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Sight Screen

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

R Mohan on India-SA

In his latest column/match report, Mohan on India's reality check.
The Lankans may have built up a claim or two in overs-limit cricket capability. But they were never going to be in this league. This kind of in-your-face hostility in bowling and fielding is a South African specialty. Even so, the difference between the sides was only the spin of the coin as luck at the toss enabled the Proteas to make the best use of a fresh pitch, presenting the early challenge Indian batting could not withstand.

And, later, Mohan picks up a point with some merit (while not the new ball actually, I thought yesterday there was a strong case for bowling Bajji very early -- Smith's march across the stumps is crying out for intelligent exploitation):
The fact remains that their run of 20 ODIs without defeat since January this year which is just shy of the Australians’ world record has reached massive proportions. To remain competitive, India would have to think up a different strategy. Why, it might even be an idea to give the new ball to Harbhajan against Smith’s shuffle just to see if there is any vulnerability there. Smith’s great form in ODIs this year — 822 runs with four centuries at an average of 48.35 in that unbeaten run — has been one of the engines powering the Proteas’ roll.


  • Prem,
    Briniging spin early on is always a worthwhile exercise against the Proteas.
    But wouldnt Smith's shuffle be better exploited by the quicker bowlers, especially if it swings or moves of the pitch? Even Lara was found wanting, with his shuffle. Of course, that is no where close to the walk that Smith takes.

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:08  

  • ofF the pitch...

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:09  

  • Prem ,
    Probably good idea to surprise the Proteas with our bowling rather than batting. Not that we have too many options in that area

    By Blogger Poondu, at 14:11  

  • toney, yeah I think had Indian bowled first Pathan and esp Agarkar would have exploited that shuffle. Lets see how they come up with a plan for it....btw I quite like the suggestion from Mohan of trying Bhajji very early for a change if conditions are unhelpful..eg. within 3-4 overs...if there is no movement on offer to pacers

    By Blogger worma, at 14:21  

  • Actually, Pathan did a smart thing and caught Smith plumb in front. At least it looked plumb.

    By Blogger RPM, at 14:44  

  • The smart thing that I forgot to mention was to pitch the ball a little towards middle and let it straighten. And that is what Smith was unable to handle.

    By Blogger RPM, at 14:46  

  • One other thing from Mohan's article

    "Harbhajan who thrashed around to enjoy himself more with the bat than ball and Pathan who looked so accomplished with the bat would have known pretty soon that this series is one which is going to test their bowling much more than the batting"

    Onus is on the bowling to deliver

    By Blogger squarecut, at 15:03  

  • Don't know where to post this, but here's some encouraging news for non-cricketing sportspersons in India:

    By Blogger dna, at 15:06  

  • All in all...

    Things are really becoming interesting now. The test of a true team is to fight back into the series and while the SL series was a walk-over, we now have challenge in hand. Let this be a walk up call, Chappel and Co need to start making amends and fast. The bowling department is one that worries me. Also the likes of Kaif and co need to come up with a game plan to play quality pace bowling.


    By Blogger Realms, at 15:10  

  • I am quite sure SRT and co. are going to maul Ntini, Pollock and sons from next match onwards

    By Blogger J, at 15:14  

  • I love the R. Mohan columns. Loved them since he wrote for The Hindu. Thought he said he wanted to do something more than write just about Critet and left for some paper in the mid-east. Glad that he's back. I think he is the best Indian Cricket columnist. Thanks for that link Prem. No offense meant to you Prem obviously.

    By Blogger mamu, at 15:23  

  • mamu
    I do not find R.Mohan all that great. See we as fans are bowled over sometimes with their command over english language. Some of it lacks substance. I have seen him contradict may times. I will tell you what. Pull his articles from the decaan.com archives from last week when we beat 6-1. How he will put them on a pedestal and compare that to this. You will see what I am talking about. I read a lot of R.Mohan too in The Hindu when he was with them.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 15:41  

  • J
    I would say that is wishful thinking.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 15:42  

  • i think we might go back to getting a steady start and then accelerate through the innings. VS can then come down the order too

    By Blogger JD, at 15:47  

  • Prem,
    Excellent point. I completely agree that the situation that India was in yesterday called for unconventional tactics like bringing on Bhajji early (maybe to open the bowling, remember Deepak Patel?); looks like the think-tank (or is it Dravid alone?) missed a few tricks yesterday? There is also this nagging feeling that things could've very well gone the other way had the toss been in our favour, so one has to reserve judgement about which side is performing better or is arguably superior till the time we get a wicket that plays evenly througout the day, and is balanced for bowlers and batsmen equally.

    By Blogger Multy, at 16:17  

  • Down with Dravid... Bad captaincy... Placemnet of Fielders, bowling chnage... simple calculations of the best bowlers wre not in his mind...India was a tiger in from of a lame and old lion- the Sri Lnakans... bring him in front of the Africal Lion's with class.. we are sitting ducks...

    Down with dravid... bring back sourav.. captaincy matters ..and should not be in the hands of pesudo intelligent withdrawn novices in a team game like cricket..The throne should be with the tigers...bring back sourav...

    By Blogger tami_telu_Nort, at 16:42  

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