Friday, November 5

T4 D3

18:20, IST

Phew. We won. Consolation win, dodgy pitch, ‘dead’ rubber and all….but at least we won. And the series scoreline reads 2-1, though it was precariously close to 3-0. Boy, that would have been gutting.
I missed a lot of the crucial/ exciting/ insane/ climactic last innings, though I saw the last few overs (from 88 for 8), and then saw the recap of the wickets. There is much to be said (argued) about the pitch, but that I shall leave for later. The most significant feature of the day for me was the attitude and approach of the Indian team. Finally, finally there was a positive approach from the batting.
But first- I (late latif) got to the Tv only at 9:30 again. It was 23/2. Very Very bleary-eyed (this sound familiar?- well, this time I had only slept about4.5 hours) I thought for a moment it was a replay of the 1st innings. Then I saw that Laxman and SRT had scored all but 6 runs of the total, so I figured the openers went for next to nothing.

Led by Sachin, there was a veritable rediscovery of the mode of batting called run-making. Seriously, though, it was great to watch. It is not like Sachin has forgotten or cannot play the way he used to. He has chosen to play the way he has in recent times. In pure logic and practicality, I can’t always fault his line of thinking. Ina lineup that is always full of strokemakers, he and Dravid then become the only two who you can rely on to protect their wicket. I am just not sure whether he himself likes it that much. He acknowledges it in his mind to be the best way, but it may not be the best suited to his headspace. At any rate, today there was no confusion. He played his shots, played them well, and it was hugely disappointing to see him get out. For a prolonged period just before that, he had not gotten much strike- especially against Hauritz who he was obviously looking to target. Laxman was playing out over after over of runless off spin, and I believe it might just have frustrated ST a bit. That sweep, which he had been eyeing for long, was just not a percentage shot.

That we still slipped from 150-odd for 3 to 206 all out was another display of carelessness. Laxman had been showing signs of offering a c&b all innings, and it finally happened. But I am glad that he at least proved my point#2 of yesterday wrong- he should find himself in for the SA series now. Karthik should really not have been playing against the spin on this track, and Kaif messed up Tea by padding up (again). He offered no shot, and worse, made no pretence of offering one either.
Everyone in the Aussie camp must have rued not bringing on Clarke earlier. Sure, you could not have predicted his incredible haul, but there was a definite case for bringing him or Katich on much earlier in the day. You have a pitch that is turning square, and you refuse to even try your optional spinners. Silly, I thought. It is a bit much, though, that he ended with 6 wickets. To be fair, he bowled spot on right from the word go, but I just cannot reconcile to him taking a 6 wicket haul against us.

It was great to see Murali Karthik coming into his own. Agreed, it was a spiteful pitch that made even Clarke look like Bishan’s brother. Yet, Murali had some good batsmen fooled by his variety, and the arm ball was simply superb. Especially the one to get Martyn out. Hayden finished his series with very little of note, but no real failures either. Odd, for his style of batting. Though it is probably that very style that got him out- the irresistible urge to always dominate. Hauritz, Gillespie and Kasper took them to the brink, and it was nerve racking stuff. But Bhajji came back and bowled really well, and to a plan- the one that got Kasper out was what he had worked out, and it was a ripper.

The passionate celebrations when we won, the almost angry venting of emotion from so many of the players… I guess this meant something to them. The series was gone, and to easily the better side, but this was something to go home with. Something to restore some belief- again, not just because we won, but the way we won. The batters will probably have some confidence in their run scoring abilities after today, and I hope they carry that into the South African series.

Ponting did not think much of the pitch, and he made it pretty clear. Dravid chose to call it only ‘interesting’, with the slightest hint of a wry smile. Pitch or not, it was evident he was a much relieved man. As might be, I suspect, a certain person back home in Calcutta.


kappax from Oz said...

second ur comment about SRT's batting rediscovery but don't agree with this line...
"In pure logic and practicality, I can’t always fault his line of thinking."

I can see that u have tried to explain but I think u got it a bit wrong..

SRT changed his style because he thought it would be beneficial to him & that obviously means to the team too... We can accurately say that the style SRT adopted was a closer copy of Dravid than a copy of shewag... & thats were he erred.. India needs more Shewag's or more SRT's.. not more Dravid's... One Dravid is more than enough in a team...

Then we need to understand why did SRT have to change his style in the first place??? What was wrong in the first place??? What was he trying to achieve by the change??? Unless we are clear in the answers to these questions we will not be able to measure the success or failure of the change...

IMO the reason for SRT was his perception that he will score more RUNS if he cut out what he thought were risky strokes... by more RUNS, SRT thinks BIG scores... thru the 90's SRT struggled to cross 200 & this was his solution to ensure that he crossed 200 & even breached 300 more often... but forthat he needed to look no further than model his game more on Lara's style than Dravid...

SRT failed to get BIg scores cause he slowed down once he was close to his 150's... my perception is that SRT used to get to some 120-130 in 180 balls or so... but from there his next 10-80 runs will take 100-150 balls... it was almost as if he was anxious to get to 150+ & 200...

Contrast that with Lara's style.. Lara's 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 350, 400 are all built with increase in aggression... Tests don't have enough time for a Dravid style 250 also, let alone 300... by the time the new SRT gets to 200, the match would be closer to declaration or ending...

Its true that SRT has scored more 150+ under his new style vis-a-vis his old style( my perception is its in 3:2 ratio) but that has meant a huge cut down in his 50's & 100's ( which I perceive is in the 1:3 ratio)..

So SRT needs to make up his mind if he needs his regular 50's & 100's & try to score his BIG one by following the Lara style or continue in this less successful Dravid style...

PS : how do I link ur blog address under my blog reference list???

shakester said...

hey kappax
first off, to create a list of sites you vist you will have to create that category in your blog template.
The best would be to check out the simple blogger help

I cannot paste the required Tags here as comments do not allow it but i could mail it to you or you cjeck the Help, its pretty simple

Anonymous said...

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