Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Smith's decision justified 100%

Yesterday, I had written about the second day's play between India and South Africa and also raised questions regarding Smith's decision to declare the innings. And, in the 3rd day's play, Smith has replied to my query in such a way as though he himself had read the post. Smith's decision to declare the innings worked out exactly the way he might have expected to be. India lost 12 wickets on a single day's play, in contrast to South Africa who lost just 4 wickets on day 2 and 2 wickets on day 1. The total of 556 put up by South Africa proved to be too much for India.

Now, another decision has been taken by Smith after he imposed a follow-on on the Indian batsmen after his team took a lead of 325 runs. Added to that, India have lost their openers and one of the noted batsmen in India viz Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir both of whom went for a partly score. Very rarely does a batsman get to play twice on the same day and to get out twice on the same day has to be something great for any batsmen. The only difference in this case is that, it would be for the wrong reasons. Sehwag and Gambhir were the two lucky ones here who got out twice on day 3.

Moreover, Gautam Gambhir got out for the ball of Morne Morkel for the 2nd time on the same day. Before the start of the series, there were worries for team India regarding playing Murali Vijay, Saha and Badrinath. But, if the 3rd day's play is taken into consideration, it was Subramanium Badrinath who scored 56 runs which stood 2nd in the innings after Virender Sehwag scored a hundred. Added to that was the 136 run partnership with Sehwag which formed almost 87% of the Indian score in the 1st innings. The two along with the extras scored 194 of the 233 runs that was the score towards the end of the innings.

Coincidently, they were the two of the three batsmen from the Indian side who could reach double figure mark though there were 29 extras in the innings. After being at 192/3 at one stage, the remaining 7 wickets fell for a score of just 41 runs. The only thing for the Indian team to feel satisfied at the end of the day is that they maintained a run rate of 3.6 which was slightly more than the run rate of 3.17 maintained by the Proteas in their first innings and that the Indian bowlers bowled just 25 extras compared to the 29 by the South African bowlers. If the proceedings of the match on the 3rd day is considered, it would not be a surprise if the match gets over on the 4th day itself.

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