India Vs RSA :: 1st Test :: 3rd Day


What are some of the main traits of an opening batsman? They have to be patient, disciplined and maybe even courageous. Most importantly they should absolutely not take any risks.  This is exactly what makes them dull and boring as well. There have been exceptions along the way – Krish Srikkanth was one. He was dashing and people loved to watch him, but he was also inconsistent and unreliable. Matty Hayden is another, and there are probably a few more – but none,  in my opinion, come close to Virender Sehwag.

Sehwag – What can I say about him? The selectors should have kept faith with him during his slump and persisted with him. Actually, if you look back at his records, his test form has not been that bad – sadly, his ODI form was used as a measure and he was sacked from the Indian team after just one bad series in South Africa. He was kept away from the team that toured Bangladesh and England and when he was not even short listed for the Australian tour, his test career seemed completely stalled. As luck would have it, Gambhir was injured and Sehwag was picked in his place to tour Australia as the third choice opener and he even ended up playing the last two test matches.

You know what they say – “Form is temporary, class is permanent”. Sehwag did showcase his class under pressure in the last test against Australia with a fine 151, but with today’s knock of 309*, you can safely say that Sehwag is well and truly back. No other Indian has scored a triple century – but Sehwag now has two. There are probably another dozen or so records he broke today, but the important thing is that he managed to keep India in the game and put the team in a commanding position. Wasim Jaffer (73) gave him company and was involved in a solid start of 200+ runs. Rahul Dravid (65*)  gave him good company too in the partnership of 255 runs, but the day belonged to just one player – Sehwag.

At the end of day 2, the match looked like it was destined for a slow death and if India continue to prepare such pitches, Test cricket itself will die a slow death – actually make that a fast death! Virender Sehwag however managed to infuse life into the dull game and India are now in a position where they can even think about winning the game – it all depends on how much lead India take and if the pitch starts crumbling like a cookie when South Africa bat. All three sessions of the day belonged to India and the SBS scorecard reads 4-4.

The biggest threat to Sehwag today was the zapping heat and humidity and it was a relief to see him make it to the end of the day. The whole of India would be hoping that Sehwag bats at least another session tomorrow. If he does, he may end up breaking Lara’s record for highest individual score and more importantly will put India in a very strong position to take the match.

-Mahesh-

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4 responses to “India Vs RSA :: 1st Test :: 3rd Day

  1. There is something about Sehwag and his concentration that he makes big centuries. Usually most batsmen lose concentration after the century and lose the wicket around a score 120 or so, even before making 150.

    Only some batsmen – Ricky Ponting, Lara, have made systematic big centuries.

    Don Bradman is of course the master of big centuries.

  2. Sehwag was simply superb !! It was an amazing treat to watch. I hope he continues to pulverize attacks all over the world like this.

    But I do not agree ” That the selectors should have kept faith in him” and retained him in the XI inspite of his failures.

    He was struggling for a very long time and so he was shown the door. which I feel was right. Unlike some other Players, he was always on the selector’s radar inspite of being dropped, RD made sure he played in WC.

    And going by what happened with Ganguly and now Sehwag I think that giving players sometime out of the game when they look out of touch can work wonders.

  3. gnbmdr,

    Veeru could have edged the ball a few times after getting hoe century–he tried hard!!!!

    He was tiring in the heat and playing a few one handed cuts while stretching out!!!!

    Fortune favours the brave

  4. It should be a remarkable statistic – Laxman running out of partners throughput his career.

    There should be no doubt about Rahul Dravid batting at N o.3 ; the number f times he has rescued India with 0 for 1 in the first over. Sachin is a great player.

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