Sun Tzu said ………………..that if you see ground or position to be gained but do not act, you are weak.
A few gambles went wrong.
First the decision to continue to bat on Day 4 – maybe the idea was to get Dhoni to get us to a place where we cud set a 300 follow on target? Well, first that backfired and with Kumble not batting , declaring two overs and two wickets later seemed (in hindsight) kinda silly. As 20/20 says, 30 mins earlier we could have used the morning better, Zaheer Khan might even have woken up from his Graeme Smith dream and pitched somewhere apart from on the pads swinging in.
Then, we got them to 122/7. Well done ! And thats the part that people forget. But they do. We got them in 45 overs to a stage where they required another 66 to make us bat again. The part they do remember is that a guy with a career Test batting average of 8.57 in 20 Tests then got together with another with a Test average of 6.x and they got Bangladesh to 238. This as the skipper set the field far away giving away boundaries and refused to try the options. Or control the pace. In 23 odd overs, the game just completely slipped away. Maybe it was an innings of rare brilliance from Mortaza. Surely it was, but it seemed like it required more to stop. And it probably cost India the game.
Ever since, it really was a chase against the clock and the weather channel and once it starts getting grey, nothing looks bright. Thats when the breaking news channels take over. Why didn’t he bowl Sachin earlier ? Why did Saurav not get a bowl ? What if Yuvraj had played instead of Kumble? Didn’t he know Kumble could get a fever?
Its something thats going to haunt Rahul Dravid from the Indian media for the next 3 days. Till the Mirpur game starts. There will also be a question about Wasim Jaffer and what opening plan B they had in mind when they met in Mumbai on April 21?
And whether or not he likes it, there will be the back of the mind pressure that could make a wall crack. What if it rains and we end up 0-0?