14 April 2008

Virile Saurav

Ganguly's batting at Kanpur was a measured repartee to critics, and even I have done that occasionally, who have always questioned his spine. Now his fans have one of the great Indian knocks to hold up when his determination/virility/team-play/skill is questioned. He came to the crease after Morne had a piece of Dravid's finger and his wicket, and while he was at the other end, Laxman played inside the line to one that pitched on leg and took off and middle - Morkel at work again. Given how the pitch was behaving, and given that the Indian batting has over the last couple of years been guilty of permitting easy momentum shifts, Ganguly was phenomenal - driving out of the rough, fearless in coming down the track, and almost chanceless against the quicks.
Sreesanth had a fantastic opening to the third days play. Not only did his batting deprive Smith of any initiative, his bowling was also quite spectacular, outshining Ishant Sharma for the first time.
Could the South Africans have done better? Maybe, if Smith and Kallis hadn't let things drift for that long in the second innings, if Ashwell had taken a few more risks.
Any sense criticizing the pitch? Maybe, but only on the grounds that the match did not last full five days. Predictably, when something was in it for the bowlers, it made for exciting cricket. It also threw mud on the giant strides that the South Africans seemed to have taken in learning how to play spin effectively.
Did they choke? Yes. The Indian tail wagged longer than at any point in the series on a crumbling pitch on the decider.


Viswanathan said...

SA just froze in the second innings.

John said...

Freezing needs a few external agents also, and Sree's opening burst in the second innings was just what ws needed.

John said...

Freezing needs a few external agents also, and Sree's opening burst in the second innings was just what ws needed.

straight point said...

i would rank saurav's innings alongside gavasker's 97(?) innings in banglore...

his was the difference between two teams...infact sa had chance had they not dropped him when he was around 40..

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John said...

Come to think of it, SP, it was again a combination of pitch - Ganguly - Laxman - Sree that won us this match, much like Jo-burg!!

Anonymous said...

I missed SG's innings... was it all that good?

Anonymous said...

how the hell can u add sree to the factors that won us the match...

John said...

Pervy, you did not watch the match, so shut up.

Scorpi, catch that innings when you can. Each over had more than its share of unplayables, and he made runs off the rest.

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