Saturday, December 18, 2010

DeVilliers Tips the Balance

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As much as people have disagreed with me that India could have saved the match, I feel DeVilliers' stunning innings killed any hopes India may have had of saving the game. His astounding assault demoralized India's attack (if one can call it that) and may have put it out of the series perhaps.

Rain will only help hasten India's doom. Although, Gambhir and Sehwag played well, I am disappointed constantly at Indian batsmen's inability (barring Dravid) to play the pull and hook with any measure of control or confidence. Hussey at WACA brought out the hook and pull to tremendous effect. Gambhir had several similar offerings from Morkel and Tsotobe, but his technique is too limp to take them on.

In a recent Cricinfo piece, Ian Chappell talked about his brother Greg seizing the initiative from England in the 1979 non-Ashes series by hooking regularly. I believe that shot to be the ultimate sign of dominance and audacity. Despite Gambhir and Sehwag's aggressive batting, the lack of hooking and good pulling ability puts India at a huge disadvantage.

It almost seemed like Kallis read this blog and decided to show us our place. His batting this time was (dare I say) attractive and attacking and wasn't as mechanical as it normally is. The pitch of course is playing like the recent flatbeds he played in the UAE, but the attack doesn't have any of Umar Gul and company's potency.

Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Raina and Dhoni seem like a long enough batting line up. But the rain forecast tonight will likely hurt their ability to play the Kallis, Amla type of innings. India were motoring along well and I think Sehwag did India's chances no good by playing a bad shot. Sehwag apologists will run to his defense claiming he knows no other way to play. Unfortunately, it may be true, but shouldn't he learn? Or maybe the luxury of being able to blame Tendulkar for not being responsible enough and not playing a rearguard is now taking it's toll.

There's two more days to go and even if India overhaul South Africa's total, the result seems a foregone conclusion. That unless the weather forecast is so bad that it actually washes out two days of play. This is highly unlikely. So I eat humble pie. I overestimated India's bowling attack's ability to control the flow of runs. Obviously, there's a lot for Sreesanth and Ishant to still learn. The less said the better about Unadkat. Suffice to say, he ain't playing another test.


Golandaaz said...

VVS pulls pretty well and often

Vidooshak said...


Golandaaz said...

The ask from India is almost impossible but its been done before...;ballsval1=balls;class=1;filter=advanced;innings_number=3;orderby=team_overs;result=4;template=results;type=team;view=innings

list if matches where a side batted out in excess of 224 overs to save a game

Vidooshak said...

Sure anything is possible. Since the last time it was done was in 1975 maybe it's time for one more. :-)

Ganesh said...

I think,for that 'pull shot' alone,Pujara must deserve selection for the next match.

Vidooshak said...

Hear hear!