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India Vs South Africa – 4th ODI

Posted by Sathyamurthy www.sathyamurthy.com on November 25, 2005

Match unhourly update

25/11/05 2:30 PM

South Africa won the toss.  Elected to field.  It looks a like good toss to win, considering the early winter and the slippery conditions expected after the sun sets as the dew factor comes into play.

India, has the super sub in Murali Kartik, a bowler.  Must find itself lucky for having taken that decision.

However, it looked like they stretched their experiments to far when I saw Irfan Pathan coming in as a opener.  That I thought was foolish thing to do.  

As it turned out, Irfan Pathan departed in just the 3rd ball of the innings, after being bowled (played on to the stumps) off a Shaun Pollack delivery for no score.

25/11/05 2:50:04 PM

Sachin fails in his biggest match – the highest one day appearance by any player in the world.  Which number is important? More matches or more runs? Just now he got out caught behind off the bowling of Shaun Pollack.  The Little (former) Master is not shining off late against quality bowling, though on past statistics alone he is getting selected into the team.  

In recent times, unless he gets lucky after tailender-ish slogs, he doesn’t score runs.  Class is permanent they say! And form is said to be temporary.  

The permanent class also has a finite period up to which it stays.  The class comes out once in a while when the player shows his majesty in some of his strokes.  But, consistency is not a permanent factor for all class players.

However, form or class, we, the cricket fans are more bothered about runs scored at the crucial junctures.  

I think, it is time for India to look for some youngster in place of Sachin in the one day scheme of things.  

Just see his recent scores after that highly hailed return to one day cricket against Sri Lanka with that score of 93.

25/11/05 3:00:19 PM

Gautam Gambir departs.  India 3 down for 23, seventh over is in progress.  Gautam Gambir, who looked quite impressive during his stay, edged one to Smith off Shaun Pollack.  Now is the real test for THE GREAT WALL of India.

25/11/05 3:17:57 PM

Sewag is taking the attack to the opposition.  He seems to know only one way to bat.  Attack when you find the right ball to hit and give it all you have when you hit.  He is now at 25.  Has already hit 5 fours.  India is 44 for 3.

Dravid is watching his deputy doing all the scoring from the other end.

25/11/05 3:21:03 PM

Sewag departs.  He just scored another four.  His sixth.  And I was thinking in my mind that we are going to see one memorable innings from him.  But, South Africans had other ideas.  He is out caught behind off the bowling of Hall.

India 49/4 and in a precarious position after 11.2 overs.  Yuvraj walks in.  He has a generally good record against the Proteas.

Eden Gardens is the home of Sourav Ganguly, the famous son of the soil.  What that crowd is thinking now?

25/11/05 5:00:37 PM

India is 149/5 – Kaif is on 40 & Yuvraj just completed his 50.  Well played Yuvraj!!!  These two, Yuvraj & Kaif play well together.  They joined when India was 71/5 having just lost Dravid clean bowled by Langeveldt for 6 made from 31 balls.  With M.S. Dhoni still to come, India at this stage can surely hope for a score of 250.

25/11/05 5:04:33 PM

As I wrote the previous post, India lost its sixth wicket.  Yuvraj got out, LBW to Botha for 53 made of 78 balls.  Important runs from Yuvraj and very important partnership with Kaif comes to an end.  India – 152/6 at this stage after 35.3 overs.

Dhoni has just walked in to the huge roar of the crowd.  The crowd expects a lot from M S Dhoni.  He is already a darling of the crowds across the country.  One has to wait and see if Dhoni delivers once again.  

25/11/05 5:17:22 PM

Pollack just completed his 10 over quota.  What a fantastic spell he has bowled.  His figures read, 10 overs 3 maidens 25 runs and 3 wickets.  Keep it up Shaun!!!

25/11/05 5:19:01 PM

Gosh! Kaif departs.  Caught by Smith off the bowling of Nel for 46 (63 balls 4 fours).  Agarkar walks in. India 167/7 after 39.2 overs.  

We have to now see how Dhoni performs in this situation.  He will have 9,10 & Jack as company.  Agarkar is one of the most unreliable cricketer as a batsman.  Though he has great potential he has never delivered consistently.  More often than not he departs within 12 balls of his arrival.

25/11/05 5:38:43 PM

India 184/7 after 44 overs.  Dhoni is tentative.  Not really able to go after the bowling.  He seems to be in some kind of doubt as to whether to go after the bowling or keep the wicket in tact till the last 3 or 4 overs and then make his big hitting.  

25/11/05 5:41:48 PM

Agarkar proved me wrong.  He played 4 more balls than what I expected.  India 187/8.  Agarkar bowled Jack Khalis for 11 (16 balls, 1 four).  Harbhajan walks in. 45 overs gone.  Only 5 more overs, if India lasts that long.

25/11/05 5:46:13 PM

As I wrote the above and went back to my seat, Dhoni tried to come out of his shell.  He hit one from Hall high to long on where he was caught cleanly by Botha few yards inside the fence.  Dhoni departs for 14 made off 26 balls with no fours.  

India has last one more wicket 187/9.  

India would be lucky to get 200.  

25/11/05 5:51:26 PM

As I wrote the above India folded up, Harbhajan getting out LBW to Hall.  India 188 all out.  

