India tour of South Africa 2010-11 December 15, 2010

The Gamechangers

A marquee series needs a marquee contest, a main event, the headliner. This Test series between the two top teams features two of the most joyful cricketers in the world
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When MS Dhoni was asked at the pre-match press conference in Johannesburg how Virender Sehwag was dealing with the pressure of being the centre of conversation surrounding the series, he replied, "He doesn't take the pressure. That's the best part."

Dhoni wouldn't have known that around the same time the man himself was sitting coolly in a corner of the food court of the huge shopping mall - a world in itself - that is Sandton City. You wouldn't even have noticed Sehwag but for the larger presence of Ishant Sharma, and the smaller one of Gautam Gambhir, around him. Just another small group in a crowd of small groups. If you were looking for the man everyone was talking about, Sehwag didn't look like that man. If you were looking for the man thought to be the key for India in the three-Test series, Sehwag didn't look like that man either.

"You can have only one Sehwag," Dhoni said. "That's the beauty of his game. Whatever comes his way he will play according to the merit of the delivery. That's what his strength is."

Perhaps Dhoni has got it wrong there. The concept of the merit of the delivery is quite different in Sehwag's world. After scoring close to a triple-century in one day against Sri Lanka last year, he had this to say: "In the dressing room they told me I was hitting the good balls too, but if you look at it my way, I hit only the bad ones." That's why Sehwag is so important to India. They need him to redefine good balls and bad balls in testing conditions. They need to see him hit the South Africa bowlers for boundaries before the rest of the batsmen come in to bat. They need to be shown these conditions are manageable.

***

If you were looking for the other most talked-about man going in to the series, it would be the man bursting through the crease at the South Africa nets about 40km north of Johannesburg. If you were looking for the other most exciting cricketer in the world, Dale Steyn was definitely your man.

While Sehwag took it easy, Steyn spent the day working hard on the strip next to the greenish Test pitch at SuperSport Park in Centurion. You could sense he is hurting from the three centuries Sehwag has scored against attacks led by him, one of those a triple. Never mind that he has got Sehwag out four times to even the scales. You could sense he is waiting, confident in the knowledge that what Sehwag did was in his home environment. If Steyn was the underdog in all five Tests in India, Sehwag, with an average of 26 in South Africa, has some proving to do.

Steyn knows the new ball will remain effective for much longer than it does in India. Steyn knows the short ones will consistently bounce into the chest area, and not sit up for easy whips or pulls. Mind you, they didn't look easy for the other batsmen even when Steyn bowled in India.

***

Steyn to Sehwag in seven Tests: 166 deliveries, 159 runs, four dismissals. It is pure, unadulterated, uninhibited action when Steyn bowls to Sehwag. There is something very compelling about watching both these men perform. Steyn looks to take a wicket with every delivery he bowls, Sehwag looks to score off everything he faces.

At the heart lie their simple, uncomplicated games. Sehwag's is perhaps the most uncluttered mind in the cricketing world, Steyn's the most uncluttered action. Sehwag has minimised his foot-, body- and head-movement as he prepares to face the bowler. Steyn generates great amounts of pace from a 15-step run-up. It is that final moment that becomes the most exciting: Sehwag's meeting the ball, Steyn's rushing through the crease. Then boom. The shots go hurtling across the outfield, the deliveries swing away at high pace.

The respective head and the wrist always remain stable. Steyn will charge in for at least three spells a day all through the series; Sehwag will want to last a day each with his innings all through the series. Between them the two will decide who has the momentum. If Steyn gets Sehwag in the first spell, it will invariably demoralise India; if Sehwag is there to face Steyn's last spell of the day, it will invariably have been India's day.

They might be opening batsman and opening bowler, yet they operate similarly. They reduce potentially complicated arts to their very basics. Here's hoping that the weather and the toss don't conspire to delay what we have all been waiting for from the time Sehwag flayed Steyn all over the Eden Gardens in February: the most exciting bowler in the world bowling to the most exciting batsman, this time in the bowler's backyard.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 23manoj23 on December 17, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    to BrianCharlesVivek:::::SEHWAG played 28 tests out of 84 tests out of asia,,,,and so his runs out of asia will be obviously less than the runs scored in asia,,,,there is a lot of cricket remained in the series,,,,just 1st day of series on a damp&uneven bouncy pitch,,,,,if it were SA batsman,they might have struggle even moreeeee,,,,,,wait& see the Sehwag-SA bowlers rivalry,,,,DECIDE ONLY AFTER THE SERIES COMPLETION

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on December 16, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    First blood Dale Steyn, the undisputed best bowler today.

  • BrianCharlesVivek on December 16, 2010, 16:00 GMT

    Remember this is not the flat tracks of India where the ball doesnt rise above waist. Sehwag scored aorund 5000 of his total 7000 runs within ASIA. He and Raina are any days flat track bullies.

