Raina took the game away from us

cricket blogs for Yahoo Cricket Columns

I have to admit this was not the best of ways to kick off our ICC World Twenty20 campaign. The loss to India on Sunday was due to a combination of things. Giving away 75 runs in the last five overs was 20-odd runs too many, especially on a wicket on which 160 was a par score.


Letting India get to 180-plus made it hard for us on a difficult track. Still, I feel Jacques and I left too much for the guys coming in to do and we have to take responsibility for that. We both made reasonable scores but should have tried to rev up the run-rate a little earlier.


The other thing that proved costly for us was Raina getting a life after being caught off a no-ball on five. We did start well with the ball but once Raina got hold of us at the back end and exploited our lack of accuracy the game got away from us.


I had said before the game that it was the little things that matter and that no-ball turned the game in India's favour. He batted very well from then on and was a deserved man of the match. He basically took the game away from us. Then, we made it easier for India by failing to make good use of the first six overs: that is when a game is really won or lost.


It was disappointing to end up 15 runs short on Sunday but we can use our final group match on Wednesday against Afghanistan to improve on certain areas. It is a game we should win but we cannot take them for granted. They have done well to qualify for the World Cup and that makes them worthy opponents. We may make some changes against them and we have definitely got to sharpen up before we play them.


We made the semi-finals last year and this year we are looking to take it a step further. We know it is not going to be easy as everyone here wants to win. That is just the nature of the game. There is really very little between the teams and it will be the small things that make the difference at the end of the day. We have some hard work and hard thinking ahead of us. (Gameplan)