A test series that came as a new year’s gift to many of ardent cricketing fans. A small window carved out for South Africans (SAfs from now on) tour to India. May be three test and three ODIs would get u a better picture but then so far so good. South Africa and India match each other player for player, on paper but Indians would do well to match SAfs as a fielding unit. There would be many interesting battles within, this competition. Lets just for the moment, park the No 1 Test team championship and look at it in a way that SAfs have did well compare to other touring teams especially the teams away from sub continent. India has been up to the mark when they have toured to South Africa and they have done well in India. One may refute an odd inning, but South Africans have had better performance of many visiting teams.
South Africa remains the team to beat, almost all Indian batsmen the likes of Sehwag, Tendulkar, Laxman, Dhoni, Gambhir, have average runs scored significantly or marginally less compared to career averages. It’s including home and away test scores. Tendulkar averages 35 and Laxman 30 against South Africa. Of course that could change but that means that Indian batsmen would have to be on the top of the game against a very good seam attack and a brilliant fielding unit.
Man to man watch out for these tiffs.
Captains Dhoni vs. Captain Smith, Zak vs. Smith, Zak vs. Kallis, Bhajji vs. Kallis, Tendulkar vs. Kallis, both playing two down now. Steyn vs. Sehwag, Parnell vs. Gambhir, those are just few of the interesting tussles you would want to watch. One may forget India pacers and SAf spinners, but I think they would be crucial in getting break through at crucial times, which may turn the match. Zak seems to be on top of the game for couple of seasons now. Tendulkar had a good series vs. Bangladesh; Sehwag shall remain volatile and mercurial. Dravid would be missed to say the least. All of a sudden Indian batting line up would look fresh and new. Murali Vijay looks so good. Badrinaths earned the place in the squad. It would be interesting to note that once fabled middle order of Dravid Tendulkar Laxman Ganguly is replaced by Murali Vijay, Badrinath, Sharma and Manish Pandey. Off course they would have to do well. But Indian batting line up need to play to their merits.
One is hoping for a riveting test series. Don’t watch it for numbers watching it for some dazzling stroke play, controlled swing, incredible batting. It is gross understatement SAfs are a team to beat. Dhoni would have shuffled his pack of tricks well. Smith would be looking to score. Bhajji may want to prove a point; Tendulkar is 10 away from a ton of centuries. Its not that he would score all ten in this series, but one would like to bet on at least one if not two. Ishant is looking decent. Sreesanth would be missed.
May the best team win the series.
Away from the post, I managed to link my blog to fb to twitter using blog feeds. I had connected my blog to fb, but learnt how to update twitter when blog gets updated was something excited me. The title of the post is suppose to come up on twitter. I have my fingers crossed. :)