India should use as many bowling options as possible
The Chinnaswamy pitch had a big part to play in providing such a thrilling match between India and England, at the end of which nothing separated the two teams. The climax was gripping, and the output was commensurate with the demand for tickets.
There has been much talk about how the 50-over game is dead and gone; that it is the biggest casualty to the advent of Twenty20 cricket. My view is that it's the occasion that makes the match big.
Somehow, even for the players, winning or losing in a T20 game doesn't seem to have the same significance as in a 50-over game. To start with, you need to have more talent to come through 100 overs. There is scope for you to bounce back from a poor start, with both bat and ball.
Zak the man
Zaheer looked off-colour during his first spell, but when he came back towards the end, he showed just what a champion bowler he is. There is space and time to operate and show your skills, even on flat pitches.
What was particularly heartening for me was that the fans got their money's worth. It was a long day for most of them. They came in so early that by the time the match reached its climax, they had spent almost 12 hours at the ground. That can be taxing, but what this game did was keep them excited all along.
How much more can you ask for? Apart from a home victory, that is!
Sachin's great knock
Sachin played a wonderful innings, but he has produced wonderful innings day in and day out! India probably missed out on 20 runs in the last four overs, and that proved crucial. You can't really blame the bowlers because the track was so good for batting, and there was nothing in it for the bowlers.
Even if one team had a better attack, that would have evened out because of the nature of the pitch. Under the circumstances, I thought Munaf and Zaheer bowled brilliantly. Zaheer went for a few early but came back superbly, while Munaf was impressive with his control and variations of pace.
What India need to focus on is how to get their act together collectively, as a bowling unit. It won't be enough if one or two bowlers put their hand up.
The right mix We need to go forward with a mix of six or seven bowlers. Right or wrong, the decision to play the second spinner in Chawla worked in the end, but India must concentrate more on their bowling, and use as many options as possible.
As the tournament moves on, and especially on flat tracks, they have the luxury of playing five bowlers because their batting is so strong.