Will India break the final 'jinx' this time?

Written by: Nivedita Aluri
Published: Sunday, March 17, 2002, 17:16 [IST]
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Bangalore: With India levelling the series against Zimbabwe and the decider to be played on March 19, Indian fans hope India would break the final jinx, which has been haunting it for quite a while now.

Though India has shown a considerable improvement in its approach and picked up its game in its 4th One-dayer against Zimbabwe, the thought of final jinx puts Indian fans through an uneasy feeling.

The introduction of young blood into the team seems to have helped the Indians to show some fire and grit in their fielding and bowling performances. It was wonderful to watch the Indian players throw themselves around to field the balls.

Fielders were supporting their bowlers, players were complimenting each other, and one could see the team spirit high on the field in Hyderabad.

Agarkar's bowling was excellent. His four wickets for 32 runs came at a good time, especially when India needed it. Ganguly also bowled economically giving away only 36 runs of nine overs and claiming a wicket in the process.

Even though the Flower brothers scored fluently, the Indian bowlers did well to get back and restrict Zimbabwe to 240 for eight.

Though a target of 240 was comfortably achievable on a normal day, it was not-so-easy target for India, which was under tremendous pressure to level the series.

Saurav once again threw away his wicket looking for a big one when the score was moving smoothly. He really needs to stay at the wicket till the end in the decider if India plans to clinch the series.

And Laxman has once again shown his inability to choose the right ball for making strokes. He got out to a ball, which should have been dispatched to the boundary. In fact he missed out a brilliant chance of making a big score in front of his home crowd.

Dinesh Mongia played well for his 30 runs. He needs more patience to convert his scores of 30s to bigger scores. He has good strokes, but needs more maturity.

Talk about maturity and Kaif has shown loads of it in this series. The partnership between Kaif and Dravid helped India stem the rot. Though Dravid was unlucky to have played on and lost his wicket after all the hard work.

The running between the wickets was excellent. It was good to see the Indians running hard for singles and converting them into twos.

It was good that the Indian selectors have given a chance to Yuvraj Singh when he is in good form. Fresh from his double century in a local match, he continued his form to play a brilliant knock and help India level the series.

His timing was impeccable, and so was his shot selection. He got his eye in quickly and along with Kaif put up a match winning partnership. Kaif was unlucky not to carry his bat through the innings, but his patient innings laid the platform for India to win the match.

After the win in the fourth One-dayer to level the series, one just hopes that Indians don't get overconfident and complacent as they usually do and keep the form going on to win the series at Guwahati and break the final jinx.

If the Indians keep up the good work they had shown in the Hyderabad One-day, it wouldn't be difficult for them to clinch the series.

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