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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014
Distressed India look for salvation
Sunil Gavaskar
September 30, 2009
First Published: 00:41 IST(30/9/2009)
Last Updated: 00:46 IST(30/9/2009)

India have been thrown a lifeline by the washout against Australia. A loss would have meant exit from the tournament but now there is an outside chance if Pakistan beat Australia by a big margin and India do the same to the West Indies. The advantage is that India are playing the second game and will have an idea of the required margin if Pakistan do beat Australia.

The luck factor was on view as Ponting chose to bat on Monday after winning the toss. Nehra's first over saw the ball jump from a good length, hit the splice of the bat and had Watson in trouble. Watson fell soon after, as another delivery bounced more than he expected and Harbhajan Singh took the mistimed pull.

If the morning of the India-Australia game had seen bright sunshine, moisture from the overnight watering would have gone by the time the game started. But with the sky overcast, the moisture stayed and Nehra was able to get extra bounce.

Where the luck factor comes in is that had Australia bowled first, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle would have been handful for India. Aussies took their time to get on top and by the time the rain came, they had built a good platform to slog it out in the last few overs.

Australia have found a quality player in Tim Paine. If Brad Haddin had not broken his finger, Paine would have had to wait to make his debut. But he has grabbed his chance and Haddin may not be an automatic choice for the one-day team anymore. Pakistan would want to win against Australia for then they would play either New Zealand or Sri Lanka rather than in-form England.

It promises to be an interesting day and hopefully the weather will stay good and give India a chance, slim though it may be.  

PMG


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