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Sight Screen

Friday, November 25, 2005

RSA innings -- overs 1-10

A mea culpa upfront -- when I speculated on SA being docked overs, it was without accounting for the fact that the rules have changed, and there is no more such punitive action against teams that overshoot the allotted time. My bad, sorry guys.

Ajit Agarkar managed to get off on the wrong foot -- Smith's tango across the stumps appears to have unsettled him to the point where he took to bowling well outside off.

As a 'let's see you shuffle that far' ploy, it was fair enough; as a bowling tactic when defending a small score, it was woefully short of the mark. The curious bit there was that Agarkar was getting the ball to move in off the seam -- which raises the question, if that ball was angling to leg when he bowled them over the wicket, and if Smith's shuffle was distracting him, why did he not think immediately of going round, thereby bringing into play the option of landing the ball on the stumps and seaming it *in* to the left hander?

It is in fact a facet of India's bowling (Pathan was better than AA, but only marginally) that really needs work. Faced with a difficult defense, the opening bowlers tend to tighten, forget the basics of line and length, try way too hard to be hero, and end up splattering the ball all over the place -- just when you would think iron discipline would take precedence of all else.

For the Proteas, batting Andrew Hall at the top of the tree, Graeme Smith needed to fire -- and he did, with methods that still give cause for a shudder, but are extremely effective; more so against the Indian bowlers who, once he gets a couple of shots off the bat, seem to lose the plot.

30/0 in the first four defending 188 was about as bad as it could get. 15 from the next six, including a six-run over from Ajit Agarkar, constituted a gentle shutting of the stable door after the horse had bolted. After ten, South Africa 45/0, and in control.

2 Comments:

  • Will be interesting to see some experimentation while bowling too....smith is going strong but we still are sticking to standard bowling options....how abt having bhajji or kartik before its too late...they are already within 150 runs..

    By Blogger Rakesh, at 09:05  

  • first ball from bhajji..almost got smith...makes you wonder why hold him back so long...especially since we are still in power play anyway...experimentation...somehow it seems to apply only to batting!!

    By Blogger Rakesh, at 09:12  

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