Monday, January 3, 2011

Match headed for an interesting finale

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Gambhir and Tendulkar downed the shutters too early. Hopefully, tomorrow will produce a better rate from the two than the sleepy 2.odd today. India will have to score more than 300 runs tomorrow and score enough runs on the fourth day to put pressure on SA. This is the most optimistic scenario.

Nothing in the bowling from SA today seemed to indicate to me that Tendulkar can be bested. But he is known to get the most unplayable balls usually. From SA's stand-point, the injury to Kallis means more bowling from the others which can be hard and work to India's advantage. Also, if he is really badly hurt to a point where he cannot bat comfortably, then India have a further advantage.

The stars have aligned for India. Hopefully, they can cash in. As always the morning session in a big partnership is key. Can the batsmen carry on from where they left or will the bowling being fresh be able to make inroads? On this wicket, with the weather not being a factor, it appears that the batsmen can weather the early storm (pardon the metaphor). But they will have to rev it up. This is where Tendulkar sometimes loses the plot. So maybe it will be upto Gambhir, Laxman and Dhoni to crank it up a notch.

It's hard to see a dramatic collapse from this point, but India are known to confound the prognosticators. Thus far, SA have not done anything in this test to show that they are a better side. Kallis adding 50 runs with Tsotsobe was the sole spark in an otherwise good bowling display from India.

India will have to repeat in the second innings for a historic victory. A collapse means the hardwork of last few years would be wasted.

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