  • Tsotsi on December 16, 2010, 15:20 GMT

    Steyn 1 - Sehwag 0. There is still a lot of cricket to come and this is far from over but perhaps all this will put an end to all the Indian fan hype and posturing. As I type there is an Indian collapse occurring, so much for the GREATEST BATTING LINE-UP. Again this is only the first day of three tests - so much room for the tables to turn but again a good reminder for the Indian fans to not boast too load before the job is done.

  • on December 16, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    Sehwag gone for duck today. I am Sehwag fan, well done Dale and SA. Only one regret, why Dhoni always lost the important toss. I never want to see India batting first in the first match of series in overseas tours.

  • on December 16, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    I knew the going would be tough for India. However I had hopes since India had won a Test last time with the worst preparation possible and this time they had prepared well. But SA is a top team ; they have improved a lot since 2006 and are more deserving of the no.1 rank. India has not played a single Test overseas after reaching no.1 till now. Gambhir ,Raina and Dhoni are weak links. Sehwag,Dravid have gone. Sehwag the aggressor and Dravid the man to rescue India from an early collapse. Now only Tendulkar and Laxman can rescue India. Rankings can cause a lot of emotions and hype but in the end they do not mean much.SA have proved that.India with no.1 ranking but underdogs according to Siddharth Monga. How true. In Joburg 2006 we had a decent start and hence managed to reach a fighting total of 249 but 27/3 is parlous. Quite a few people here commented that India should win the series just because they are no.1 How wrong they were.

  • JustOUT on December 16, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    well.. Steyn 1 -0 Sehwag.. :)

  • Fifthman on December 16, 2010, 13:12 GMT

    Steyn 1, Sehwag 0.

    Sign of things to come, I think.

  • 23manoj23 on December 16, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    WITH REFERENCE TO ALL::::::Sehwag failed in last series in SA 2006-07,,yes i agree..but,,,that was the time wer he is in lean pace of his carrer loosing form ,,,also,,,the then coach completely mislead sehwag's mind set at that time,,,,plz just dont decide his performance on basis of that 2006-07 IND-SA series performance,

  • harshal11k on December 16, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    all talks bout rain, sehwag, steyn, pitches .m glad tat sachin is staying away from the limelight of all commentators, fans.. etc. m sure once he gets his 50th ton, no comment over here or anywhere will be without him

  • 23manoj23 on December 17, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    to BrianCharlesVivek:::::SEHWAG played 28 tests out of 84 tests out of asia,,,,and so his runs out of asia will be obviously less than the runs scored in asia,,,,there is a lot of cricket remained in the series,,,,just 1st day of series on a damp&uneven bouncy pitch,,,,,if it were SA batsman,they might have struggle even moreeeee,,,,,,wait& see the Sehwag-SA bowlers rivalry,,,,DECIDE ONLY AFTER THE SERIES COMPLETION

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on December 16, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    First blood Dale Steyn, the undisputed best bowler today.

  • BrianCharlesVivek on December 16, 2010, 16:00 GMT

    Remember this is not the flat tracks of India where the ball doesnt rise above waist. Sehwag scored aorund 5000 of his total 7000 runs within ASIA. He and Raina are any days flat track bullies.

  • Tsotsi on December 16, 2010, 15:20 GMT

    Steyn 1 - Sehwag 0. There is still a lot of cricket to come and this is far from over but perhaps all this will put an end to all the Indian fan hype and posturing. As I type there is an Indian collapse occurring, so much for the GREATEST BATTING LINE-UP. Again this is only the first day of three tests - so much room for the tables to turn but again a good reminder for the Indian fans to not boast too load before the job is done.

  • on December 16, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    Sehwag gone for duck today. I am Sehwag fan, well done Dale and SA. Only one regret, why Dhoni always lost the important toss. I never want to see India batting first in the first match of series in overseas tours.

  • on December 16, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    I knew the going would be tough for India. However I had hopes since India had won a Test last time with the worst preparation possible and this time they had prepared well. But SA is a top team ; they have improved a lot since 2006 and are more deserving of the no.1 rank. India has not played a single Test overseas after reaching no.1 till now. Gambhir ,Raina and Dhoni are weak links. Sehwag,Dravid have gone. Sehwag the aggressor and Dravid the man to rescue India from an early collapse. Now only Tendulkar and Laxman can rescue India. Rankings can cause a lot of emotions and hype but in the end they do not mean much.SA have proved that.India with no.1 ranking but underdogs according to Siddharth Monga. How true. In Joburg 2006 we had a decent start and hence managed to reach a fighting total of 249 but 27/3 is parlous. Quite a few people here commented that India should win the series just because they are no.1 How wrong they were.

