India must carry on the winning habit

Written by: Sunil Gavaskar
Published: Friday, March 17, 2000, 0:00 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

What a thriller! It had everything, well, just about everything apart from quality bowling! There was top class batting by both teams, good tight fielding and in the end a result with one delivery left and with scores of almost 600 in the day. The crowd would not have asked for anything better, neither could the TV audience. For a change it was India who kept their nerve to win a real tight finish and the South Africans lost another close game when of all people, Klusener dropped one of the dolliest of catches in the final over to emphasise that this game can humble the mightiest. The 'man of the World Cup 1999' has struggled for runs and this miss showed the 'Superman of the World Cup' to be human after all.

Srinath's return failed to stop the flow of runs and Agarkar made the mistake of trying to match him for pace rather than the controlled swing we saw in the previous two games, and thus South Africa were able to get off to a rollicking start.

Kirsten has been the player that the Indians haven't quite got a plan to dismiss or even if they have, it is not working and he was the one who started the fireworks with the fleet footed Gibbs joining in.

The pitch was a real beauty to bat on with the ball coming on quite nicely and Kallis used his feet brilliantly to the spinners, especially Sunil Joshi. Not too many overseas players have looked as accomplished against spin as Kallis has in recent times and one wonders whether he has been having any discussions with Ian Chappell who alongwith Dean Jones were other overseas batsmen who tackled spin on Indian wickets superbly.

Anil Kumble brought India back in the game with his usual economic spell and thus South Africa found the second 100 taking a longer time than the first 100 did.

Saurav Ganguly has been in unbelievable touch in this one-day series and though the South Africans tried to pin him on the leg-stump he couldn't be kept quite for long. Tendulkar seeing the way Ganguly was finding the gaps was content to give him more of the strike and he opened his shoulders after the skipper's departure.

Though India had got off to a marvelously quick start, there was a still a big way to go and it was important to keep the momentum. That's what the little champion did with Azharuddin as they ran quickly between the wickets and did not miss on the scoring opportunities.

Wasim Akram, the former Pakistani captain has used the quick full toss very effectively in the slog overs and the South Africans resorted to that tactic and it nearly worked with Tendulkar, Azhar, Jadeja, Joshi all falling to that mode of delivery.

Robin Singh too would have perished had Klusener not made that mistake and as the Indians head for the last one day game, they will do well to think up a counter to that delivery to ensure that they carry on the winning habit. After the last few months, India under Ganguly have given their fans plenty to look forward to!

Professional Management Group

Write Comments