how do you feel about the stalemate...?

shared by straight point on Friday, January 07, 2011

so InSaf ho gaya... and we tied the test series 1-1 with south africa...

before the series started not many gave chance to team india but ended up saying they could have pressed more to create history... this is as lop sided assessment as one could get...

before the series started... there were customary or shall i say phony talks of bouncy pacy wickets that will test this 'aging' line up... how india will be cream rolled coz they don't know how to play short bowling etc etc... the talks that creates headlines before every series only to melt into oblivion after the series is over...

so how do you feel about the stalemate now...?

would you boast about the fact that south africa with arguably the best bowling attack in the form of life... with the pitches of their liking... could not press matter beyond a point...

that with all the class and pluck... they could not get pass that 'aging' line up in their own backyard...

that india with arguably the thinnest bowling line-up were in a position to actually win the series against the batting line-up that consist of some of the best in business in the comforts of homely conditions...

that despite the goof-up, even before the first ball of series were to be bowled, from the bcci in the form of accepting/finalising such itinerary in first place and selectors doing the icing on cake act with the kind of selection blunders only they can manage and getting paid for it... and yet despite all those hiccups team india not only surmounted the challenges from the opponent but also from a bigger opponent at home... their own board... their own selectors...

south africa had all they wanted to upset indians... but they would or rather should be the first to admit that their best of best was not good enough against the grit of team india... that despite all the requisite armory in their tank they could achieve only a stalemate... to show for their efforts...

if left to me i would say... gautam gambhir's performances on the proteas tour epitomizes team india in all possible ways...

before the start of the series... there were doubts raised about gambhir's technique and temperament...

it was gambhir's first tour of south africa where even the best in business have come short before him... first innings started with 'look what we said'... but by the time tour ended... lots of those doubts were put to bin... step by step... innings by innings...

gambhir emerged with an enhanced and enviable reputation... and so did team india...

32 comments:

Golandaaz said...

I am thrilled. I was expecting a 0-3 durbing. And now when I realize that it was India who were close to winning the series and not SA, I am extremely please

I also questioned whether Gambir is real. This series proved he is.

I said the only way we would win it is if RD and Bhajji showed up. The latter did. Had Rahul showed up, we probably would have won it.

I won't say I was wrong to make such dire predictions. I would say India surprised many.

straight point said...

no i am not saying you were wrong... the doubts were genuine...

but i would remember this series as the biggest goof-up by our board and selectors that failed to see how historic it was and rather kept themselves indulged in either filing suits for stays or selectors who could not rise to the occasion...

now our main aim should be to atleast give team india better resources and options (specially in bowling) coz we are not going to play at home for quite some time now...

likeatracerbullet said...

If Sehwag had come to the party, it would have been a different end to the series....Also, South Africa need to learn how to win in South Africa again, before they cast aspersions on other teams' rankings...they haven't won a home series for the last three times...

straight point said...

yes that there tracerbullet...

for sehwag to become a complete batsman he will have to shun the stubbornness from his game... you can't always plonk you foot fwd and play on the up... if you cant factor in pitch, bowling, conditions and situation when you play... you will be remain walking wicket on such occasions...

regarding SA... they should and must be utterly disappointed by the series result... specially if this was the best they could offer... but to be fair to them any other team and they would have blown the opposition with that bowling...

so to question or challenge ranking they need to first win at home as first step...

the battle for the top of table is going to be exciting once the tests will resume after the world cup is over... and i can't really wait for that to happen... :)

namya said...

It was actually the SA batters with the exception of Kallis who came up short on bouncy tracks.. ABD scored a scorcher on a belter and look what happened to him later.. ditto for Smith and Pieterson and even Amla to a certain extent..
Flat track bullies anyone?

Govind Raj said...

This was a series between Dale Steyn vs Indian Batting

And...

Kallis vs Indian Bowling !

After the first 2 1/2 days...

The series was even on all counts !

Gambhir is a Hero !
And let us not Forget Bhajji !

But it was a disappointing climax.
I would have preferred a fight and say 260 / 6 instead of 166 / 3 !

Sehwag batting like Dravid will score like Dravid. Let him wag, even a 30 is worth !

straight point said...

exactly namya...

abcd played only one knock in the series when pitch was at its best and our bowling at its lowest after that he kept his coffee in the dressing room warm enough to take a sip on return...

at the end of series SA came across as team that could not win at home inspite of best of efforts... so next time before questioning the team india's ranking... first they must learn to win at home as first step...

