india win detail

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TM Star
Jun 23, 2007
SINGAPORE ( - Put simply, India have no business being in the semi finals of the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa.

The men in blue arrived at the tournament with nothing expected from them. Instead, they have outstayed the fancied Sri Lankans and ousted the heavily favoured hosts on Thursday. They have already achieved much, but their work is far from done.

At the start of the competition, you would have been a brave man to bet on India who were given odds of 12:1 to go all the way. Even the West Indies and England had a better chance according to the bookies.

Today, both those teams are out. India, meanwhile, have halved the odds across the table with all betting agencies.

The biggest advantage that MS Dhoni and his men have is that they don’t know their limitations. The side is young with an average age of just 23. With the exception of Virender Sehwag, The Singhs, Yuvraj and Harbhajan as well as Ajit Agarkar who belong to the century club of ODI appearances, this team has the element of surprise.

India have a few secrets up their collective sleeve. Outside of Mumbai and their domestic opponents, few would have seen Rohit Sharma in full flow. His gritty 50 off just 40 balls against South Africa was a pleasant surprise to all Indian fans. His Mumbai team mates and fans probably saw this one coming. Thankfully, nobody warned the Proteas.

Australia will go in to the semi-final clash with India as favourites. Dhoni will be happy with the position of underdog. After all, it’s been a place his team has thrived in throughout the tournament. It’s ironic, but a lack of expectations from India’s teeming millions seems to have helped this team raise themselves to a level where they’re playing exceptional cricket.

They have already gone further than we expected. They’ve ‘bowled out’ Pakistan, bullied a lackluster England and dumped out South Africa from the tournament. They now know that two more wins will inspire a generation of cricket lovers and players. In 1983, Kapil’s Devils elevated cricket from a national passion to a fanatical religion.

Dhoni might have been in charge for just four international Twenty20 games, but he could put his and his team mates’ names in gilded letters in the annals of Indian cricket along side the winners of the Prudential Cup some 24 years ago.

Sourav Ganguly’s team of 2003 also defied expectations and reached the finals of the World Cup, only to be cruelly reminded by Australia of their own vulnerability. What Dhoni and company have going for them is the fact that in the Twenty20 format, they don’t have to outplay Australia for a majority of a day, but just over three hours. Australia will come at Team India very hard. Yet, the youth of India might be too fresh to be deterred by the Aussies. It’s often been said, what you don’t know can’t hurt you. Perhaps, Rohit Sharma, RP Singh and Robin Uthappa could hurt Australia by throwing a sucker punch or two or their own.

Dhoni’s team has already ensured that no Indian fan will forget the 2007 World Twenty20 campaign. They have also made sure that India will from now on be hooked on to the game’s shortest format. They now have the option of being remembered as just another of India’s really good teams or as a team that took a handful of talented youngsters and spawned a generation of World Champions and a team to be remembered for the ages.

We will find out on Saturday just how this team responds but we won’t have to wait around a whole day for a result, just forty overs