Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Tale of Two Tails !

The Cliffhanger between India and South Africa was without doubt a good advertisement for Cricket. It could have gone either way. But guys like Peterson, Botha and most importantly du Plessis held their nerves when Nehra lost it.
But in the end if we look at the match, both innings turned head over heals in the 40th over. India lost Sachin in their 40th and then started the procession. South Africa struggling for run rate had a big over of 17 runs by the otherwise brilliant Zaheer Khan and that perhaps pipped India in the end.
Let us talk about the collapse. The same happened against England. Our late order batters just threw their wickets away like they throw rotten eggs at Politicians. Agreed Steyn bowled well. But it wasn’t as if he was unplayable.
Even a few singles and twos and India could have had a score 310 and that would have given Nehra a better chance. But as the cliche goes, Cricket is not a game of Ifs and Butts ! But if that is true, how come Ijaz Butt continues to rule Pakistan Cricket ?
South Africa had their share of idiots too. ABDV and Duminy were stupid to perish the way they did. Botha too played a bad shot. But they had more sane people than in the Indian 11.
Gautam Gambhir dropped a simple catch. Dhoni missed a should have been stumping. Munaf Patel continues to bowl length balls at death and even the No. 10 and 11 can hit him for sixes. He got a wicket solely because of the stupidity exhibited by Morne van Wyk.And Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel and Nehra are so very ordinary in the deep, they bled some precious runs. Virat and Raina were the only saving grace.
Dhoni decided to call Nehra even after Bhajji was bowling pretty well and went for only 7 in his last over. He was high on confidence compared to Nehra. Nehra has done it in the past for India. He has won some tight matches. But of late, he has been just rubbish. India needs to take at least one more look at Sreesanth and definitely not Piyush again. And of course, bring in Ashwin.
Finally, the main difference between the teams was at the rear end. South African tail clicked with Botha and Peterson scoring 41 runs of 22 balls sharing 4 boundaries and 2 sixes between them. Indian tail scored 3 runs of 16 balls with 3 ducks !
Thus in the end, it was “A Tale of Two Tails”; one that sucked and another that Clicked !

Govind Raj Shenoy for DieHard Cricket Fans

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