The calculators will be out from today. The net run rate (NRR) will be utmost on the minds during the last two games and in order to take some pressure off in the last game,
The best route to a healthy run rate would be to bowl first today pack the minnows to a lowly total and finish the match quickly. Batting first and rattling up a big score would do a lot to the confidence of the team but if the wicket was to seam in the first hour and India trying to go berserk, could lead to chaos all over.
As far as the team composition goes, Anil Kumble should come in place of Agarkar. Robin Uthappa should go back to open with Sourav and Sehwag (If he is in the XI) should bat only at five. Rahul at three and Sachin at four gives the side a solid look at least on paper and with all experiments failing there is nothing wrong in having batsmen in position they feel at home.
The trick lies in playing your natural game and sticking to your strengths.
The demise of Bob Woolmer was a tragic event and another stark reminder on how stressful this game has got. It is no more a sport it used to be. The media explosion has everybody (player and coach alike) minutely dissected and they are always under the microscope and that pressure can get too much at times.
The pressure and high expectations can affect a player’s performance. Sachin Tendulkar was a clear case of nerves in the opening match. The fear of failure has got him. And if it can adversely affect someone mentally as strong as Sachin, spare a thought for mere mortals.
I have not interacted personally with Woolmer but I have heard him as a very warm human and a great cricketing brain. Sad, pressure took a toll on his health. It is indeed a very sad day for World cricket.