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Sight Screen

Saturday, November 19, 2005

11-20 overs

It’s been a facet of this recent period that youngsters presented with opportunities have grabbed them – Gautam Gambhir being merely one more instance in point. His knock today opens up options for India, in what to do with Viru Sehwag and even the off color Sachin Tendulkar for instance.
The 50 ball innings of 30 (showcased by his willingness to take on Andre Nel with Nel’s own choice of weapons – lip for lip, shot for ball) was about gumption, and a willingness to go for his shots. Against Pollock, he was circumspect – anything else would have been fatal, that really was a sensational display of fast bowling. 16 dot balls, 1 single, 1 four for 5/18; against Ntini, 10 dots, 2 singles, 2 fours, 10/14; versus Nel, 8 dot balls, 2 singles, one two, 3 fours for 16/14 and against Botha, no dots, three singles, 1 four.
At the 20 over mark, South Africa were 70/4; India, 71/2. On paper, nothing much in it -- but India is facing a low chase; it has weathered the opening spurt by the seamers, the ball is older and softer and not quite as lethal; South Africa are also clearly missing Langeveldt who, in Hyderabad, came behind the two front liners and bowled faster than either, with commendable control. Given all that, this is now India's game to lose.
Pathan had no need here to go hell for leather; that he decided to take his time and settle in speaks for his temperament; the lofted hit straight off Nel and the way he has gotten right behind pretty much everything speaks for his ability. One area he could work on though is his calling -- at times, there is the air of a Las Vegas slot machine about this aspect of his game.
While on singles, the funniest bit of the Gambhir run out was this -- the side on angle from square leg showed him out, clear as a bell. And yet Third Umpire Hariharan needed four, five views before making his call. Nothing wrong with that; you'd rather have that than the umpire who in the Aus-Windies game hit the wrong button in his hurry -- but don't you wish Hariharan, who needs that long to make a call based on video replays, would realize he can take a moment more before adjudicating on on-field LBW calls?

3 Comments:

  • The Indian team selection came to me as a surprise. Despite losing in the first game, we went for the same team. This probably speaks of the confidence level India is playing at. Specially the selection of GG. Prem, what are your comments on India playing the same team?

    By Blogger Funtoosh, at 09:59  

  • I cannot imagine why people are on SRT's case. He has had a bad decision in the last match, is playing the fast bowelers well. I cannot iamgine having anyone else face the new ball. He has been out trying to get some quick runs. Any day I will ahve him or Dravid play the sheet anchor. Kaif is the batsman - who seems technically wanting at this point. I like Gambhir's style too. Let's trust Dravid and GC's judgement here. They are astute cricket brains.

    By Blogger Seshan, at 10:06  

  • With the test series coming up next both Gambir and Karthik are being given extended runs. The core team seems to be SRT, VS, Dravid, Kaif, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Pathan and Harbajan. RP Singh has done everything right. On current form Agarkar picks himself. With Raina and RP waiting in the wings the team management seems to have everything right.

    By Blogger Mano, at 10:10  

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