Thursday, February 25, 2010

RSA never fought back

Almost close to 4 years down the lane, it was South Africa who re-wrote history by chasing a world record target of 434 imposed by Australia at Johannesburg. And yesterday, let alone coming close to winning the match, the Proteas didn't even think of it. It is not something special for someone like Sachin Tendulkar to have a great knock of 200*. It was just delayed by an immeasurable amount of time. If at all anyone on earth should have got to such a massive individual score, it had to be none other than Sachin Tendulkar. It was just 4 months back when Sachin Tendulkar got out at a score of 175 against Australia at Hyderabad.

Sachin's knock was not contained by just mere swinging of the bat that sees the ball cross over the boundary like some Yuvraj Singh or Shahid Afridi does. One needs to make a correct shot selection with enormous patience in case he has to attain that summit. And at present or even if the batsmen from the last decade are considered, few people who have that temperament in them are Sachin, Ponting, Brian Lara, Kallis and Inzaman to mention. Not even Jayasuriya had that temperament in him despite his knock of 189 against India at Sharjah. Finally, the world got a breakthrough when at last Sachin could achieve what no one else could.

Until yesterday, if at all a score of 400+ was put up, either it was against a non test playing nation or the team batting 2nd would have also crossed 400. This has happened on two occassions. The first one was in the match between South Africa & Australia where RSA successfully chased down 434 and the 2nd was in December in the 1st one dayer where Sri Lanka scored 411 runs as against the 413 by India. Otherwise, a 400+ total has been restricted only to non test playing nations. There was a time in the match when South Africa had lost more than half of its side with just one fourth of the score on board.

RSA were 6 down with 103 on board and then, it was the batsmen friendly nature of the wicket that saw South Africa crossing the 200 run mark. RSA even failed to even play their complete quota of 50 overs. If not for Sehwag, anyone who bowled came out with a wicket against their name. And in batting, once again, if not for Sehwag, every other batsmn came up with either a 50+ score or a strike rate of 150+. India were without their key bowlers in Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan which could have been converted into an advantage which was not the case whatsoever.

Had it not been for de Villiers' RSA could not even reach 200 one can suppose. It is a matter of the past that a score of 300+ can put pressure on the team batting 2nd, when there have been several instances of 300+ run chases. If not for de Villiers, no other batsman could even enter the 40s. The match could have been even more exciting had RSA fought with true spirit by attempting to chase down the target for, a 400+ total is not achievable unless there is some a lot of scope for the batsmen or a weak opposition.

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