Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > News >

South Africa vs India 2013-14: India need new strategy against South Africa

Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh gets bowled during the 1st ODI between India and South Africa, at New Wanderers © Getty Images
Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh gets bowled during the 1st ODI between India and South Africa, at New Wanderers © Getty Images

 

By Derek Abraham

 

Durban: Dec 8, 2013

 

Rohit Sharma walked gingerly towards the Kingsmead pitch, on Saturday. He walked back to the dressing room about five minutes later, reported DNA. He mustn’t have been too pleased with what he saw.

 

Kingsmead is no Wanderers. Over the years, the wicket here has flattened out considerably. But we are in South Africa and Dale Steyn is very much around. That said, India can’t take things lying down. They have to fight fire with fire.

 

India’s strategy in the first 10 overs needs to be given a second thought. Sharma made a 43-ball 18 in the first One Day International (ODI). Sharma’s plan to see off the new ball, even if it meant making concessions on his initial strike-rate, did not materialise under the relentless pace attack. The manner in which they made the ball talk after the 30th over was as prodigious as what is usually seen in the first 10.

 

Virat Kohli said that taking selective risks is one option, and he did that in the first ODI. “To see Steyn swing the ball from middle stump and get it past the off stump, actually the fifth off-stump, it was tough to face,” he said.

 

“All you can do as a batsman is to try and upset his length and that is why when I went (down the wicket) on the fourth ball. I stepped out and I wanted to hit him over the in-field. Otherwise if you keep defending, you kept getting beaten so you have to come up with something.” Kohli got a four for that move.

 

According to Kohli, counter-attacking isn’t the only option. “It is about assessing conditions, the bowlers and not just stepping out and not knowing what to do.”

 

Bar Sharma, Kohli and, to a certain extent, Shikhar Dhawan, none of the other top-order batsmen are equipped to play the pull. Also, one brilliant ball –– like the one that claimed Kohli on Thursday –– is bound to come their way sooner than later. Consuming deliveries and hoping make up for it later may not be a smart ploy. Why, because the pacers will keep coming at you.

 

It’s here that the current lot must learn from the likes of Sachin Tendulkar. In the last few years of his career, the little master would use the upper-cut and the slice over slips to counter the bounce. Virender Sehwag also had his own style. He would make room and thump it over point. Also, the manner in which Sourav Ganguly countered Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini in the 2001 ODI series on these shores is worth revisiting. He would make room by moving way outside leg and hit the trio over cover, extra-cover and even third man.

 

Kohli didn’t buy Steyn’s theory that the Indians were frightened on Thursday. “I don’t think we are caught in a trap. It is a game of cricket tomorrow, and any side plays it well will win the game regardless of the conditions,” Kohli said.

 

(The writer is Principal Correspondent at DNA, where the above article first appeared)

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Kings XI Punjab won by 6 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 17, 2014  at Sharjah

Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 8 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 16, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 41 runs

Womens World T20, 2014

Apr 6, 2014  at Dhaka

Australia Women won by 6 wkts

T20 WC 2014

Apr 6, 2014  at Dhaka

Sri Lanka won by 6 wkts

Photos

Delhi vs Bangalore match 2, IPL 2014 at Sharjah

Videos

Video Highlights: Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders wickets

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) vs Rajasthan Royals Live Cricket Score IPL 2014: Binny, Rahane take Rajasthan to 4-wicket win

IPL Statistics and Records: IPL’s First

IPL 2014: Umpire Camera View creates latest buzz in tournament

IPL 7: Vintage Jacques Kallis showed his class for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians

IPL 2014: Capacity crowd at UAE provides glimpse of the T20 league’s huge following

Australia BCCI Chennai Super Kings Delhi Daredevils India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders Lasith Malinga MS Dhoni Mumbai Indians Royal Challengers Bangalore Virat Kohli

Rajasthan Royals open their IPL 2014 campaign with a nervy 4-wicket over Sunrisers Hyderabad

IPL 2014: JP Duminy takes tips from AB de Villier’s after Delhi Daredevils’s loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore

Varun Aaron says he won’t cut down on pace

IPL 2014: Royal Challengers Bangalore looking to carry forward momentum against Mumbai Indians

IPL 2014: Rajasthan Royals restrict Sunrisers Hyderabad to 133/6

IPL 2014: Rajasthan Royals’ team composition vital for success

Kings XI Punjab’s local talent gives them an added dimension in IPL 2014

Former Australia PM Robert Menzies used cricket to win a case as a lawyer

Naoomal Jaoomal: The man who opened batting in India’s first ever Test

Sony launches ‘IPL Smart Earphone’ to filter crap commentary; calls endeavour CSR

Fan of the Day

Sudatta Mukherjee

Sudatta Mukherjee

1 Posts | 0 Fans

Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2014 Video Highlights

CUPS, a mobile application for unlimited coffee, launched

[Cartoon] Azam Khan refuses to apologise to Election Commission

Muslim cleric in Lucknow praises BJP president, confuses the community voters

Britney Spears to marry beau David Lucadao in Hawaii

11 possible causes of coughing up blood

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom’s camera sample surfaces online

Know what it takes to save your skin during flights

Why is Boman Irani happy for Jolly LLB’s National Film Award?

Also on cricketcountry.com