The ponytails handling marketing and budgets for the ICC would not have had a good day on Sunday. Cricket's Superpower has been eliminated from the T20 world cup before the Semi Finals stage and revenues from the tournament will be the loser. Having said that, no-one really cares about the ICC so lets focus on the next most important thing : The Indian Fan.
Any Indian fan worth his Sahara sponsored replica shirt will be distraught at his cricket team's demise. The number of followers drawn to Indian cricket in full internationals and even IPL's hosted away from home has led me to believe that players like Yuvraj, Tendulkar, Dhoni and CO. hardly ever have to wear their "away" hats anymore. With the support that follows them around the world they are almost always playing at home. Lord's yesterday was no exception. That England play in blue and the stands were "a sea of blue" was pure coincidence. The 2 were not linked. India had by far the majority of support at the Home of Cricket and the script was going along nicely until ... mmm ... Where indeed did it all go wrong ? Ah yes, now I remember. When Dhoni won the toss and decided to field. No no my apologies. It went wrong even before that. Probably in a team meeting when Dhoni and the rest of the brains trust decided to drop the India's leading tournament wicket taker for a youngster playing in his first game of the tournament. Yea maybe that was it. Or at least the start of it. Jadeja making 25 of 35 balls when the required rate was escalating would not have helped matters.
In the field India weren't bad at all. They restricted England to a total they would have fancied chasing. It was not to be however and their (in)ability to cope with shorter pitched bowling had not shown any improvement since their last match (read : defeat) against the West Indies. On balance, they deserved to get knocked out, they could clearly not cope with the levels required for play-off places. But their fans would have expected more, of that I have no doubt. My sympathy is with the fans. That INDIA possess the talent is undeniable. Depth Even. But the pressure proved to be too much and if anything it showed that T20 should almost never have favourites. Not amongst the top 8 nations anyway. On their day, anyone of the last remaining teams could win this thing.
But we shall wait and see. I reckon we give the players a break. The quality ones will be back in October for Champions League. YAY ! More T20 !