By Nishad Pai Vaidya
In the crunch game against South Africa, India put up 152 for five and have to win by 31 runs to qualify for the semi-finals of the ICC World T20 2012. Pakistan’s win against Australia complicated matters for them as that meant that India had to win by a certain margin to prolong their stay in the tournament.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men feel a sense of déjà vu as they had beaten South Africa in near similar circumstances during their victorious campaign at the ICC World T20 2007.
Let us revisit the events of 2007 and one can see that there are a number of similarities between that game and the one in progress.
At Durban in 2007, India batted first and scored 153 for five in 20 overs at the back of Rohit Sharma’s knock of 50 not out and Dhoni’s 45. In the current game, India have finished with 152 for six – a run short of the score at Durban. The similarities do not stop there.
India’s number six at Colombo, Suresh Raina, finished with 45. And in the Durban game, Dhoni score too had scored 45, batting at No 6.
However, Indian fans would hope that there is an encore of the South African innings of 2007. Back then, they were unbeaten throughout the tournament and needed to make 126 to qualify. But they “choked” miserably under pressure.
They ultimately finished on 116 for nine and exited the tournament in ignominy. India won the game by 37 runs.
This time around, India need to beat South Africa by 31 runs to qualify for the semis. Things are a little different this time around though - South Africa have already been eliminated and do not have to handle pressure.
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar's dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nishad_44)