Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tendulkar & Dhoni Brighten the Gloom



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India's second innings batting was a much better representation of their real pedigree. It may yet not be enough to overcome their bowling deficiencies, but it does provide hope. While Tendulkar motored along to his fiftieth test century, Dhoni lit up Supersport Park with a display of test batsman-ship that's rare from an Indian.

But first due space must be entrusted to Tendulkar's masterpiece. This indeed was one of his best crafted innings that I have had the privilege to watch. After the 136 in Chennai, the 116 in Melbourne, this is the one that I thought was just pure magic. I have watched only about 12 of his 50 centuries on TV, so forgive my myopia. Hopefully, he'll recognize the need to kick up the pace a notch and make South Africa bat again. But then hopefully, the rain tonight will be bad enough that little or no play is possible tomorrow. I would prefer to settle for the former, where continuing to watch Tendulkar bat is pure pleasure.

Laxman couldn't get into his stride and misread a ball to give up his wicket. His two fours were pure class. The man on the hook was Suresh Raina and he surrendered meekly. This must be his last innings on this tour and he must yield to Pujara. Dhoni must do the inevitable if he wants to have a prayer of a chance to win this series.

Which brings up Dhoni. His fifty off 37 balls was made without any violence. This too was a rare test innings. He took on Steyn and Morkel and played some incredible shots with superb timing. His three consecutive fours off Kallis were stuff of great brilliance. His was a captain's innings. He needed to make a statement and I think he did. A century would have been a nice icing on the cake, but Steyn's spell of bowling that got Dhoni out was a ferocious one. Test cricket at it's finest. Dhoni fell to a truly unplayable ball. The ball took off and seared into Dhoni at face level and left him with little choice. Perhaps a better batsman (Dravid?) may have dropped his wrists, but this ball was spectacular.

Steyn had hit his stride and Tendulkar was wisely trying to ride it out in Sreesanth's company, when the wind struck in India's favor. 22 overs are lost today and several more were lost on day one.

This test is likely to end with a defeat for India. But some fantastic memories will remain etched forever.

11 comments:

Golandaaz said...

you were right about the AB De Villiers impact. He created an extra session for India to survive.

We ought to have gone into Day 5 with at least 5 wickets in hand. That would have given some hope, some respectability.

Now we are facing an innings defeat inside effectively 4 days.

Golandaaz said...

When does the WC start? :-)

S.Ganesh Kumar said...

I didn't have to scroll down early to guess that this would've been written by Vidooshak,and not golandaaz.

Vidooshak said...

Ganesh - I'm not sure if this is a compliment and if it is then for which one of us. I'm Gol's number one fan.

S.Ganesh Kumar said...

It's a compliment for your writing style.
I'm Gol's fan too,but he's more stats oriented;you're like someone who brings alive the experience of watching the match live through your writing.
So if a post in this blog reminds me of how good the match was,then it would be yours(Vidooshak);and if it's about how many times in the past,a so-and-so team or a so-and-so player reached this total or score etc,it must be Golandaaz.
Stats do reveal many interesting things though.

Golandaaz said...

:-)

likeatracerbullet said...

well written..honestly, i thought of writing a piece on sachin, but whats there left to be said? so, i settled for pictures...

Golandaaz said...

can you imagine, Ronald Regan was US president when Sachin first played a test, SA were banned from cricket, Carl Lewis was 100 m champ, Berlin Wall was being felled, Maine Pyaar Kiya was the hit of year, Ayodhya still had the masjid, Gandhiji was still alive...oops sorry....but almost

Vidooshak said...

Gol - It was the first Bush when Sachin first played a test. Ronnie was done in 1988. But yeah...and we were there then too..wondering if it would Kambli or Sachin who would light up the record books. Wouldn't it have been something had Kambli too fulfilled his promise?

Vidooshak said...

Thanks for the comments guys...helps us both keep going...and sharing our opinions..

Golandaaz said...

i am taking some liberties here vidooshak-ji. Technically in Jan 1989 wasn't Regan still president, given that the new one is sworn in Jan, though elected in Nov the previous year. 89 and 88 in the case of Regan transitioning to Bush?

So Sachin did make his debut the year Regan was still president. Stretching it a bit too far is it?