India Vs RSA :: 2nd Test :: Preview

After playing out a laborious, painful and drab draw in Chennai, India and South Africa move to Ahmedabad. Of the three locations for this series, Chennai was most likely to produce a result. Now that that hope was buried I am not holding my breath, awaiting the results of the Ahmedabad and Kanpur Tests. Then again, the BCCI has pulled some surprises in the past and I for one would be most happy to be horribly surprised once again! Matches like the one we had in Chennai are bound to grind Test cricket to the ground in India, as Jamie Alter says on Cricinfo.

Sachin Tendulkar is not playing in this next Test. So that should give the team and opportunity to move Sourav Ganguly and V. V. S. Laxman up the order. This would give them an opportunity to play another bowler. My bet would be on Irfan Pathan playing instead of Sachin Tendulkar. The team would then need to decide on whether or not it wanted a mildly fit and listlessly lethargic R. P. Singh or the spin option of Piyush Chawla. I’d go for the latter. Although there is grass on the pitch, the Motera track has assisted spinners on days 3-5 of Test matches.

This would then give the following Team India: Sehwag, Jaffer, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Dhoni, Pathan, Chawla, Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Sreesanth

After his splendid innings at Chennai, the South Africans are wary of Virender Sehwag. They have decided to target Sehwag with short stuff aimed at his rib cage! Not a bad ploy particularly if the South Africans are able to bowl rib-cage stuff from around the wicket. After all, Sehwag has shown his ability to handle anything short and outside off-stump! South African coach, Mickey Arthur, indicated, “We had a look at Sehwag’s fantastic innings. He cuts the ball very well but we saw he played his first pull shot only after scoring 312.

It would be interesting to see how Sehwag copes with this approach.

5 responses to “India Vs RSA :: 2nd Test :: Preview

  1. Dhiraj Parsana , the curator at Ahmedabad says that the pitch will be sporting and will even have grass on the surface!!! If this does happen to be true, I wonder if Smith, in the event of winning the toss will opt to have a go at the Indian batsmen. If India go in with 3 spinners, assuming that Kumble is fit, almost certainly, India will opt to bat first.

    Several teams have tried bowling short, close to the body at Sehwag, albeit unsuccessfully. He did not do too well against South Africa when India visited South Africa in 2007 – so it remains to be seen how things work out.

    Seems like an interesting test and wonder how the South Africans cope with the dry heat of Ahmedabad?

  2. “wonder how the South Africans cope with the dry heat of Ahmedabad?” for that matter any human being. It is very cruel to play cricket for 5 days in such awful weather conditions.

  3. Given Sehwag’s initial backfoot movement towards square leg to make room for his uppish cut shot, he gets cramped up for a rising ball on the middle and leg stump. This is well known weakness that McGrath used to exploit. The problem is that wickets in India are not quick or bouncy enough for the fast bowlers. So, Sehwag will flourish in Indian or Pak wickets.

    Sehwag can not pull or hook the bouncer also.

    There is a nice article in Cricinfo – Does footwork or technique matter anymore ?

  4. Good God – 6 wickets down – and inside 15 overs

  5. Looks like India will have a chance to bowl before the lunch interval …. Parsanna was right – the pitch will produce a result !!!

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