Jacques Kallis’s second century of the match may have saved South Africa from certain defeat. And by being bowled out, on day four, the team might have saved Graeme Smith the bother of making a tough declaration on the fifth morning.
No captain in his right mind will declare his innings closed leaving the rival side to get less than four runs an over, when said rival side has a player called Sehwag.
Sehwag has had a poor run in this series, with scores of 0, 63, 25, 32 and 13 in the five innings so far for an average of 26.06. How bad his performance has been becomes overwhelmingly obvious when you take a look at Sehwag’s run of first innings scores in 2010: 52, 56, 109, 165, 109, 99, 109, 59, 30, 173, 96, 74. Add to that list his two previous scores in 2009 were 131 and 293.
The flip side of that run is that the dashing opener’s second innings scores in those matches weren’t as impressive,o with a highest of 45 against Bangladesh at Chittagong. That said, you cannot keep Sehwag on a leash for this long without something exploding. And Indian skipper Dhoni will be hoping for that explosion to happen in India’s second innings.
India’s only hope of winning this game is if Sehwag fires, because he will make the run rate redundant with his phenomenal strike rate thereby allowing players like Tendulkar and Laxman to play themselves in without upsetting the equation.
And what if Sehwag doesn’t fire? From the evidence of the latter half of day four, there’s no devil in this wicket, and Indian batsmen should get some batting practice ahead of the ODI series.
That’s not such a bad thing, from the Indian point of view, though that would leave them bereft of an elusive test series win in South Africa.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.