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Sight Screen

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The smell of coffee

'Rude awakening for India' was the leitmotif of most media reports after the lung opener at Hyderabad; here, it is RSA's turn to take a whiff of the first cup of coffee.
Writing in Cricinfo some four days back, Telford Vice said the secret of SA's resurgence has been 'brave cricket'.
Under Arthur, who shares Graeme Smith's headspace, South Africa have aspired to play what they are calling "brave cricket". "It's about not being fearful, about expressing yourself out there and being who you are," Kemp said. "You shouldn't go into your shell when the situation gets tough, instead be the person who wins the game for your country.
"We have been known as chokers in the past, and now we're winning the tight games. We're not afraid, we're wanting the limelight. We want to go out and play almost extravagant cricket. You'd rather fail that way than be cautious and fail."

To do well here on, SA might need to spend some time, nights, re-reading that manual -- the striking feature of its first test by spin has been that 220 out of 300 legitimate deliveries went unscored of. Slapping spinners for boundaries -- especially spinners of the likes of Harbhajan Singh in his current mood, when even the more spin-happy Sri Lankans failed to take him for more than 3, 3.5 rpo, is easier said; but if SA cannot figure out how to break the stranglehold and nurdle more singles (just 53, in this innings), it's 'bravery' is apt to get severely tested here on out.


  • Absolutely Prem! I couldn't agree more. However, when the media reports come out later in the day, I am sure to see headlines like "SA done in by a dust-bowl" and similar. Its rather unfortunate that if teams like SA and AUS manage to win in green-tops, its because of inadequate techiques of the opposition, but if its India wins on a "dust-bowl", it will go under as "how unfortunate the opposition was".

    Just hypocritical.


    By Blogger Greg, at 07:51  

  • Has the game started???

    By Blogger suraj, at 07:54  

  • Karthik rocks

    By Blogger gangulysucks, at 07:55  

  • when will the game start?

    By Blogger suraj, at 08:01  

  • But Greg are not being hypocritical when we accuse Sri Lanka of winning only on grounds that suits their type of players.

    I think question of dust-bowls comes up only because India (and Sri Lanka) only seem to do well on pitches that suit our style, whereas Aus & SA have won in all kind of conditions...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 08:02  

  • greg: totally. as if playing spin is not as much of an art a batsman has to learn, as playing pace. the other thing that will be said is, this is just one game, an aberration on SA's part. Which is not what was said when India the other day lost one game -- then, it was a dose of cold water. Maybe we need to learn to savor the good things, when they happen.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 08:04  

  • Have more slow-spin tracks for the rest of the games
    HELLO CURATORS, pitch-makers, are you listening - slow pitches for SA matches.

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 08:04  

  • saurabh: :-) We reached the WC final in SA as I recall. BTW, isn't this sort of thing included in "all sorts of conditions"?

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 08:05  

  • prem,

    looks like you are not getting blocked today- achinb might have finally accepted fate

    Can you stay involved in discussions or if not that I vote for comments every 5 overs + fall of wicket or a major highlight.

    Anyone wants to second that- please join in

    By Blogger suraj, at 08:06  

  • Prem,

    Compare India's record in the similar period, is it wrong for people to assume that this (SA collapse) is an abberation, whereas our loss in the first game was not?

    We need to be more consistent before we get carried away with our success against SL...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 08:07  

  • I like Prem's well thought out 10-over comments and some at Major happenings earlier than 10-over intervals...IMHO, that is great

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 08:08  

  • suraj: Will try for five, but most times, mate, there really isn't that much to say after five overs, why bother with posts just for the sake of posting? Will stay on main blog, achin or no -- that way I get more time to watch the game, take notes (I also write on these games for India Abroad) and stuff.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 08:09  

  • Proteas just now learned about the Spin Bowling Experience

    By Blogger gangulysucks, at 08:09  

  • Thanks, GU. Frankly, that works well for me -- there is a sufficient arc of play to comment on; plus, by the time you do a post another over has gone, so if I do five over posts, I'll prolly end up like DD -- missing the first over of each spell. *L* Will stay with 10, and if something really significant happens in between, will comment interim like always

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 08:10  

  • saurabh: no one is getting 'carried away', friend. If we can beat our breasts when we lose, but not celebrate when we win, there is something wrong somewhere. And celebrating and getting carried away are two different coins altogether -- the latter applies if we were making the case that India are world champions, or at best number two, just coz we beat SL. Which we are not, and no one is saying otherwise. As for SA's consistency, well, sure -- but it also occurs to me that much of the run came in home conditions -- and after a spell of what, 16, 17 straight defeats? Those defeats don't mean SA's current run is not worth celebrating; same token, the fact that we had a horrid last season does not mean we need to bite our tongue each time we find ourselves thinking the team is slowly turning things around.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 08:13  

  • Saurabh: Besides, not much of a fan of 'compare India's record during a similar period'. We pick a period when SA is doing well, look at India in that period and say wow, SA is streets ahead. By that token, if I were to pick the period in 2004 when SA couldn't seem to win even against a team comprised of their sisters, and compare that with India, we would look totally brilliant -- which is equally fallacious.

    Anyways, game about to begin, time for me to make coffee and get back to watching. Later, you guys

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 08:15  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 08:15  

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