  • JustOUT on December 16, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    well.. Steyn 1 -0 Sehwag.. :)

  • Fifthman on December 16, 2010, 13:12 GMT

    Steyn 1, Sehwag 0.

    Sign of things to come, I think.

  • 23manoj23 on December 16, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    WITH REFERENCE TO ALL::::::Sehwag failed in last series in SA 2006-07,,yes i agree..but,,,that was the time wer he is in lean pace of his carrer loosing form ,,,also,,,the then coach completely mislead sehwag's mind set at that time,,,,plz just dont decide his performance on basis of that 2006-07 IND-SA series performance,

  • harshal11k on December 16, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    all talks bout rain, sehwag, steyn, pitches .m glad tat sachin is staying away from the limelight of all commentators, fans.. etc. m sure once he gets his 50th ton, no comment over here or anywhere will be without him

  • on December 16, 2010, 11:17 GMT

    india and Saouth africa are the best test team in the world qho ever wins this series proves to be best in the world. hpe india should win this series and get momentum before the WC 2011

  • itduzz on December 16, 2010, 10:58 GMT

    Sehwag averages 13 against Asif.

  • anonymousfan on December 16, 2010, 10:57 GMT

    Personally i feel that Sehwag has earned his stripes. Even if he fails in the three tests i will still consider him to be the most destructive Indian batsman ever (yes even with SRT around). However i would like to see Mr Dhoni and Mr Raina justify their hugely bloated pay packets in the SA pitches. I hope all three tests have greentops so that they can silence doubters like me once and for all.

  • pachako on December 16, 2010, 10:51 GMT

    people who making comment here forget about last series where shewag was scoring only 49 runs in 5 innings as opner, then he was asked to play at no 7 in the thirt test because of his fear of facing southafrican pace attack.

  • on December 16, 2010, 10:44 GMT

    people actually think that Sehwag is the one who carries India's hope for a win on the Sub-Continent not knowing that we have got the likes of Laxman, Gautam, Dravid, Sach in the squad, those man are looking to club that leather ball as far as possible and they can stabilize things from any region, also we have Habarjan who just showed that he's a potential batsman too, so don't put the battle on the wrong course, Steyn neither is not the one who holds the anchoring for SA, coz if he gets hit he looses form quickly.

  • pachako on December 16, 2010, 10:39 GMT

    In 5 matches he played in southafrica he has averged 26 but still we are comparing him with the world most striking bowler big joke...... his score so far there 105,31,13,4,33,0,8,40,4 without that 105 his average wuld have been in 16

  • pachako on December 16, 2010, 10:38 GMT

    In 5 matches he played in southafrica he has averged 26 but still we are comparing him with the world most striking bowler big joke......

  • on December 16, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    Bangladesh is coming... after next 2/3 years no team can beat bangladesh.....

  • cabinet96 on December 16, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    @Chandrasekaran Ta What do you mean, Steyn always pitches it up looking for wickets no matter what. If he gets driven down the ground he will not be afraid to get the batsmen to try and do it again and this time fail. Just like Sehwag is not afraid to dominate fast bowlers and make them go on the defensive. This is why it will be such a great battle because they are both attacking and fearless players. BTW I just try and make a controversial statements to cause a debate, it should be a great battle and best of luck to both men. :)

  • Samar_Singh on December 16, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    over exaggerated article... there are many more to watch around ... dont forget AB devilliers, hashim amla , smith, tendulkar, dravid, VVVVVVVS etc...

  • bestbuddy on December 16, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    @Nampally - it is a pity that you (and most others) never saw the best of Barry Richards - he once scored 325* in a days cricket for South Australia at Perth, a fast bowlers paradise...the opposition opening bowlers were Dennis Lillee and Graham Mckenzie, who between them took 600 wickets for Australia. He also scored 9 hundreds before lunch in first class cricket...and this in an era before the great west indies teams and modern day crickets fast pace.

  • on December 16, 2010, 10:21 GMT

    STEYN WINS THE BATTLE AGAIN ST SEHWAG

  • 23manoj23 on December 16, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Hello Mr.Cabinet96::::Sehwag has proved in many occasions that he cann play exceptionally in highly testing conditions 1)His 1st test century on his debut vs SA,,,wen india lost 5 early wickets,,,he faced superbly pollock,,allan donald and many 2)NZ series 2002-03,,,wen every batsmen of both team failed cheaply,,,he had hit 2 centuries 3)India-Sl test series 2008-09,,,201* 4)India-Sl-NZ ODI series 2010 5)Westindies tour 2006,,,wer he scored 181 6)Adelaide 155 in IND AUS Series 2007-08,,,&Melborne 195 runs 2003-04 AUS series and many are there,,,plz stop saying tat he is a flat track bully,,,, He performed superbly in all conditions

