Playing a bowler, sidelined through the tournament, in the final was always going to be a risk. After playing the first match of the World Cup against Bangladesh, S Sreesanth was discarded by his team, and did not even look a part of it during the practice sessions.
Hence, eyebrows were
raised when skipper MS Dhoni announced that the pacer was in the running for a berth in the final.
In a listless performance on Saturday against Sri Lanka, Sreesanth proved that his selection was not a wise decision.
Going for 52 runs in eight overs, his body language was poor and fielding below par.
The decision to pick him was baffling. Especially, when off-spinner R Ashwin was available for selection.
It was all the more surprising that after eight matches, India were yet to figure out their bowling combination. After the semifinal against Pakistan in Mohali, Dhoni had admitted that he had misread the wicket (indirectly admitting that he had erred in dropping Ashwin). But, on Saturday the Tamil Nadu offie was again cooling his heels.
Ashwin can consider himself unlucky as he bowled smartly and gave it his all in the field in the all-important game against Australia and the league match against the West Indies.
Dhoni struggled to use Sreesanth. He had to pull him out of the attack after three overs with the new ball when he gave away two boundaries in his third over.
The skipper tried him at the fall of Kumar Sangakkara's wicket so that he could be effective when the pressure was on the opposition, but that did not work too.
The fielding was sharp and the bowling accurate from the other end, but Sreesanth was not in a position to make use of the advantage. He started in his usual aggressive fashion but when things did not go well, he went on the defensive.
He was guilty of bowling short and wide, allowing the batsmen room for easy runs.
Dhoni was forced to divide Sreesanth's eight overs in four short spells, and after six overs, his figures read 6-0-39-0. It was only in his last spell that the pacer looked a part when he started bowling within himself.