians are always riding the wining of series but they fail to do because they thaught they have won.
At Mohali, India made a fine mess of chasing down a target of 251 losing by 24 runs. At Hyderabad on Thursday, India had another great chance but they flattered only to deceive. When Tendulkar got out off the first ball of the 47th over, India needed 19 runs off 17 balls with three wickets. But the tailenders left commonsense behind in the dressing room and contrived to fall short by three runs. Ravindra Jadeja might as well have been running around in the park. Ashish Nehra targeted the only man in the deep during the batting Powerplay. Praveen Kumar just didn’t feel the need to dive full length, which could have saved him and his team.
To be honest, India appears to be a team in complete disarray against a team which is grappling with injuries but still functioning like a brilliant One-day outfit. What is equally appalling is the fact that the Indians are not even doing the basic things right, and here coach Gary Kirsten has to do some tough talking to his players.


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