Who would have thought that the Lankans would have had such an easy outing against the Kiwis. A totally concincing, stroll-in-the-park victory is what they got against a much celebrated Kiwi side. The Kiwis have been playing some great cricket of late. What with the 3-0 win against champions Australia and all the heroics they have come up with in this World Cup. But then cricket's beauty is it's unpredictability and suddenly they have suffered a meek loss here and the Lankans are looking a much better side than them!
Really, the difference between the two teams was the start that they got. Sure, Tharanga got out for 11. But then Jayasuriya, in the kind of form that he is in, made sure that the Lankans got of to a flier of a start with Sangakkara to support him. In contrast the Kiwi start was slow, cautious and dotted with the fall of early wickets. That is what one-day cricket is all about. The first 10 overs and the last 10. You do well in these phases, the game is almost always in control. That is why players like Jyasuriya are important. And that is precisely why, I feel, India's very own Sehwag's poor form is hurting our team so much. It feels like it has been year since we got off to decent start.
A slow start means a lot of things. Bad things. The self-asssurance is gone. There is added pressure on the middle order to score as well as save wickets and the entire structure comes down. Such a crucial person is the opening batsmen and also the one-down slot. And what have India got? An out of sorts Sehwag, and a slow, scared-for-his-spot-in-the-team Ganguly. Absolutely unfathomable selection.