Cricket: South Africa prevails

It was a tough tour, it wasn’t the final frontier. It was the first; WE have success at home and series victories in West Indies and England. The tour to South Africa was a tough one, not many Indian batsmen have stamped their authority there. The pace and bounce and SAf stifling discipline does it job so well. The display was all to see and having said that, a drawn test series and close one-day series was a very good result. Of course, it could have been better, but there were positive to take of each series. The fact is Tendulkar, Sehwag & Gambhir were not available and Praveen Kumar didn’t make the cut adds to the credo of the performances.

Yusuf the typhoon

Well, he smacks them big and they stay high and goes long way. It’s amazing how seemingly effortless strike seem to clear the ropes. Yusuf Pathan make is look easy. Yuvraj Being not in form is no more a worry; the worry is if he would make it to the final eleven. Yousuf Pathan makes batting look insane, wonder if he high on jet fuel.
Could he be drafted in the test side? There would be at least a couple of opening if not three in the season following world cup. He has a decent defence, his hitting is for all to see, a decent slip fielder. He is not a number three but a deserving player to fill perhaps Laxman's shoes. He has just thrown his hat in the ring, with Kohli for a place in the playing XI in the tournament starting 19 Feb.

Yuvraj fall from regal order

Yuvraj is imperious when in form. Does he need some time off? He is not in the best of form. I have this nagging feeling that it’s always fitness form and performances. There is rarely a case when a player his short on fitness and prime in form. Such is the game. Yuvraj was perhaps best suited to bat on fast pitches against seem bowling, he performances dissuaded. I think he is fighting for a place in the final eleven, with Yusuf capturing imagination, awe and runs, Yuvraj looks anything but regal. I hope he comes back to form and strokes it well. If he does then the equation completely changes.
Raina perhaps suffered the same fate. You wouldn’t bet for Raina to score against bouncing ball. Ganguly came out to say Raina would struggle against short ball, perhaps Ganguly himself knew what it means to be peppered by short balls and total fallibility against it. Raina must learn coz he would be peppered again.

Bowlers in control.

The bowlers did their bit in making sure that both he series went close, a better inform bowler would have made a world of difference but then ifs and buts present nothing more than a hope. Zaheer had Smith by the scruff of his neck. He was clueless against Sheer’s guile. I also imagine Zaheer touch right fitness and form. His bowling is very crucial, a good new ball bowling partner will add to Zaheer’s potency. The weak link is bowling and field set up in the middle overs. There don’t seem to be many bowlers to induce a false stroke, or force the pace, or some how get a wicket. Bhajji needs a wicket early to attack or else becomes of canon fodder where batsman sees him off and lay foundation for final assault. However, the conditions are subjected to change, a lot more guile and imagination is required to bowl at the back end of the innings, especially when defending scores.

The captain and the team

Dhoni looks the men in change and when he calls on his team, they do forge ahead in unison. He has a team that he wanted. His batting is under bit of dark cloud but If u imagine a scenario where he walks in to the crease after then end of 30 over with score reading between 140 and 155, he will bring his sledge hammer out, with Raina, Yuvraj (may be) and Pathan for company anything can happen.

The focus shall shift to the world cup in next few weeks.

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