South Africa wins the series and India head to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 having lost their last international ODI before it.
Captain of the Indian cricket team MS Dhoni says in the presentation ceremony “Having lost 3 major batsmen I wanted give the youngsters a try”. While many of the “youngsters” were given this opportunity, very few benefitted from it.
One think to be sure of from this series is that Rohit Sharma should not be considered for International cricket (ODI & Test) unless he cleans himself and his game up.
Something to remember would be a few years ago, Irfan Pathan said that his brother was far better than him, at the time everyone thought that he was doing word of mouth advertising for his brother, but what he said seems to be true. Irfan Pathan should hopefully make an entry back into the India side this year if he brings back his form but Yusuf Pathan is showing how he can be a dependable asset for his side.
He was the only one in this tragic final who managed to actually give India a fighting chance.
South Africa lost the toss but India decided to field first. Frankly this decision was confusing and odd, the only thing that came to mind at that time was that since India will be playing in the World Cup shortly after this series they probably wanted to give chasing a large total another shot. Well sadly that experiment was an epic fail.
The South African side have shown the importance of opening batsmen and early partnerships. Skipper Graeme Smith again could not find the magic, he made only 7 runs of 11 balls and the early break through was Zaheer Khan’s.
Hashim Amla played brilliantly through out remained undefeated till the end made 116 runs of 132 balls and quite obviously won the match and the series for South Africa.
Morne van Wyk made an important contribution of 56 runs of 63 balls and was dismissed by Yuvraj Singh. AB de Villiers made only 11 runs of 12 balls, his erratic form continues as his pressure of wicket keeping continues, he was also dismissed by Yuvraj Singh.
JP Duminy was given a life as soon as he entered by umpire Simon Tofel giving a wrong decision on the bowling of Yuvraj Singh, his runs also proved to be costly for the Indian side in the long run. JP Duminy ended up making 35 runs of 44 runs and his wicket was claimed by Munaf Patel.
Faf du Plessis made only 8 runs of 6 balls; his wicket was also taken by Munaf Patel who also took the wicket of Johan Botha who just made 2 runs of 2 deliveries.
Robin Peterson made 4 runs of 2 deliveries; his was the second wicket of the day for Zaheer Khan and the next two tail Enders Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were both run out on 0 by MS Dhoni. So the tail have been of no help during the course of this series but that is good for them has they have never really required to do much before of their firing top and middle order.
So the target of 251 was set for the Indians to win due to the D/L method that was required to be used due to brief showers on that day. Out of the 50 overs 4 were reduced for India to meet their target.
Opener Parthiv Patel made a respectable 38 runs of 34 balls and opener Rohit Sharma made an unrespectable 5 runs of 8 balls,he was dismissed by Tsotsobe, there is nothing more to be said about Rohit Sharma and to him either, except “hit the rock jack”. Parthiv Patel’s wicket was taken by Morne Morkel.
The lone ranger of the previous match Virat Kohli made only 2 runs in the final, nobody will blame him that much, his wicket was claimed by Morne Morekel who also dismissed Captain Dhoni who walked in with style and excited without it. He made 5 runs of 10 deliveries and got out on gifting away his wicket which is something he has been doing since the last few series.
Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina were also in a giving mood, gave away their wickets to Dale Steyn making 8 of 14 balls and 11 of 8 balls respectively.
Piyush Chawla was dismissed by Robin Petersen he managed to make only 8 runs and Harbhajan Singh did not seem himself made 13 runs of 16 balls was dismissed by Johan Botha.
Yusuf Pathan’s entry to the fray and nearly made many shiver, he saved the Indian team from getting their nose chopped off, making a spectacular 105 runs of 70 balls, he got out trying to hit out on the ball of Morne Mokel, he walked out of the field amidst cheers and applause, he alone gave millions of Indian’s a smile on their face in spite of a loss.
Zaheer Khan helped Yusuf Pathan to a large extent; they together put up a 100 run partnership and gave South Africa a slight hiccup. Zaheer made 24 runs of 58 balls and was dismissed by Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Munaf Patel remained standing on 4 runs of 9 deliveries as India was bowled out for 234 runs.
The ‘Man of the Match’ award was given to Hashim Amla for his unbeaten 116 runs and ‘Man of the series’ was given to Morne Morkel for his brilliant bowling attack.
Lets hope the return of the all important batsman helps the Indian team at the World Cup otherwise the questions will increase and no one will give the answers.
Best of Luck for the ICC Cricket World Cup, the conditions are ideal, this will be Sachin Tendulkar’s last chance for the world cup and Dhoni’s performance will be excruciatingly opinionated by the entire country, every move will be monitored by fans and every match finely dissected, so no pressure.