Sehwag should open

The match is nicely poised going into the last two days (02:39)

January 4, 2007

Transcript

South Africa v India, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 3rd day

Sehwag should open

January 4, 2007

The match is nicely poised going into the last two days of the Test match. South Africa were dismissed for 373, just 5 minutes to go for stumps, and India had a handy lead of 41 runs.

It would be difficult to say which team won the day today, though one can say that India has a slight upper hand because they got the lead; but if you look at South Africa's performance it has to be said that they allowed India to get back in the contest at least on a couple of occasions. South Africa looked good till Graeme Smith was dismissed. It had nothing to do with the bowling but it was due to the brilliance of Virender Sehwag who took the catch. Same happened with Jacques Kallis, he had a lapse in concentration and holed out in the deep trying to hit Sachin Tendulkar out of the ground. At that stage South Africa were looking good but they lost the wickets of Kallis and Ashwell Prince in quick succession and that allowed India to come back.

Shaun Pollock and Mark Boucher had a key partnership. They could have easily gone into the shell, instead they kept being positive. They realised the fact that the Indian bowlers were tiring and the fielding was not the greatest, so they put pressure on the fielders and got a good partnership going, till Pollock was dismissed to the third over of the new ball just playing away from the body. That allowed India to come back in. Boucher was dismissed and then Anil Kumble cleaned things up to give India a handy lead of 41 runs.

This match can go either way. There is also a possibility of a draw. If South Africa come out and have a good first session then they have every chance of bowling India out on day four. On the other hand if India start off well and get a good platform in place then they can call the shots and try and set South Africa a target on the fifth day, when batting may not be easy.

A tactical move that Rahul Dravid might have to make is to get Sehwag to open the innings. He is a positive player and if he gets away then India can call the shots from the outset. One or one-and-half hours of Sehwag tomorrow could set the trend for a really exciting Test match. So the match is nicely poised at the end of the third day.


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