Sunday, January 07, 2007

Ind SA - Third Test Grades (Not pretty if you are SRT or RD fan!)

Oh Man, after the great performance in the first test match, India reverted back to its old habits and lost a test series 2-1 that Sout Africa had no business winning, atleast not the last one.

Wassim Jaffer. Grade: B+
He has a bad habit. He follows a good innings with a bad one. Looks like he is always playing to keep his place in the side. I was disappointed when he lost focus towards the later part of Day 1 and gave away his wicket. That is where the advantage on Day 1 was lost. However, he was the least of India's problems.

KD Karthik. Grade: B
His Batting cannot mask deficiencies behind the stumps. While the official scorecard shows 7 byes, there were a lot more missed keeping chances.

V Sehwag. Grade: D+
Your batting in first innings is in the Lara-Ponting league while the second is more the Afridi league. He single handedly destroyed the coach's great move of having him open with another bone-headed shot

All Dravid/Tendulkar fans to skip this part

Rahul Dravid. Grade: F-
You are officially the first member of F- Club. If someone does not tell you that you singlehandedly lost the game for India, they are lying to you. Also, most of the bowling decisions back-fired and hence this would be one test match, you would like to forget in a hurry. Between, when the runs dry up, why do the Indians not look for singles and twos and rotate the strike.

Sachin Tendulkar. Grade: F-
Second member of the F- club. Who are you? I am sure that you are an imposter trying to ruin the name of ST. 14 runs of 62 balls with 1 four is but a shadow of what ST did in his career.

Maybe the CBI should investigate if ST has been abducted by space alien wanting his batting skills in the inter-gallatic match and replaced him with a poor and shoddy replacement.

On a serious note, i think it is not blasphemy to suggest that Sachin's game has fallen a lot. I don't know why, but someone in the dressing room should tell Sachin that he is but a shadow of the great player that he was. He no longer creates sleepless nights for opposition bowler and has many more bad innings in the last 2 years than the rest of his career combined.

Oh, by the way - i do know he scored a 64 in the first innings.

Sourav Ganguly. Grade: B
I think he made a statement in the overall series on his toughness. Makes me change my mind - i would rather have people with toughness than finesse. I do have to say that he did not help India's cause by exposing the tail in the first innings. How? Ganguly had 7 overs with the tail-enders (Kumble and lower):
  • Over 1: Kumble faces Pollock the first ball because the batsmen crossed on the Sehwag dismissal. Kumble is dismissed on the 4th delivery
  • Over 2: Ganguly takes a single on 3rd delivery
  • Over 3: Ganguly takes a single of the first ball. He also agrees to a single with Zaheer on the last ball. Zaheer is dismissed of the first delivery the next over.
  • Over 4: Ganguly gets strike of 3rd ball, gets a four and also a single off the last ball
  • Over 5: Ganguly takes single of 3rd delivery, Sreesanth dismissed with the last delivery
  • Over 6: Single of 4th delivery
  • Over 7: Ganguly dismissed of the first delivery.

VVS Laxman. Grade: D-
How can you give up a wicket in such a situation in the second innings. Outside tendulkar and dravid, you too should owe up for this loss.

Kumble: Grade: C
Bad run with the bat. In a long time, i haven't seen you have an off-match. My first reading was that you were trying too much and that you are not suited to bowl around the stumps (like a left arm spinner!)

Sreesanth. Grade: C
Quiet game, with the bat and the ball.

Zaheer: Grade: C+
Had a good game with the ball though the stats did not do justice to his effort, not in the first innings. In the second, he was to support Kumble in running down the opposition - he kept his side of the bargain

MM Patel: Grade:D
I thought India played with 10 players. Nope, MM Patel replaced VRV Singh. What difference did it make? Made no difference in bowling as he was given ONE over in second innings. In terms of batting, the south african bowlers were relieved that they were not going to bowl to a wild VRV.

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