Govind Raj said...

What home ?

Saffers couldn't beat Pakistan's B Team just before this series !

straight point said...

hi govind...

i won't put it as disappointing climax and if it was for SA who had to eat humble pie after making strong statements in press specially after first test win...

if was fantastic display of defensive batting by india which requires discipline, confidence in skill and grit of another level...

as much as scoring test cricket is also about defense... and whatever SA threw at us we remained unflinching... and believe me this also makes opponent pull his hair as much as a fast scoring does... the feeling of being rendered helpless... :)

straight point said...

Saffers couldn't beat Pakistan's B Team just before this series !

it was flat wickets as an excuse that time...

after this series smith was mourning the fact that they dint have much time to dismiss india that after him having the chance to declare earlier... :)

N.Balajhi said...

Certainly there is a sigh of relief but not happy with the result. Two days spoiled our party. Day 1 and the penultimate day of the series. We were plain unlucky on day 1 of the series and lacked the strength on day 4 of the third test.

Unless BCCI takes care of its fast bowlers, schedules a tour with warm up games (2 at least) India can't remain No.1 for long. Looks like there is no warm up in 2011 England tour. Did BCCI learn a lesson from this tour?

knowledge_eater said...

It would have been different result if MSD would have won toss,also despite selectors' blunders on bowling selection, India manages to level it. Especially, I think it hurt us in first test.

I mean let's be honest, 341 was very difficult to chase even with Sehwag's firing, if people don't see scoreboard and see real highlights or have watched match live, they would realize it was suicidal to even attempt to chase down seeing fire from both Steyn and Morkel were smoking. And let's not forget, Lord Harris was getting lot of turn and this is the best pitch he can ever have as a spinner in SA.

We fought well. Very well. Despite not playing 100% XI. It's fair to say Gauti loses his batting virginity in this tour. Very pleasing to see. He was never shying away to put away bad bowl, and gee his flicks going for 4 to midwicket, very effective timing and shot that.

And lastly, let's not forget, most underrated indian batsman was the top scorer of the tourny. That's 4 out of his last 6 test series. :) India must pick up bowler who can constantly put bowl on off stumpish line that can carry time to time and produces the edge. Ishant failed, Mithun and Munaf are the closest that comes to mind. We can't afford to make blunders again.

Assuming Zak won't be fit for every test matches we are playing away, we must have proper bench strength. Let's hope this problem is solved.

Freehit said...

I was expecting a 0-1 defeat in SA. After the first test, I felt it could 0-2 or even 0-3.

As Gol says, thrilled to see it being at 1-1. Also being a delhite and since I dreamt of being an opener once upon a time, I have a soft corner for Gautam Gambhir, and yes it was fantastic to know that he performed.

Only thing, I missed the last two tests and that sucked.

Vidooshak said...

I thought this was India's best chance to win. Minus the bad luck with the toss on day one of the series, the outcome could have been different. Kallis singlehandedly held India at bay. The bowlers and batsmen had the measure of SA. SA paid due respect by giving up on bouncy wickets and declaring by setting a gettable target. All in all, I think the outcome was a good one for India.

MouseMan said...

Maybe I am asking too much.
But India had Saf on the mat after Sachin dismissed Boucher and the new ball the very next over!!!
They gave too many to the tailenders.
I agree its a good result given the whole situation, but lets not settle for less than what they could have achieved.

MouseMan said...

BTW, some major surprises in the IPL auction.

straight point said...

Unless BCCI takes care of its fast bowlers, schedules a tour with warm up games (2 at least) India can't remain No.1 for long. Looks like there is no warm up in 2011 England tour. Did BCCI learn a lesson from this tour?

as much as bcci is to be blamed i would also severely criticize selectors here bala....

i mean what the hell they were thinking by sending 3 passengers in a squad of 16 on as imp a tour as that...?

i am sure if team management had options zak, ishant wud not have played the last test... zak was clearly unfit and ishant has become a new name for buffet for a bowler...

the only team at the end of series that has realistic chance to win was india... and that pleases me a lot... :)

straight point said...

ke... whoever thinks that 341 runs were chase-able on fifth day weary pitch against that bowling where putting bat on ball on first hr was a task with ball flying around... should confine himself to watching odi or t20 cricket...

