It was predicted as the most awaited fierce cricket battle to lay bare the raw essence of cricketing competition! But the field turned out to be an easy pitch for the South Africans. Both the games played in this tournament showed the Indians that it will not be easy to beat the South Africa in their home ground. The World Champions were floating in confidence after the last game against West Indies, especially when they savaged through the 11 yard pitch to launch a crushing defeat on the Caribbeans.
The first game was played in Johannesburg and Africans beat the Asians by 141 runs. This game had a score target of more than 350+ runs which was quite impossible for India to chase but the second cricket game was much more realistic for the Indians to chase it down. They not only failed to score the runs but also conceded a defeat. It was 136 cricket runs this time, and definitely a deserved win for the South Africans in their fierce battle.
The bowlers of South Africa like Steyn and Tsosobe made it very clear they are not going to give an inch to the Indian team without a fight. The World champions are definitely on the back foot leading to the disastrous performance of the fierce battle. The third ODI is knocking on the door and the Africans are surely on a high. In a media conference, captain of the South African team, De Villiers told the reporters, “They are world champions. I can go for an hour if I talk about the Indian team.” He added saying that respect towards the World No.1 will always be there and keeping this as their principle, they will try to improve in the upcoming face-offs! After his deliberations Hashim Amla and Quinton De Kock took the seats to answer the queries. All through the media questions they were very calm and most importantly pretty controlled not to comment anything controversial.
When asked whether the Indian bowling was easier than he thought or not, Hashim could not stop laughing, and then said “You want such a controversial thing for me to say.” He added saying, “there is no such thing as easy meat. We have fortunately got things going our way” and credited Duminy for a good performance. All the players of South Africa put up a great fight on the field, especially JP Duminy, Wayne Parnell, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, AB Villiers, and Amla showed a terrific commitment on the ground. On the other hand some of the Indian players to name are Jadeja, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, and Yuvraj Singh put-up a fight but in vain.
The third ODI will be played at Centurion and the Indian skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is quite hopeful about it. He said that it is quite difficult to hit the right place and play a fierce, consistent cricket battle. He even made it clear that there will be no change in the team and the best possible batting order will be implemented. Let us all cross our fingers so that the third ODI becomes a competitive one rather than a one-sided cricketing frenzy!
By Sunando Basu