Lessons from Centurion – 1st Test India vs South Africa

  • Gambhir and Sehwag seemed to have learned their lessons, in the second innings; but I won’t be too sure unless I see them again on another day of tough conditions.
  • Dravid is in the same stage as Ponting is. Some days, he will score big centuries, but most of the time, he is going to score painstaking 30s and 40s. A sad final phase of a glorious career.
  • Tendulkar created a new record. Yawn.

  • Laxman had a rare twin failure; but Raina’s continuing dip in form and confidence might warrant trying Pujara for the next test.
  • It’s good to see the return of the original Dhoni when batting. This is the kind of batting that suits him, and he needs to play his natural game every time.

  • As expected, Harbhajan barely had any effect. Will be surprised, if that changes anytime soon.
  • Sreesanth and Sharma were huge disappointments. Looks like Zaheer is turning out to be the ‘Tendulkar of 90s’ for the bowlers. Without him, the pace attack is very unreliable.
  • Unadkat seems to be a decent prospect, but there is no doubt, that he is too raw right now.
  • Smith, Amla and de Villiers – all played characteristic innings. It is hard to envision India getting through these bats easily, for the rest of the series.
  • It is one of the strangest piece of stats, that Kallis scored his first double century in his 242nd innings. Even Jason Gilliespie got a double before him!

  • Tsotsobe and Harris were the supporting acts, and they played their parts to perfection.
  • Steyn and Morkel – they have won the first round. Can the Indians tame them, next time around?


  1. Raina needs to be dropped. Dhoni needs to be bat next to Sachin or VVS and Pujara needs to be come in at #7

    Bowling wise, I am hoping Zaheer will trigger a revival.

  2. i don’t think india will make any wholesale changes, like dropping raina or reshuffling the positions….they might give just one more chance to raina…
    Zaheer can only do so much..he needs support, which is lacking badly…

  3. 1st time visitor…nice blog!

    Good roundup of thoughts and lessons.
    My 2 rupees:
    a) Yup…Pujara ABSOLUTELY needs to come in for Raina. There is actually a lot I like about Raina, but his ineptness against quality seamers / pacemen is hurting India. And I like Pujara’s technique and compactness, based on that fine 73 vs Oz.
    b) You’re bang on about Zaheer looking like the Tendulkar of the ’90s on the bowling side! I just hope he’s 100% by Boxing Day…India needs him desperately.
    c) I’m absolutely APPALLED that no India cricket writer / expert has exhorted the selectors to rectify their gamble (error of judgement, in my book) of taking along 2 totally untested rookies like Unadkat and Yadav against a tough opposition like SA! Especially now that we have seen the form of Ishant and Sreesanth (huge letdown). What if one of the top 3 seamers gets injured once again before the end of this series??? Are we to meekly accept more bowling humiliation??? Sorry, but what India needs is for Nehra and Munaf (or even Praveen) to get on a plane and join the squad in SA. Send them there on the pretext of a paid vacation, if need be…but send them at once! (Though yeah…i know it’s not gonna happen…alas)

    1. Thanks and welcome to the blog…as for the selectors rectifying their gamble, it wouldn’t have made any difference even if people voiced their disapproval of the selections. I don’t really know what goes through their minds, when they drop someone like Mithun who performed creditably in SL, but then gets dropped, and they bring in two debutants as back-up, even though everybody knows how unpredictable Zaheer’s fitness is…but then again, some things never change..its amazing how india is one of the better teams in the world, despite an incompetent board and inconsistent selectorial policies..

      1. Yup…the selectors moves are pretty hard to fathom at times…and they don’t even try to explain their logic. Mithun did do a fair job in SL, in unhelpful conditions.

        Speaking of Mithun, I’m often really disappointed by how quickly our young pacers reduce to just medium pacers. Mithun was supposed to be a 140K+ bowler in domestic cricket…Ishant was clocking over 140K in Australia…Sreesanth too in India at times. The situation just sucks! Can’t fathom why BCCI or the coaching staff can’t get a good nutritionist to help these boys get stronger!

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