South Africa v India, 1st Test: Five Hits and Five Misses

Hits

  1. Like he did in England in 2014, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar was brilliant with both bat and ball. India must be careful not to bowl this whole-hearted cricketer into the ground on this tour. Holding on to catches in the slips will help keep his energy levels up.
  2. Pandya’s performance. The lone warrior on day 2 for India scoring 93 (95) with the bat to tame four fire-breathing South African quicks and then taking two wickets to help India keep a toe-hold in the match.
  3. Wriddhiman Saha. A flawless performance behind the stumps saw Saha break the Indian test record for the number of catches. He pouched everything with a minimum of fuss. He will want to contribute more in front of the wickets though, scoring only 0 and 8.
  4. Rohit and Cheteshwar Pujara for the first 18 overs on day 2. Good, solid test cricket. It was good to see Rohit reigning in his usual attacking instincts for the greater good.
  5. The second innings bowling performance. From 65 for 2, it was a fantastic performance to bowl the home team out for the addition of just another 65 runs. The lines were perfect, no boundaries were gifted and the chances created were taken.

Read More …

South Africa v India: The Freedom Series Preview

1992 – Kapil breaking orange(!) stumps to mankad Peter Kirsten upon South Africa’s return to international cricket.

1996 – Tendulkar’s off stump sent cart-wheeling by Allan Donald. 100 in the first innings in Durban, 66 in the second innings. Magic from Sachin and Azhar at Cape Town, ended only by a magical catch by Adam Bacher. Rahul Dravid’s maiden test ton at Johannesburg. The test series won by South Africa 2-0 after rain and bad light frustrated India’s hopes in JohannesburgDonald swearing at Dravid and Tendulkar while they cart him around in the ODI tri-series final.

2001- Sehwag’s hundred on test debut. Charges of ball-tampering by Tendulkar and an unofficial test match.

2006- Sreesanth’s magical spell at Jo’burg. 2-1 to South Africa.

2011 – Tendulkar (146) v Steyn (5/75). Spell-binding cricket. Series drawn 1-1.

2013 – A near world record chase of 458 at Jo’burg. A six wicket haul by Steyn and a farewell hundred by Kallis helps the Saffers take the series 1-0.

After what felt like a million meaningless cricket matches against Sri Lanka, India has reached South Africa. And if you are feeling a mixture of dread and excitement, you are not alone. The first test of the Freedom Series begins at Newlands in Cape Town tomorrow – finally some competitive cricket! Read More …