Sunday, November 19, 2006


South Africa Vs India Preview

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Were only a few hours away before the start of the first One Day International between India and South Africa, yet it seems to me that the match is over even before it has started.

Were only a few hours away before the start of the first One Day International between India and South Africa, yet it seems to me that the match is over even before it has started.

The Indians put in an abysmal display against the Rest Of South Africa. Yes they might have only just arrived in the country and yes it does take time to adjust to different playing conditions but these are some of the so called ‘best’ batsmen in the world and they should be able to cope with such conditions, even if they have limited preparation. Maybe a win might have been a big ask but they could have at least put up a fight.

In that game only three players reached double figures, one of them happening to be Irfan Pathan. Yet it still looks like jet lag is hindering the thoughts of the selection committee as they still believe they are in India, where the batsmen find it easier to ply there trade. For god sakes, only two batsmen reached double figures in the warm up game and the selection committee is talking about strengthening there bowling. What is wrong with these people?

In the recent past, what has been India’s major problem in winning games? They have not been able to put the runs on the board. Bowlers can only do so much when you have to defend a meagre score like 200. Let me put it bluntly, India, with all there super star batsman still have problems in there batting line up, more than there bowling, they should strengthen there batting first so that the bowlers have a reasonable score to defend.

In fact the selection committee and leadership of Team India seem like a bunch of hypocrites to me, Rahul Dravid included. The excuse for the dismal effort in the warm up game was, “our batsman weren’t able to adapt to the new conditions.” Fair enough, that is an honest assessment, but do something about it. It’s alright to make mistakes, but what is not alright is to make mistakes and then not learn from them. What is not alright is to make up an excuse but then contradict yourself the next day.

I think I have made myself clear on that front, now getting back to the game. Showers and thunderstorms are predicted and if so I am sure it will be an overcast day. The Indian batsman will probably still be ‘adapting’ to foreign conditions and wont be able to handle the heat sent down by Ntini, Nel and co. The South Africans should be used to these conditions and should have no problems in putting away the 5 Indian bowlers, most of whom will get carried away bowling to short on a bouncy track.

Yet cricket is a game in which nothing can be predicted, miracles do happen. I really do hope India wins. I just believe they are giving South Africa a head start with the composition of their team. All will be known soon.



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