Chandigarh:Murali Vijay, the Indian opener, said the other day that the bounce on the South African wickets is not a big problem — the big problem is the swing. “Bounce can be managed but swing is difficult,” Vijay said. He did not refer to another deadly factor — movement off the pitch. When the ball’s seam (the raised, thready part where the leather is sewed together) hits the pitch, it’s very difficult to judge which way the ball would go — whether it would come in towards the stumps or move away from the wicket. The poor batsman is liable to get bowled or trapped lbw if the ball moves in, and caught-behind if it moves away. This problem is magnified on grassy, damp pitches on which the ball skids after hitting the surface. That’s why batsmen from the Indian Subcontinent struggle in England, South Africa or New Zealand.
In India’s first innings, four batsmen were caught behind by the wicketkeeper, five were caught at the slips or gully, and two were lbw. This is the usual story of Indian batsmen’s struggles in South Africa.
Thirteen 100s have been made by Indian batsmen in South Africa in the 18 Tests played by India prior to the current Test in Cape Town. Sachin Tendulkar alone made five of these 100s. No other Indian batsman has made more than one Test 100 there — Rahul Dravid, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Kapil Dev, Wasim Jaffer, Mohammad Azharuddin, Virender Sehwag and Pravin Amre have a 100 apiece in South Africa. Dravid has only three 80-plus scores in South Africa, including a 148; his average there is a lowly 29.71 in 11 Tests, against his career average of 52.31. VVS Laxman’s highest in South Africa is 96, and he’s got only four 50s in 18 innings there. Sourav Ganguly has made four 50s in his 16 innings there, with a top score of 73. Sehwag got a 105 in his first innings in South Africa, on Test debut, but could make only one 50-plus score in his 14 subsequent innings there.
Going further back, Sanjay Manjrekar averaged 23.20 in South Africa, without a 100 or 50; Ravi Shastri averaged 11.80 in three Tests; Azharuddin averaged 23.33 in seven Tests there. All these numbers are a testament to the challenges batsmen face in South Africa — historically, India’s batsmen have been troubled by the in-air and off-pitch movement of the ball there, apart from the bounce. Virat Kohli’s men are going to have to play better than ever before in their lives if they’re to return from South Africa with their reputations enhanced.
Yadav, Dhawan help India beat Kiwis by 8 wickets
Napier:After Kuldeep Yadav bagged a four-wicket haul, opener Shikhar Dhawan struck a blistering unbeaten knock of 75 runs as India thrashed New Zealand by eight wickets in the first ODI of the five-match series at the McLean Park in Napier.
Chasing a lowly target of revised target of 156 runs to win after sun outrage delayed the play, openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan made a positive start to India chase as th duo shared a crucial 41-run stand for the first wicket before the former was dismissed for 24 runs.
Dhawan then joined forces with Indian skipper Virat Kohli and the Indian opener not only struck his 26th ODI fifty off 69 balls but also shared a good 91-run partnership to bring India on verge of victory.
After Kohli (45) fell just five runs short of his half-century, Dhawan and Rayudu helped India cross the mark in 34.5 overs.
Earlier, New Zealand had won the toss and opted to bat first.
Kuldeep Yadav tore apart the hosts’ batting order, finishing with brilliant figures of four for 39. Mohammed Shami also took three wickets while Yuzvendra Chahal and Kedar Jadhav chipped in with two and a wicket, respectively as India bundled out New Zealand for 157 runs.
India, who have taken a 1-0 lead in the series, will now play their second ODI against New Zealand on January 26 at Bay Oval.
On-field taunt could land Sarfraz Ahmed in the dock
London: Sarfraz Ahmed could be in serious trouble after he was caught on the broadcast stump mics making what seemed to be a racist comment against Andile Phehlukwayo.
Halfway through the 37th over of South Africa’s tense chase in the second ODI in Durban, Phehlukwayo inside-edged a Shaheen Afridi delivery to deep fine leg for a single. He was on 50 at the time and as he ran off to the non-striker’s end, Sarfraz was caught clearly on the stump mics saying, in Urdu: “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?”.
Translated literally that is: “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”
On commentary, Mike Haysman asked Ramiz Raja, “What’s he saying there Ramiz?”
“Difficult really to translate that,” Ramiz replied. “It’s a big long sentence.”
Phehlukwayo had enjoyed considerable fortune through the innings, not least when successfully reviewing an on-field lbw dismissal and a dropped catch in the over before this incident. Pakistan’s players had come hard at him early on, though in the post-match presentation he said, “it was good chat”.
Any disciplinary action can be instigated by the match officials. Potentially, if action is to be taken, it will be up to the match officials to decide whether they view Sarfraz’s comments under the ICC code of conduct for player behaviour or the ICC’s anti-racism code. Article 2.13 of the regular code covers the use of insulting or obscene and offensive language used by players against another in the regular code of conduct. But it says: “This offence is not intended to cover any use of language that is likely to offend another person on the basis of their race, religion, gender, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin.
“Such conduct is prohibited under the ICC’s Anti-Racism Code and must be dealt with according to the procedures set out therein.”
In the Anti-Racism code, in place since October 2012, an offence is described as “any conduct (whether through the use of language, gestures or otherwise) which is likely to offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify any reasonable person in the position of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee, Umpire Support Personnel or any other person (including a spectator) on the basis of their race, religion, culture, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin.”
Phehlukwayo had a memorable day in any case, his unbeaten 69 part of an unbroken 127-run stand that steered South Africa home after they had wobbled to 80 for 5. And earlier in the day his 4 for 22, including the crucial wicket of Sarfraz, helped bowl Pakistan out for 203.
I told East Bengal they will not win the league: Aucho
Mumbai:Churchill Brothers midfielder Khalid Aucho had spent two months with East Bengal in a short stint last season. However, he feels that his former side does not have a squad that has the capability to win the I-League.
“I told East Bengal they will not win the league because you (they) change the team every time. To win a league, you must build a team with 11 to 15 players in the same team for at least two years,” he expressed in a chat with Goal.
The Ugandan, who earned himself a fair bit of recognition among the Red and Golds’ faithful, was roped in as a late signing by East Bengal ahead of the 2018 Super Cup and only played four matches in the competition with the team failing at the final hurdle against Bengaluru FC.
He had fared well in defensive midfield, which was a troublesome position for the Kolkata giants last season. But he did not sign for the Red and Golds this season and explained why.
“They (East Bengal) were offering me the same salary. So I said ‘No, I am not the same person if you want to give me that money.’ I told them that I will play somewhere else because I believe in my ability,” Aucho revealed as East Bengal turned towards Kassim Aidara.
The 25-year-old has since joined Churchill Brothers in the current season wherein he has clocked 990 minutes in the I-League from his 11 starts and scored twice.
“(This season) we (Churchill Brothers) want to win the league, Chennai City wants to win the league, Real Kashmir wants to win the league. If they (East Bengal) win, congrats to them, but I don’t think they can win this league. They must first start keeping the players. If they have that team, they have to continue with it for next season,” Aucho stated.
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