But, somehow, my instinct says, India will win this match.  The ball seems to have the upperhand in this match.  If the ball is not really coming on to the bat, we have two spinners in our bag and two more part-timers in Sehwag & Yuvraj.

Wait and watch, India may win this match after all. (Lets see if my prediction proves right)

25/11/05 6:18:26 PM

Pathan as an opener – is it too much of an experiment?

I am right now watching Fouth Umpire in DD – National and already questions are asked about the wisdom of sending Pathan as an opener in this match.

People who question this decision are not only common cricket lovers, like us, but also those who are on the Fourth Umpire panel, such as, Mr. Srikkanth and Mr. Amarnath.  

The host Charu Sharma questioned these two former cricketers’ wisdom of questioning the wisdom of people like Rahul Dravid and Greg Chappel.

I for one want to ask, why not? Are they above any scrutiny? What have they done so far so great that they are above scrutiny? They have just been together as Coach and Captain for about 10 matches.  And it cannot be said that whatever they do should be accepted as it is.  

Lets assume in this very match, the captain was not Dravid but Ganguly.  And same decision was taken to send Irfan Pathan as a opener ahead of the GREATEST OF THEM ALL Mr. Sachin Tendulkar and the currently successful Mr. Dhoni and the ever attacking Mr. Sehwag.  

Will not the whole world draw the swords against Saurav? Will they then give credit for his wisdom or question it?

I think, currently we are going too much overboard on the captaincy of Mr. Dravid and the coaching of Greg Chappel?  These are very early days and they have just won against Sri Lanka which is not a great shake.  Remember that this very same combination lost to Sri Lanka three times a row during the Asia Cup.  That is some how being forgotten.

Coming back to the Irfan Pathan matter and the experiments that are being carried out, I think, your experiments should be confined to surprising and unsettling the opposition.  Not unsettling you.  A wicket is a wicket in one day international.  India will not be considered all out till the last man gets out.  Thus that last wicket is as important to the opposition as any other wicket.  

Irfan Pathan as a one drop is ok! And that too as a surprise weapon.  What we are trying to do is making him a frontline batsman for all matches to come.  If we are trying to get a Jayasurya out of Irfan, then declare him as a opener for all matches to come.  If not, do not play with the future of a player for long.

I remember how much flak Ganguly got for using VVS Laxman an accomplished batsman as opener.

All of us will remember how badly a supposedly team man like Tendulkar played for almost 10 or 12 matches when he was asked to bat down the order instead of as an opener.  He indirectly said (through his failures), either send me as opener or you won’t get any runs from my bat.

25/11/05 6:44:08 PM

South African innings has just started.  As in Indian innings, when Pollack started with a wide, Agarkar starts with a no-ball.  So both India and South Africa have their first runs from non-legal deliveries.

25/11/05 6:59:29 PM

Indian speedsters are not making any impression on the South African openers.  SA is right now 28 without any loss of wicket.  I would expect something to happen after our spinners come on.

25/11/05 7:19:43 PM

South Africa is cruising right now.  They are 40 for no loss after 7.4 overs.  Smith is doing the bulk of the scoring, mainly dealing in fours.  The ball is swinging no doubt.  But, since India has very few runs to bowl with, quick bowling changes might give the needed break through.  

There, however, seems to be no surprise thinking when it comes to bowling, from the wise think tank of India comprising the very successful team of Rahul Dravid & Greg Chapell which has this great statistics from a mamooth 15 matches, five in Sri Lanka in the Indian Oil Cup, 7 against Sri Lanka in the recent oneday series and now 3 against South Africa.

25/11/05 7:38:49 PM

Harbhajan has come on as first change.  He has started well.  Smith was in some trouble.  Looks like spinners will surely give a tough fight to the South Africans. Lets wait and watch.

25/11/05 8:27:01 PM

No change in the position.  South Africa going strong and may win this match with minimum loss if the going continues in the same vein.  Dew factor has come in to play.  Harbhajan & Murali Kartik are bowling in tandem.  South Africa are 110 without loss.  Greame Smith was put down at first slip by Rahul Dravid off the bowling of Harbhajan in the last over.  I don’t think the match result will be any different even if Dravid had caught Greame Smith.

25/11/05 8:43:43 PM

Greame Smith is on the verge of completing a century.  If he does that, he will be the first South African captain to score a hundred against India.  He is 98 not out at the moment.

South Africa is now 146 for no loss.  They are on way to win this game with all wickets in tact with lots of overs to spare.

25/11/05 8:48:49 PM

Smith has completed his well deserved century, his fifth in One Day Internationals.  This century came at the strike rate of exactly 100% (run a ball).

South Africa is well on way to completing the formalities in this match.  Everyone’s choice of man of the match will surely be Greame Smith for his good captaincy and the fantastic hundred.

25/11/05 10:23:25 PM

South Africa completed the remaining runs to get and won the match very very comfortably with 14 overs to spare without losing any wicket.  That is a fantastic performance.  

I hope India will turn it on in the next match to equalize this series in Mumbai on Monday.  To achieve that however, they need a better performance from all the senior members and we should shut down the experiments.

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One Response to “India Vs South Africa – 4th ODI”

  1. Senthil said

    Good experiment. I like it.

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