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Sight Screen

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Overs 21-30

There was a period when India was applying pressure, and getting back into the game; the overs 15-22, for instance, produced just 18 runs, and neither batsman looked remotely comfortable against either the seam of RP Singh or the spin of Harbhajan.
Against that, this particular period has produced a spell where the overs have gone 5, 7, 9, 5, 5, 4, 5, 4.
For why? A combination of factors: Bajji was having great success keeping that tight off line to Ashwell Prince -- but the wicket wasn't coming. Increasingly, he began drifting onto the batsman's middle, and middle and leg, lines -- and reduced his effectiveness 100 per cent. Prince, who had played 22 dots off the offie, actually managed to end with decent figures, taking Bajji for 5 singles, two twos and three fours, all in this period.
Rahul Dravid, again during this phase, opted to push the field back -- there has been, these last four overs, minimal presence in the inner, run-saving ring, and that has helped ease the pressure.
The Indians are clearly missing two bowlers -- Pathan, who is physically present but mentally not, and Murali Karthick, who has been supersubbed out; given that, the fielding side has opted for defensive settings -- and it is not clear to what purpose, since you can not, no way, defend 250 in a 50 over game given the early damage done; wickets were needed and in the latter half of this period, India hasn't actively looked for one.
To add to the problems, both part-timers on view are at this present guilty of bowling both sides of the wicket, which makes field setting pretty much an impossibility -- given all of this, Kallis and Prince now in the happy position of having to do nothing, really, beyond being there.

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