Sunday's tied India vs England one-day international involved Ravindra Jadeja and Ravinder Bopara. Trying to get his maiden one-day international hundred, Essex man Bopara lofted the ball to the deep midwicket boundary only to be caught by namesake Ravindra Jadeja. If Bopara had just stolen a single off Munaf Patel, England would have won via the Duckworth Lewis (D/L) method by one run. The rain came down when Bopara departed and the umpires were forced to close shop with England one run short of the required victory target.
Bopara was gutted at not being able to give England a well-deserved win and admitted not being in touch with the (D/L) ball-by-ball chart. "I never quite knew when to accelerate with big black clouds lurking round the back of the stand. I knew over by over what we needed if it rained, not ball by ball. It gets too confusing if you look after every ball," Bopara was quoted as saying in The Guardian after the match.
Probably, he would be kicking himself for not taking a single. Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar told NDTV that Bopara's temperament could be questioned, not his commitment. Gavaskar recalled how Ravi Shastri in the Chennai Tied Test ensured India didn't lose the Test by taking a single off the third ball in the final over of the game bowled by Greg Matthews.
This meant the scores were tied and it was left to Maninder to try and get a run to win. "Maninder was no mug with the bat. He couldn't play the cover drive like Walter Hammond or Sourav Ganguly, but he could bat," said Gavaskar, who backed Shastri's decision. If viewed by a cynic, Shastri's decision to take a single was a mistake because it would expose the lesser batsman, Maninder. However, Shastri smartly cut off any chance of an Aussie win.
Shastri said in the book, Rookies, Rebels and Renaissance by Mike Coward: "I said to Maninder, 'listen, if I take the single, that's the last thing Allan Border wants me to do because then India can't lose. You wait for the last ball, see if you can score off the last one, go for it, you've got nothing to lose. But before that, there was uncle Vikram Raju shooting his finger up and up in a hurry." Maninder was adjudged leg before to Matthews and the Test was history.