FB Group

Share the Passion

To exchange links with me, please send mail to madhusudan (dot) gr (at) gmail.com.
Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
Tracking T20 run-chases in an innovative manner - See here.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

SAF Test 1 - India surges ahead

After 2 even days, the Indian team started to take the lead against the hosts in the ongoing test match. Luck was on their side but the batsmen piled on the runs after the bowlers had given the initial advantage of a lead (no matter it did not dent the scorecard by much). The match has tilted in the favor of Indians on the third day and the South Africans know that they have a big task on their hands now - first to dismiss the rest of the Indian batsmen for less and then chase down the target set. As of now, the number is 320 and it is surely going to grow (unless the Indians collapse in a big way).

The South African tailenders started strongly in the first over of the day but the Indian bowlers did well to pitch the ball in the areas where it mattered. This was something that they had planned well (Duncan Fletcher and the bowling coach needs to be praised here) and execution was perfect. Zaheer showed that he had truly forgotten about the time outside the team and it was just matter of time the innings finished. Steyn got few doses of his own medicine while Morkel hit out in vain.

The openers once again were watchful and played out the first half-hour well. Shikhar Dhawan got out to a good ball from Vernon Philander but Vijay continued his good show from the first innings. He got runs this time around and it was of his own mistake that he got dismissed. Experience gained from this tour will help both the openers for the other tours this year.

Morkel's absence was a blow but the Indian batsmen did well to blunt the attack initially. Till the tea-break, Pujara and Kohli met everything that was thrown to them with a straight bat. The bowlers got tired and Smith ran out of ideas. Pujara showed that he had imbibed the qualities of 'Wall' Dravid while Kohli was trying to live up to the image of former No. 4. In their own ways, both batsmen consolidated in the first phase of their partnership. They made up in the next phase after tea in a manner that would do any team proud. Runs started flowing and the lead crossed 300 in no time (275 was what Rahane predicted yesterday).

Pujara has the talent to accelerate once he has his eye in and he showed it in no small measures. He also put aside the thought of dropped chance (Imran Tahir put him down) and ensured that he would get a 'daddy hundred' - hopefully he will reach couple of more milestones on the fourth day! Kohli, on the other hand, was a revelation - for one who has been always associated with the heroics of slam-bang version, he has shown great patience to play the waiting game and attack the loose balls.

By their performance today, the Indian team has broken the myth that surrounded the team regarding their inexperience. Of course, the match is not over and the series has just begun. The performance needs to be sustained in other tours also, before one can talk about the next generation of Indian batsmen. But, if this match is taken as a basis, it might be just the launching pad this Gen-Y needs.
Post a Comment