For the second time, one could see Sachin Tendulkar having a test drive on the cricket ground with the car he won as a man of the match award, the first instance being the one in Sharjah, where 2 back to back 100s made him an inevitable choice for the man of the series award in the tri series involving New Zealand, Australia and India (obviously) . This is one of the several instances where a team rejoices over losing a match not before taking an unassailable lead in the series. However, as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts regarding Dhoni's approach to the game, India did lose the game.
But, not before the youngsters had a run on the field facing an international team that is placed in the 3rd position in the ICC's ODI rankings. There was Ravindra Jadeja, Abhimanyu Mithun, Rohith Sharma among others who proved more than what were expected out of them. The loss at Ahmedabad was worth a whitewash on the visiting side. As the scorecard suggests, lesser known players like Yousuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja bowler 10 overs which would not have been the case had India not won the series in the 2nd ODI. Then, Sudeep Tyagi and Abhimanyu Mithun bowled 8 overs.
Added to that was that Virat Kohli and Rohith Sharma were also given the ball no matter how many overs they bowled. Despite the absence of players like Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir & Sehwag the score of team India read 275 with a run rate of above 6.0 an over. No matter that India could not play the allotted 50 overs they were entitled to. One can imagine the situation of the South Team been, had Dhoni not rested SRT and VS and there'd been no injuries to Gambhir & Yuvraj. And with bowlers like Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, South Africa could not even dream of a victory.
With bowlers like Dale Steyn and Morkel being around, South Africa should have restricted to a score below 200, taking into account the squad with which Dhoni had for the last one dayer. However, South Africa made good use of its batsmen, with the fact that none of the frontline bowlers were available for India when they put up a score of 365 on the board. Much to everyone's surprise, Mithun scored 24 runs despite coming in at number 10 and was coincidently the man who hit 2 sixes which was more than any other Indian batsman in the match. With so many positives for India, losing would have hardly mattered for anyone.