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More than a few positives from Oz win for Dhoni & Co

cricket Updated: Mar 25, 2011 23:27 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Hindustan Times
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The Indians were taking a well-earned day of rest in Ahmedabad on Friday, after knocking Australia out of the World Cup and reaching the semifinals.

The victory came with a bit to spare but it was closer than it looked in the end and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men spent the day relaxing in the aftermath of the euphoria.

Pakistan are up next and they are tricky opponents, capable of beating the best on their day. Also, they wouldn't have much to lose when they come up against their perennial rivals. That said, Dhoni & Co will have reasons to be in the right frame of mind following what they achieved in Ahmedabad on that unforgettable Thursday.

Overcoming pressure
There were many occasions in that pulsating match when India came under pressure. It showed in the way Gautam Gambhir was run out and, even before that, when he came precariously close to getting out in that manner.

On the positive side, a victory under such circumstances can give a team the confidence to turn things around. Just like a defeat in such situations can shatter self-belief and make one shaky before the next outing, a hard-earned victory against a tough outfit should help one develop faith in his abilities.

After conquering Australia in that fashion, the Indians might start believing that they can do it against any team, in any situation.

Collective effort
Yuvraj's effort stood out in the end because he finished it off but equally important were the contributions of the other batsmen. There were partnerships worth 40-50 for the first four wickets which ensured India were always in the hunt. That nobody got a big one is a concern but almost everybody contributing under pressure is a big plus ahead of the bigger games.

Bowling & fielding
Even though India never looked like running through the Australian batting order, the bowlers, by and large, achieved the target of restricting the batsmen.

Zaheer Khan was once again the standout performer, getting crucial breakthroughs in the middle overs.

What also stood out was India's ground fielding, with Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli effecting vital interceptions inside the circle.