Man, that was ugly. Mark Boucher gave enough 'inspiration material' for the Indians to survive 50 overs and all they did was lay a huge egg. From this point on, i thought i would review the performance at the end of each test match, of the entire team and sometimes its management as well.
1. Virendra Sehwag (Grade: F)
His is the story of the great escape. How? I originally intended to give him F-/G. He was that bad. While i agree that he needs to play his natural game, but swinging to the first ball puts you in the Shahid Afridi class (crass) of test cricketers. Take a break! You have not given one reason to earn your place in the next test.
2. Wassim Jaffer (Grade: C-)
I think if this was a home series, Wassim should be dropped. Why? He needs to realise that, in test cricket - starts are precious, especially for a opening batsman. He made 2 starts and gave his wicket away both the times. His second innings shot was completely moronic. Since we are in SA and Sehwag needs to be left out of the side to reset his thought process, by law of elimination - retains his place in the side.
3. Rahul Dravid (Grade: C-)
You are the captain and at the end, victories and defeats should be laid on your doorstep. This is the third time India has collapsed in the 4th innings over the last few years. You avoided F/D because of the rank bad decisions of the umpires during your batting. However, did not lead the team well in the field. SA recovered from 28/3 and 258/8 to post 328 in the first innings.
4. Sachin Tendulkar (Grade: D)
Sorry mate! You are measured at higher standards than everyone else. What were you thinking when you played that shot in the first innings? Late christmas gift for the South Africans. Your dismissal triggered the middle order collapse of the first innings. Less said about the second innings dismissal, the better. Moreso, you made bold statements before the tour, but did not keep up your words on the field.
5. VVS Laxman (Grade: C)
You need to seriously assess your weakness against playing back-and-across. Some tips from Sunil Gavaskar will help
6. Sourav Ganguly (Grade: C-)
Short ball dismissal? Again. Enough said! However while i can understand your first inning dismissal (that was a snorter of a delivery), what were you thinking during the second inning dismissal.
7. MS Dhoni (Grade: B+)
The only reason you missed an "A" grade was because you could have saved the test match on the final day. However you backed your 4th day's comments on the field and hence the high grade. It helps to have had a decent first innings as well
8. Anil Kumble (Grade: B-)
Man! What an average game for India's best bowler ever! Disappointed with the uncharactestic foolhardiness with the bat than anything else
9. Zaheer Khan (Grade: B+)
Good game with the bat and the ball. Not much to fault you except that you could not extract an early wicket in the second innings. Keep up the same level of effort with the bat and people might forget about Irfan Pathan.
10. Sreesanth (Grade: B+)
Same comments as Zaheer with respect to bowling. Batting - for a second, i thought you were gonna knock off the umpire's head in the second innings.
11. VRV Singh (Grade: D)
Why are you in the team? Bowling. Oh I see. That said, i liked the fact that you were bowling full length this test than the previous one. Batting - Man, you are making me not miss Harbhajan. However, you are in the team because of the same reason as Wasim Jaffer - selection by elimination.
Third Test Outlook:
Need solid peformance from the top and middle order batting. Are you listening? Rahul and Sachin