Saturday, December 09, 2006

The hour strikes; Ganguly turns a moon walker!

By John Cheeran
As the midnight hour struck in the Cinderella story, the pumpkin coach became once again a pumpkin.
As Indians started the second innings in Potchefstroom, South Africa, Sourav Ganguly became what he actually is; a moon walker on bouncy wickets.
In just two balls, Rest of South Africa fast bowler Mornantu Hayward brought Ganguly down to earth from the hills of 83. Where is the steel to re-build the Indian innings?
The crisis in Indian second innings was much deeper than the first time. The ball was old only 16 overs and overcast conditions would have tested any batsman.
Those who were celebrating and proclaiming the resurrection of Ganguly after his first innings 83 should pause now if they know their cricket.
Ganguly’s second innings lasted just two balls.
There was no run off the first ball. The next ball found Ganguly getting a fine edge and van
Jaarsveld, standing in as wicket-keeper for van Wyk, taking the catch at a comfortable height.
It was then left to skipper VVS Laxman to hold the Indian innings together. No flashy strokes, sheer grit and the willingness to battle it out when conditions get tougher helped the Hyderabad batsman to take on the South Africans. Yes, Laxman could make only 31, but this innings was noteworthy for its bloody mindedness.
Laxman stayed at the crease to play 103 balls, gaining in confidence after he was dropped when he was only on two.
Laxman was eventually out trying to drive Thomas on the up, but he got a thick edge and Duminy diving forward at point took a great catch.
If anyone thinks that Ganguly has returned to the Indian dressing room with a magic wand from Kolkata, they are mistaken. Ganguly’s experience counted for little in the second innings when faced with eager and fresher bowlers.
In Test cricket what matters is the ability to stay the course and VVS Laxman, though he missed out on sensational scores (23 off 61 balls in the first innings; 31 off 103 balls in the second innings) on both innings, has the character to play himself in when things get difficult. In both innings Laxman has virtually opened the Indian innings with Wasim Jaffer falling too early.
Tough task awaits Indian batsmen, be it Rahul Dravid or Ganguly or Tendulkar in the Test series. It would take a phenomenal innings from India’s best to turn the tide in tourists’ favour.
Whatever happens in sideshows such as this four-day match count for little when the fun starts in Johannesburg on December 15.


pingal said...

ce . Try and be more realistic when you judge people .ganguly might have looked terrible , but our other darlings seem to have consistently proven their ability against short bowling .It is OK to be naive but criminal to show it on public fora .

avijit said...

hi cheeran,

honest analysis indeed. it is tough to have perspective on cricket these days and i don't think ganguly will have it easy in tests. his innings of 83 meaningless in the larger context.

sainik said...

hi cheeran,
ur analysis of the second innings of the tour match is appreciating but its an epitome of all cricket lover's pessimistic perspective and disloyality towards players who had once excited u more than ur fantasies.Maybe ganguly wont make a difference to test team's performance but just give him some time...

timepass said...

Cheeran is a mad dog. No point in talking sense to him. He should be put away.

timepass said...

Cheeran is a mad dog. No point in talking sense to him. He should be put away.

John Cheeran at Blogged