What let India down?- Three major factors! - After having Pakistan 70-3 in 15 odd overs, we just relented the pressure. I have never seen such a klutzy performance from India, after being in a strong position. May be the absence of Yuvi and Veru not only played dearly and affected our batting order. but had a huge influence on how Dhoni used his limited bowling attack. What mistake he did (albeit it is easy to say now) was that he thought of doing away with the 5th bowler`s quota of over`s at the earliest, which to some extent he was able to do (This technique works well in sub-continet, but in SA i think Bhajji should have be introduced and efforts should have been to take wickets). But, in the process he gave away Yosuf and Malik, easy singles and time to settle. A cardinal sin in Cricketing Parlance!
Second- Harbhajan was brought in too late and too add salt to injury he bowled shockingly. I hate the way he bowls too many bowls on the leg side which ends up going for 5 wides. After the batsmen got set, whatever India did, Pakistan came with up with something better. The ball was just kissing the boundaries to often. Shoulders were down! It was as if a t20 t20 match was on. No wonder Pakistan scored 165 runs in the last 20 overs. Wew! Indeed a challenging t20 score.
Third- India started well. In spite of absence of yuvi, veru and early fall of sachin, their was still a chance for India to pull of a a thriller, courtesy of flamboyance of Ghambir (which he gave away through a silly run out) and determination of dravid( he was left alone, too much for the wall) and a quick fire by Raina (star for future). But in the end, India fell way short and the sad part being was that they even could not complete its quota of 50 overs (a point which they would surely be ruing in next two matches). Pakistan was the better on the day, India did play well, but the poor bowling let them down. A score of 270-280 could have easily chaseble.
Time to regroup- Pakistan is almost certain to reach the semi-final courtesy their high run rate. So India needs to re-group and come out all guns blazing against Australia. They need to beat them and West Indies and that too handsomely, otherwise they would be home early, joining the country and their families in the festive season, minus any cricket!
All the best!