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Sight Screen

Saturday, November 19, 2005

41-50 overs

48 runs, and three wickets in the slog phase -- it really couldn't have gotten much better for India. Every bowler used played his part; RD sussed out the conditions quick enough, introduced spin as early as over 13, and though the frontline seamers had overs to spare, used both Sehwag and Yuvraj to slow things down and keep the stranglehold going.
The standout moment of this phase just had to be the RP Singh catch off Pollock, to give Bajji his second on a day when natural justice indicated he should have had four, maybe five to show for a magnificient spell. Pollock (THANKS FOR THE CORRECTION GUYS, KEMP NOT POLLOCK) swept off the off stump, the hit dipping towards deep midwicket -- RPS, deeper and wider at that position, had to run to his right and in at an angle, and finding himself still shy of the ball, dived forward, got both hands under the ball almost as it hit the turf, fell flat on his chest and managed to keep the jar from shaking the ball loose.
The first over of the innings went for 4 -- and since that point, not once did SA remotely near a 4 per over run rate, which was the minimum requirement on this track. Wickets falling at regular intervals put some pressure, as did the field setting and the fielding -- but the greater pressure lay in SA's total inability to read spin of any sort, well enough to work at the least two, three singles an over. Chennai is next on the itinerary; that wicket will likely help spin too, which means SA has much thinking to do, approach-wise.
For India (which has an additional batsman in Gautam Gambhir the supersub), 170 to chase is comforting on this deck, that will do little if anything for the faster bowlers. The pitch is on the slow side, which means that the faster pace of Nel, Ntini et al will come onto the bat quicker than Pathan, Agarkar and Singh did for the Proteas. The chasing side can go in, knowing that at the bare minimum, it is impossible to bat out 50 overs and still lose -- no matter how tight the line and how brilliant the fielding. SA's only hope is to bowl India out -- but given the conditions, it is hard to see that happening.
PS: Incidentally, SA just might get to thinking it got done with spin here, but consider this: the conditions were best for batting in the first innings, the turn will only get more pronounced (add to it the pitch slowing down and the ball keeping lower) in the second. Would have been interesting to see RSA chase say 250-ish on this deck, under lights, dew or no dew.


  • prem
    the catch by RPS off bhajji was kemp's and not pollock's

    By Blogger JD, at 07:23  

  • I thought pollock was bowled by Yuvi.

    prem was there early assistance for the fast bowlers ? I mean I was expecting a huge score from any side batting first and was surprised to see 168 made on this track. If I remember right didn't the aussies score 348 on this very ground ?

    By Blogger Amit, at 07:30  

  • India should bat like Test cricket. Another opportunity for GC/RD to 'experiment'. The batting order should be -


    By Blogger inside_story, at 07:36  

  • ok jd already has pointed it out..yeah it was a superb catch...one day is about fielding and dravid and sachin seem to be the only odd balls in otherwise excellent fielding set up.
    earlier kaif was pointed as the best fielder but with guys like agarkar rp singh yuvraj the side has stepped up a notch....i can see why chappell wouldnot want a laxman in this kind of scenario

    By Blogger tombaan, at 07:37  

  • AMIT: None, but lots of intelligent bowling, and a better sense of what line to bowl to who.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 07:47  

  • sa just walked in...cool

    By Blogger tombaan, at 07:48  

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