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Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
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Monday, December 23, 2013

SAF Test 1 - Match ends in a spectacular draw

Cricket is one game where a draw is an option and this test match gave ample justification of how that option is sometimes fair when two teams battle in a manner that makes a result in favour of any one side seem unjustified. Both teams did well to retain their edge on moments that were going to create an opening for the other side.

The match started with India needing 8 more wickets but at the end, they were short by 3. They were also lucky that the overs ran out when their opponents needed just 8 more runs! The bowlers were tired but they had given their best on a pitch that did not deteriorate as much as everyone expected it to. The batsmen were lucky given that their inside edges missed the stumps while the outside edges toyed with the fielders. Dhoni was different in his 50th test as Indian captain - taking bold decisions to keep attacking fields in place till the last hour.

AB De Viliers and Faf Du Plessis did the job for their team that Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara did for the Indian team on the 3rd day. All the advantage gained by the Indian team was lost over the last four sessions when the team could not draw further power to dismantle the remaining wickets. When they did get the breakthroughs, it was too little too late.

The last test match becomes interesting with both teams going on equal terms. The Indian team will feel that they are in much better shape purely because of the pre-match talk that went on before the first test. A team that was suspected to fail badly against the No.1 ranked hosts, did well to have winning moments and eventually managed a draw - an achievement in itself. The players have good idea about the conditions and opposition bowlers, the Management has a very good perspective about the game-plan to adopt and above all, the captain has the hunger and passion to take his team to the next level.

There are still areas of improvement - the openers can put more runs on the board (other than just seeing out the overs), the middle order can sustain the solidity provided by Virat and Pujara and the bowlers can see what else is required to get 20 wickets in a test match. Easy, isnt it?
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