It's fair to say Gauti loses his batting virginity in this tour.

its classic yet succinct way of putting it... couldn't said it better... :)

straight point said...

you don't know what you have missed mayank...

that was as high quality a bowling, batting and even an umpiring as you would see in a test match...

truly a treat to watch...!!

straight point said...

yes i agree vidoo... one more toss win and the outcome may have been very different for what it turned out in the end...

and that is where i think sa should be very disappointed with their efforts....

now only if our selectors starts working with the vision of this hardworking and gritty team... and sehwag shrug off some stubbornness from his game... we would be unstoppable...

next tour selection will let us know whether lessons have been learned well...

straight point said...

mouseman... i got the feeling that by the end everybody was mentally fatigued by the intensity of the competition...

zak was flat almost throughout the test... ishant was usual pedestrian and still persisted with coz we dint have options in the ranks...

but overall a very good result considering all aspects...

MouseMan said...

Regarding your point about the 3 passengers, I think the selectors were holding back on Praveen and Nehra before the world cup fearing injury, I think. RP or Munaf could have been sent in that case.
I just feel that Ishant's problem is lack of proper guidance. Sometimes, with the old ball, you see him hiding it and trying to do a Zak. And again I read somewhere that Delhi coach Manoj Prabhakar wants to teach him how to swing the ball.
I just don't think he has an action to swing the ball. Maybe, he should just try to bowl like Morkel.

straight point said...

Regarding your point about the 3 passengers, I think the selectors were holding back on Praveen and Nehra before the world cup fearing injury, I think. RP or Munaf could have been sent in that case.

MM... in that case the first bowler they needed to hold back was zak... ;)

look at any which way... that was pathetic selection beyond explanation...

ishant will do well to spend at least a year in domestic cricket but that too do not seems possible given he has beed darling of our selectors for reasons known to them...

N.Balajhi said...

Yes SP that's right. Particularly Unadkat and Umesh selections were very poor. We should have gone for 2 of Munaf / Nehra / Praveen / Mithun.

Soulberry said...

I'm devastated quite simply because of my own motivations. On the balance of it otherwise, India did well to return the way they did, considering Zak was an absentee in 1-1/2 tests.

That said, some disappointment cannot be swept under the carpet. I was shocked by the bowling of Sharma and portions of Sreesanth on helpful wickets.

sunny said...

No, I'm not proud of the Saffers at all.

It was a shame I even had to come to the stage where I kind of prayed for a draw when we were nearly losing, but at least Haircules had the sense to bat well.

For one thing I wish captains and coaches learn to shut up a bit more and took more notice of what they have to do, not say. Intimidating opposition doesn't do justice doing it, and Smith, after not having won the previous 2 series at home, should have known better than blowing his horn in public.

The Indians, yes, they were good. Very good. After SA's test win in Centurion I was under the impression it would be an easy ride over India, but to their credit they were the better batting team on a Durban pitch which won them the game.
It was a nice contest, but in the end SA was certainly the team which had more reason to be disappointed.

The only consolation I probably can take now is that we drew two test series against India in India. And look forward to the ODIs where we in all likelihood at least won't have a drawn series. ;)

straight point said...

sb... you are missing other culprit in zak...

he let us down badly in last test match and was the difference between india drawing the test and winning it... may be he was struggling with fitness of playing back to back tests...

ishant's career going down the drain and if the proper care is not taken at this time we might lose the gem of a talent...

straight point said...

very good point about captains blowing trumpet after just one indifferent performance sunny...

the way every team if so evenly matched like sa and india are it just akin to making the joke of himself by giving high decibel sound bites... look who is looking like a fool...

while even after the win at kinhsmead india camp were cautious and not that buoyant... again goes to show that this team not only has the maturity but grit to do things they have to without making much noise about it... :)

sunny said...

You know what SP, our captain Boofus Biff has never been particularly famous for his IQ level. I'm glad Botes is taking over soon.

Agh, you're slowly making me envy the Indian team. But I'll wait till the ODIs are over. ;)

straight point said...

sunny... more than the results i am more interested in what strategies both teams will test out viz a viz world cup... :)

A Bisht said...

it proves one more thing. Sehwag is the real match winner. Runs scored by Sehwag force a win.

straight point said...

if there was any doubt about that ab... :)

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