The one-day series may be lost, but we will still be looking to get as much as possible out of today’s final game.
It hasn’t been a very happy series for us so far, losing the first match by one run when a lot of marginal things went against us and then Sachin won the second game almost single-handedly.
Congratulations to Sachin for becoming the first player to score an ODI double-hundred, but I just wish it hadn’t been against our attack when I was captain! He certainly made my life very difficult on Wednesday!
This series has offered us an important learning experience ahead of next year’s World Cup and the knowledge that today’s game will be our last ODI on the sub-continent before then should really egg the players on.
We go to the West Indies next for the ICC World T20 as well as a full tour, but we are unlikely to go to Pakistan in October and November, with a neutral venue trying to be arranged for that series. Then India come to South Africa and then it’s back here for the World Cup!
Our new coaching staff has put a lot of care and thought into this series and I can just echo what Corrie said the other day about the importance of partnerships, both in terms of batting and bowling.
The responsibility lies with us top-order batsmen to build at least a couple of big partnerships that will put the bowling attack under pressure. We have to really think hard about our scoring zones and obviously take tremendous care with our shot-selection.
Even without Yuvraj and Gambhir, the Indian batting line-up is a dangerous one and it is important for our bowlers to operate in pairs to keep the pressure on them from both ends.
Of course this is not always easy, especially under the full glare of such passionate supporters and against classy batsmen who are in form, revelling in their own conditions.
In the first game, I felt we had done a good job in the field and probably deserved a little more luck. Charl Langeveldt clattering the ball into off-stump and then conceding four runs instead of bowling the batsman was one of the more infuriating moments!
But things did not go well in the second ODI and we chased leather all over the small Gwalior field. Sachin certainly took advantage of a great batting pitch and the quick outfield.
But I will be calling for a bit more discipline from the bowlers today, they need to dovetail better.