This image of Kallis swimming in the air will not fade from my memory, NEVER !!! I am glad I bunked office and watched this match !
A lot of murmurs were shut out at Durban, all that trash about bounce and grass aptly replied to, wonder who is at an advantage on the green tracks now… !!! My excitable self is totally Cock-a-HOOP !!!!
For the record, the match was played in South Africa, in Durban, in Kingsmead, on the greenest track (as they like to call it), on the bounciest South African track (yea that too), South Africa won the toss, bowled under a cloud cover on the first day, South Africa was bowled out in 37 overs on a sunny day, enough South African batters were hit body blows, lots of verbals returned with full interest and yes… if you didnt notice, India won by 87 runs !!!!
Take that !!! I say !
India has been the no.1 Test team but all the Proteas were taunting and it is so so so heartening to see our team put one across them. We beat the Proteas in their own game and the victory was sweet. Not only did we win, we won convincingly.
Cricket is a funny game, the attack that didnt look threatening at all didnt allow South Africa to score one individual 50 in the entire game. Yes this was the same pitch where South Africa bowled India out twice in less than 75 overs in 1996, but, then this Indian team is different.
This Indian team does not take backward steps, they snarl back as fiercely as their opponents and even if the opponents dont it doesnt mean we cant snarl on our own . It was fantastic to see Kallis being dished out a Snorter… I have always had images of Indian batsmen being made to jump, duck and sway..
it was refreshing to see one of the worlds best getting the same from an Indian pacer… it was most satisfying watching Steyn getting three bouncers in a row and then being given the sucker ball and he getting sucked into it big time… it was lovely to see Morkel quiver in the crease and being struck on the body…
Above all, it was a great privelege to watch the silk, the master class of Laxman. The steel inside his body is totally masked with the silk he has, he may not run fast between wickets, but that is the only drawback, he makes up for it in more ways than one. The uncanny knack of getting runs when the team needs it the most is one of the most precious gift this Indian team has. On a wicket where no one could cross 50, this guy got 96 in the second innings and even in the first innings it took a brilliant freak catch to dismiss him !!!! India must be thankful they have this supreme batsman who always gets runs when India needs it the most. Do not ever forget, Indian cricket’s renaissance started in 2001 in the Eden gardens on the back of that 281 against Australia where I am sure even God would have quit any hopes of revival had he been in India’s position.
Very Very Special he surely is Laxman !
The catching was another feature of this match and the Indians proved to one and all that they are deserving number 1 in the world. The number one team in the world just showed why it is no.1. Remember there was no Gautam Gambhir, there were two failures by Rahul and Sachin, Ishant didnt pick up many wickets either, but the team fought and fought together. Zaheer is almost a father figure for the two young bowlers as he ensured SreeSanth and Ishant do not get excited with the bounce, no matter how much SreeSanth lost his temper, he never lost his line and length !!!! That was the difference for me. Smith can keep waving the bat as much as he wants we dont mind as long as he is hooking in the air !!!! Harbhajan Singh after a long long time has really performed like he should on such bouncy tracks and it was heartening to see the lion hearted Sikh get into wickets, this will do his confidence a world of good ! Also it was nice to see young Cheteshwar Pujara, although he didnt score too many, he has the prescence, his eyes are full of determination and I think India has found a batsman for the future. He does not fret and is quite at ease dealing with the fast and short pitched stuff. With time we will see him mature into a fine batsman. Raina & Kohli will just have to wait for the time being.
The one thing missing in the CV of Laxman, Dravid and Sachin is Test series victories in South Africa & Australia. This year has ended with a bang with a victory in what used to be a graveyard for Indian cricket, DURBAN ! Its time to correct the South African bit, we are headed for Cape Town and the one thing I hope is the Proteas prepare a sporting or even better, a hard, green, bouncy surface !!!!! I would hate it if they prepare a flat track and opt for a draw.
I am all set for New Lands CapeTown !
On a passing note, Mr. Darren Gough thinks this England team is the worlds no.1 and can beat India every day of the week.
The comment makes me smile, here is a player who during his entire career was carved by the Australians. Never could they taken on the Aussies, which India regularly has done in the past 10 years. India infact beat England in their own backyard just a few years back and before that series we drew one in their own backyard. England is also beating an Australian team which is no where near what it was. England couldnt do anything when Warne, Mcgrath and all used to play. Even in the 2005 ashes it took a freak McGrath injury for them to win that too after some really close victories.
So my advice to Darren Gough is that he has made a good attempt at drawing attention to himself. Yes, India is the hottest team, also the one which has the most media attention and also always has lots of moolah around it so no wonder that Darren Gough thought that is one way to attract attention.
We will see you and your no.1 team in May/June 2011 and quell all the murmurs just like we did in Durban. !