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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Poor strategy by MS Dhoni and pathetic batting help Proteas in levelling the series

What do you call  a person who just keep repeating his mistakes. I believe I don't have to mention that word but intelligent people are aware of that word. So MS Dhoni once again repeated his mistake of going defensive when opposition was in all sorts of trouble at 118 for 5. Had Dhoni applied pressure on Duminy and Botha by bringing the field in then I believe India could have easily restricted Proteas for 170 or 180 and chase would have become more easy for Team India. But our very own cool captain opened the field and allowed both the batsmen to take the singles at will which helped them in building good partnership which eventually resulted into big score at St. George's Park, Port Elizabeth. Proteas ended at 265. Dhoni did same mistake in the final test match at Capetown by opening the field after reducing Proteas to 130 for 6. All credit to Botha , Duminy and Peterson for taking advantage of the mistakes done by Dhoni which helped them to put very good score on the board. Dhoni's bad-luck with the toss continued in this match as well.

I believe target was still achievable because nowadays chasing 300 has become common phenomenon and this was only 266. But thanks to our top-order batsmen including captain Dhoni, they made mess of the  target and also missed opportunity of sealing the series in 4th ODI itself and that too in the conditions which were suitable for Indian style of cricket.  Its good that Rohit Sharma is not included in the World Cup squad. But what about Suresh Raina, he just looks completely out of sorts and in last 15 ODIs he failed to score single half-century. I will be surprised if he will be included in playing 11 ahead of Virat Kohli. Kohli is in tremendous form and has to be included in final 11 of  the World Cup team. He played gem of an innings once again yesterday and showed that he is matured and technically more sound than any other batsmen in the team.I believe Dhoni missed the trick yesterday and with this he has lost golden opportunity of winning the series in South Africa for the first time.

For Proteas, I must say they thought over their mistakes after two back-to back losses and bolstered their batting a bit and which paid rich dividends to them.As usual bowling was again superb from Proteas, especially Morne Morkel is trump card for them. Morkel is in scintillating form and looks unplayable. The delivery on which Yusuf Pathan got out was real peach. Morkel read the mind-set of the Yusuf Pathan who was expecting short ball but Morkel bowled full delivery to Yusuf and picked up his wicket. Great display of fast bowling. Tsotsobe is the another bowler who has grown  leaps and bounds as the tour progressed and right now he is the most successful bowler of the series. I also appreciate the strategy of Smith in this match as he utilized his spinners bit early when India was resurrecting their innings and saved the faster man for the later stages for bowling against Yusuf Pathan who took on the spinners like hurricane in 3rd ODI. Rain played spoil-sport in this match but I don't feel that rain had any impact on the result of the match.

Now series is locked 2-2 and it will be interesting to watch the last match at Centurion. I believe Proteas have upper-hand going into that match after yesterday's victory and Team India looks completely out of sorts, especially their batting which failed to play  entire quota of 50 overs in all the matches of the series so far. As per my analysis, Proteas will seal the series in Centurion and Team India once again return home without series win in South Africa.


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