Experience versus enterprise — a contest worth going miles to watch


Two sides with epic nail-biting wins will clash to see who gets to head the table in their group. Both India and USA had victories over the current runners-up Pakistan, which were nerve jangling affairs. In the two games they have played so far, the USA team have shown not only some fine skills but also great character, which is a hallmark of good temperament.

In the opening game of the tournament, they were chasing a near 200 score against their neighbours Canada and at the halfway stage of their chase, it looked like a mountain to climb with no boots on. Whatever was said at the drinks interval by their coach Stuart Law, the former Australian player, must be a magic mantra for after that the pair of Andries Gous and Aaron Jones began to hit sixes as if they were practising range hitting. Jones, in particular, smote the ball far and wide and in such an effortless manner that the Canadian bowlers had no second wind. He is not a big guy, so it was jaw-dropping stuff. He hit 10 sixes. Gous wasn’t far behind as they got to their target with deliveries to spare.

Patel and Jones impress

Then against Pakistan chasing a good score, the skipper Monank Patel led the way with Jones again deciding to have a batting party. Their temperament was seen in the Super over where they kept their cool and stopped Pakistan well short of the score.

India, too, showed they have the burning desire to bring home the trophy with some inspired bowling. Their batters seemed to have forgotten that they were playing on a pitch, which aided the fast bowlers who also had the help of a cloud cover.

It is one thing looking to play the big shots on good batting pitches in the IPL and quite another when playing against world class quicks on a pitch made for them. The Indian batters did not cover themselves with glory apart from Rishabh Pant, who led a charmed life and batted with his usual chutzpah and bold way.

When it came to defend the paltry total the sun was out in all its glory and there was hardly any swing available but the new ball bowlers kept a good line and length and did not let the Pakistanis get off to a flying start. Still, it was Pakistan’s game to lose and they did it big time by batting dot balls and then playing some silly shots. Bumrah deservedly was the player of the match with his deadly variety, but one mustn’t forget the crucial wickets Pandya took as well as Arshdeep’s cool in the final over. It was a win for the ages.

The India-USA game will be between experience and enterprise. It is worth going miles to see.

(Professional Management Group)

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