It was a tough game but our grit prevailed | india | Hindustan Times
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It was a tough game but our grit prevailed

india Updated: Jan 11, 2011 00:33 IST
Aakash Chopra

Was it Rajasthan's deep desire to win the semifinal that turned the tables or was it Tamil Nadu's lack of caution that cost them the game? While the analysis is on, here's how the story unfolded on the pitch.

Tamil Nadu won an all important toss against us, Rajasthan, and were obviously gung-ho about their prospects of storming into the final.

After all, it was overcast, the track wore a black look (a sign of moisture underneath) and they had come prepared for exactly this.

They had five quick bowlers in the squad, out of which four eventually played in the final XI. TN thought that all they needed to do was to pitch the ball and the conditions would take care of the rest. Unfortunately for them, that's where they faltered.

Once they didn't get the all expected initial breakthrough, they were left with two choices -one, to put their heart and soul into their bowling or two, obviously the easier one, to go on the defensive with field placements.

Fortunately for us, they chose the latter and had fielders manning the boundaries as a cover for loose deliveries. We, being the smaller team, knew that the only way to win against Tamil Nadu was to bat them out of the game. And that needed application right from number 1 to number XI. We did just that and it worked for us. But batting can only set up a game; it's the bowlers who win it for the team.

When our turn came to bowl, our hunger to win the game also came to the fore. The track was a good one to bat on. Tamil Nadu had a good line-up and we had to split 160 overs between four bowlers, for we didn't play the extra bowler. And what made it even more challenging was the fact that three out of our four bowlers were seamers, which meant pushing the limits, both physically and mentally.

Our bowlers bowled their hearts out. The game hung in the balance for a long time, thanks to Badri's stupendous knock. But as the end came closer, the real character of individuals also came to the fore. At one end Badri remained unflustered and was prepared to go all the way, the others around him got too impatient and went for broke.