SA-Ind T4 D2 report

SA-Ind T4 D2 report

Post by COLIN HENDERS » Tue, 05 Jan 1993 17:01:32

Hi guys!

Just back from a week at the beach, and a couple of days at Newlands.
A mite tedious they were, too, marked by negative batting by SA and not very
penetrative bowling by India.

I missed most of the first two sessions of the first day, as I was still
getting back from the coast, but got there to see Rhodes dropped by Azza, (I
think).  Rhodes and Cullinan put on (in retrospect) a sprightly 99 for the
fifth wicket, with some good strokeplay by the latter and some interesting
and effective shots by the former.  Rhodes' approach to the spinners was to
sweep as often as possible, and on a couple of occasions he chipped the ball
over the inner ring of fielders into no-man's land.  There were, however
some thundering drives and square cuts.  The sort where the fielders don't
even bother to move, and the batsmen run.

The day ended with Cullinan (who was looking pretty solid, if a little
slow), spooning Raju to midwicket.  Rhodes had earlier gone to his fifty,
pulling Raju through midwicket.

The bowling looked somewhat innocuous that day, with the batsmen very
defensive most of the time and hitting the odd bad ball for four.

Yesterday centred round a very tedious 52 (or thereabouts) by McMillan.  The
second slowest South African fifty, I believe.  If only Azza had held a
difficult chance at second slip when Mac had eight, we would have been
spared the tedium.  Mac was ultra defensive, and wasn't even getting hold
of the bad balls.  52 starting the previous night and lasting the whole day
until half an hour after tea.  That must be slower even than Greg Shipperd.

The other batsmen were quite a bit quicker.  Henry and Richardson between
them added 42 between lunch and tea, while Mac added 22.  And they were
hardly setting the world on fire.  Matthews added a lusty, if somewhat
agricultural 29, including a very interesting pull past mid on for four
off Raju.  Henry was stupidly run out for a very defensive 33, the first
four of which flew between More and first slip (Azza or Kapil) off Kumble.

Of the bowling,  Kumble and Srinath seemed the most likely at and time to
take wickets, and their figures show this.  Kumble picked up three, and bat-
pad catches, and Srinath two, getting Rhodes caught behind with a real
beauty pitched up on off stump, cutting away and rising.  Richardson
survived a confident appeal off a very similar delivery a couple of balls
later.  The ball definitely hit something, but Shepperd (a pommie) and
Richardson looked quite confident that nothing vital had been nicked.
Srinath later nearly got him with a slower ball which was driven uppishly
into a gap.  He was guilty of straying down the leg side a little too often.

The batsmen all looked slightly awkward against Kumble, all scratching holes
for themselves, and falling to the topspinner.  One policy which seemed to
work was to pull the faster ball, which happened several times.  Rhodes in
particular, though living precariously, seemed to play Kumle very well, and
his 86 was without doubt the most enjoyable batting in the innings.

Kapil looked  mildly dangerous with the new ball, but pretty humdrum when
most of the shine was gone.  It pissed me off when the captain dropped that
slip catch.  He had taken the new ball a couple of overs previously and that
sort of lapse can't give his opening attack much confidence.

Although the batting might have been defensive, the field placing certainly
was not.  There were almost always at least two slips and a short leg for
the quicks, and four close catchers for Kumble and Raju.  The pitch was
supposed to be a featherbed, and the close catchers accounted for at least
three wickets, as well as bottling the batsmen up.  Nevertheless, SA is
going to have to do something about their batting attitude.  They seemed to
be playing for a draw right from the start.

Jadeja and Prabhakar weathered the seven last overs of the day very well.  
Donald and McMillan both had rather loose first overs, but later tightened
up considerably, squeaking past the edge of the bat several times.  For me
the shot of the day was when Prabhakar drove Donald through the covers for
four, against a field setting which included four slips, gully, and two
short legs.

The weather was ***y hot, the crowd mellow at first, later very bored, and
inclined to Mexican wave at the drop of a sombrero, and to throw things.  
Certainly the sentiments started turning toward India later in the day,
though they were howling for *** when Donald came in to bowl.

Well, must be off:  I don't want to miss the first few balls of today.

--

Colog "nku-e-shweleng" the Henderdog
Physics Dept, UCT, South Africa.