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Sight Screen

Friday, November 25, 2005

Overs 11-20

The delay in powerplays turned out to be captain's oversight -- Graeme Smith's turn to do what Rahul Dravid did against the Lankans early in the series.

Viru Sehwag's fall in the 11th was perhaps the only wicket thus far that really qualified as a big blow. Firstly, because he was looking in impeccable touch; second, because he had pretty much had the measure of Andrew Hall, and another over or so would have caused major problems for Smith; and finally, because that ball (like the ones that got SRT and GG) just did not deserve the wicket; it was wide, innocuous, and only over-exuberance caused the edge and gave the bowler a wicket at a time when his confidence had been pretty much taken to the cleaners.

Rahul Dravid, after a long while, reverted seemingly to an earlier avtaar where he paralyzed himself. Granting that he needed to be circumspect, the problem with his play is he is very much a momentum player -- if he starts off the blocks fluidly, tapping the ball around and scampering singles, he is almost guaranteed to play a good one; if he settles into a grim defense, he is equally guaranteed to perish to the first good ball that comes along. The ball that got him swung a touch late, and was almost yorker length -- but the batsman contributed to his dismissal with his early move to leg, to try and make room to off drive; having defended to more hittable balls, that seemed a touch uncalled for, and a product, really, of having earlier reduced himself to strokelessness.

The pity about his dismissal is that it came after Smith had put a whole heap of eggs in the Pollock basket, bowling him for 8 of his ten; given that, if the Indians focussed on batting out the 50, working singles through the middle phase, and keeping Kaif and Dhoni in hand for the post-30 over mark, the batting side had the opportunity to end up with 250, or in excess of; and on this wicket, that can prove a handful in the chase.

A statistic that merits mention here is this -- in day/night games, the team batting first here has won 7 games, against three by the team batting second. Of course, it does follow that you have to put enough on the board for your bowlers to aim it. That leaves a job ahead for Kaif and Yuvraj -- they need, settling in to play each delivery, to flash back to the Natwest Final, because an effort of that order is all that can really bat India out of the jail their own batting has shut them into.

77/5 at the end of 20; 38 runs and two wickets lost in this phase.


  • Kaif and Yuvraj playing good sensible cricket as usual. Scampering the singles and converting ones-to-twos.
    These guys invariably come to India's rescue

    By Blogger Kunal, at 06:13  

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