India Vs RSA :: 1st Test :: 1st Day

A flat pitch, bad luck (in the context of the toss result), bad fielding, hot and humid conditions, a four-bowler policy and some good batting from the South Africans all conspired together to leave the South Africans slightly ahead at the end of day-1 of the 1st Test between India and South Africa.

Harbhajan Singh in his post-match-interview said that the Chennai pitch was, “very very flat”. One day… Some day, the BCCI will realise that pitches need to be good to retain the attraction that Test cricket has for many in this world. We live in eternal hope. Many “Pitch Committees” have come and gone. But all we are left with, as a legacy of these successive committees, is a pitch for more jobs for the boys. Former cricketers come and go, but the pitches appear to be the same. Bone dry and boring!

What we saw yesterday was a flat, dry pitch that did nothing for the bowlers. The pitch bore a stunning resemblance to the boring pitches that were prepared for the Pakistan series. This is an early call to make, but it looks very likely that we are set for yet another (yawn!) long, slow and boring series! In his article on Cricinfo, Siddhartha Vaidhyanathan argues that some of India’s best recent victories have come on sporting pitches! It amazes me then that BCCI cannot recognise this and prepare lively pitches in India too!

No doubt, this pitch will take some spin from day-3 onwards, but a look at the pitch yesterday was enough for words like dry, flat, unresponsive, boring and insipid to jump to the forefront!

It is, therefore, amazing that India chose to go into this Test match with only 4 bowlers! On a dry pitch and in hot-humid conditions, a four-bowler policy would have been terrible had India lost the toss. India did lose the toss and it was, indeed, terrible.

The pace bowlers bowled like millionaires and leaked runs! There were fours flying off the bats of Neil McKenzie and Graeme Smith. Although India did reign in the rampaging South Africans in sessions 2 and 3, the early damage had been done. South Africa hit a total of forty-five fours on day-1! While the dry, sapping heat and poor fielding could account for some of those fours, I think the bowlers need to put their hands up and admit that they had a bad day at the office! A 5th bowler was called for.

After seeing the fielding-heroics in CB series in Australia, where a young Team India threw themselves around to stop any white object that flew towards them, the fielding standards in the Test team was expected to be poor. But one did not quite expect the shoddy display that we did see! Harbhajan Singh himself admitted, “I think we have given around 20-30 runs in our fielding and that makes a big difference. I hope tomorrow we put in a good performance in bowling, batting and fielding. It would have been nice to stop those 30 runs and see the scoreboard at the end on 270 for 4.” Even Yuvraj Singh, substituting for Sachin Tendulkar, cut a sorry figure on the field. It was ironic that the oldest man on the park had the most spectacular fielding moment of the day when Anil Kumble dived to his left to snatch a return catch!

I score the first two sessions to RSA and score an even third session. So, my Session-By-Session score for this Test would read India, 0 : RSA, 2. India will hope for a better day-2 in this Test match.

— Mohan

5 responses to “India Vs RSA :: 1st Test :: 1st Day

  1. Vandy,
    In the previous blog, while thanking me for letting you know that SETANTA sports show live action of this India vs SA series via Foxtel in Australia as well via broadband , you have unnecessarily had a go at Mohan–not sure which one as there are 2 Mohans contributing.
    Have a drink of Horlicks, a lie down and wake up with a clear head and a resolution not to hurt people’s feelings–in other words, don’t be selfish. Neither of the Mohans owe you or me anything in our lives!!!

  2. @ Govinda,

    I think Mohan should be capable of defending himself.

    If he is going to Publish information he
    should in my opinion clarify if someone
    Politely asks for further Clarification,
    If the correct Mohan had any manners
    he could have replied to my Repeated
    Polite requests.( 3 times)

    And who the Bloody Hell is Suggesting
    Mohan owes me Anything, and DON”T
    call me Selfish for telling someone to show some manners.

    If he has taken Offence at my comments WHY doesn’t he show some
    Intestional Fortitude and come back to me.

    And one other thing,IF there are 2 Mohans on this site they should use some sort of Distinguishing Feature to
    properly Identify themselves & maybe such Misunderstandings will not occur.

    And just to finish off I don’t take too kindly to your patronising comment rgds the Horlicks & how do you Summise that someone’s Feelings have been hurt.


  3. @Vandy

    I sign myself as “mohank” or “mohankaus” and I have no clue who the other “mohan” is. But he always signs himself as “mohan”. I do not expect you to apologise to me again as you did in the other thread. However, if you do, it will be accepted… again.

    – Mohan

  4. We saw a remarkable series down under and since the Sydney Test the Indians dug deep and played out of their skins on most occasions. I would’nt blame them if they are physically and mentally fatigued.

    Flat pitch, hot conditions, lightning fast outfield and you had a perfect recipe for some serious leather hunting…which is likely to continue well into the second day; and then it will be South Africa’s turn. With not much swing on offer I suspect Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel will come on nicely to the bat and the Indians shouldn’t find it too difficult. My guess is India will start to bat around tea time and are looking at a score of around 500 or there about.

    What about the result?
    Harbhajan Singh thinks that the wicket may take turn on day 4 and day 5. If that really happens and South Africa takes a lead of around 100 runs in the first innings, a result is defiantly possible. At this stage I think there are too many ‘ifs’ and taking 20 Indian wickets is certainly not easy. Having said that, the third session of the second day may well throw up a few surprises.

    – Vish

  5. Not only was the pitch an absolutely useless one for good cricket, but the bowling was insipid as well. Although, it is a difficult decision to drop one of the 7 batsmen, the wisdom of going in with 4 bowlers seems to have backfired.

    Things might get worse if RP Singh breaks down ….

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