  • on December 16, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    A good one..surely this will eb a good contest..but frankly speaking India have to work hard to make win in South Africa..They are strong in Anywhere..and Home specially...although the team who dominate 6 to 8 seasons they should won the game..lets watch...:)

  • on December 16, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    A good one..surely this will eb a good contest..but frankly speaking India have to work hard to make win in South Africa..They are strong in Anywhere..and Home specially...although the team who dominate 6 to 8 seasons they should won the game..lets watch...:)

  • Zainu.Munawari on December 16, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    @Siddh: Absolutely fantastic.... Great piece of comparison, I wish, I could see such a exciting competition between these two warriors....

    Steyn Vs Sehwag: the most exciting bowler in the world bowling to the most exciting batsman.... <---- superb & wonderful lines

  • MasterClass on December 16, 2010, 6:57 GMT

    One gets the feeling that SA is expecting Sehwag to come out guns blazing and go down in the process. I hope that Kirsten/Upton have counseled him that it's best for India and totally demoralizing for SA if he bats with a measured approach. The biggest flaw in the Steyn vs. Sehwag contest (for the Steyn backers) is that to demoralize SA and blunt Steyn all that's needed is for Sehwag to be there at the crease. Because the difference in the threats of both these lethal players is that Sehwag's is the only one that carries a potential component, while Steyn's threat is either there or not. What I mean is that with Sehwag at the crease the entire SA lineup is ALWAYS under pressure that he may explode at any time. For Steyn, he either gets wickets or is exposed as a non-issue for the rest of the opposition. BIG DIFFERENCE!!

  • amit1807kuwait on December 16, 2010, 6:24 GMT

    If Steyn gets Sehwag in his first spell, dare I say, Steyn would not be required for a third spell in a day in those circumstances

  • peeyushin on December 16, 2010, 6:19 GMT

    Superbly Written!!!! Awsome Comparison.... Beautiful!!!!

  • mohamed1984 on December 16, 2010, 4:48 GMT

    Excellent article!!! Both are match winners of the the respective team. India needs to play as a team and should not relay much on sehwag. Sehwag has to prove that he can be dangerous any where around the world and not only in sub continent. Beautiful analysis of both the players !! Good Work !!!

  • on December 16, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    On behalf of India@ If SA can beat India 2-0..We will give them test crieket title..Because current India has Viru, Little Master, Gati, VVS, David, Zak, Bajji and hooker Dhoni..Love to see whats going on..

  • on December 16, 2010, 4:24 GMT

    its all too much hype for individuals being given.... this isn't a boxing ring, where just a punch counts..... I dnt understnd y every one is behind styne vs sehwag then SA vs IND..... if such hype is around individual players, we will not be able to enjoy the 5 days of match once the players is not up to expectations...... plz watch this series as a team sport to enjoy the series and at the end give credit to individual for the performance........ the team that performs as a bunch of 11 shld win the series....I'm just waiting for the match to be started between two gr8 teams......

  • on December 16, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    Nicely written sentence: "If Steyn gets Sehwag in the first spell, it will invariably demoralise India; if Sehwag is there to face Steyn's last spell of the day, it will invariably have been India's day"

  • bharat.agr on December 16, 2010, 3:26 GMT

    very nicely written article...I must admit that Steyn starts with a slight advantage on his side as he is playing in his own backyard. Though I would not be surprised to see steyn getting flat if Sehwag shows his true best and launch and onslaught on SAs opening bowlers. Both are great fighters and I would love to see an evenly contested battle between the two very aggressive players.

  • Nampally on December 16, 2010, 1:52 GMT

    A fascinating comparison Siddarth. I like to see Sehwag play at least 2 sessions. It will be such a joy not only to Indian team but all the cricket fans watching him in action.There is no batsmen like Sehwag when he is going at full throttle.Who can score nearly 300 runs in less than a day in the modern test Cricket at a strike rate of nearly 100. Gary Sobers is the only batsmen who had the destructive power of Sehwag at his best. Don Bradman was too orthodox and he is the only on to score a Test triple century in a single day. However even the great Don was not as entertaining as Sehwag. Anyway let us hope Sehwag does give us the entertainment we are all looking for in the SA series. He is definitely key to the Indian batting.

  • AvidCricFan on December 16, 2010, 1:27 GMT

    Contrary to what I would like to see, India will struggle in SA, specially in the first game with the aging batting line up and ineffective bowling.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on December 16, 2010, 1:15 GMT

    the biggest blockbuster of the year chappelli's bradman vs NO 1 test bowler

  • Nadeem1976 on December 16, 2010, 0:52 GMT

    Yeh. Say it. Say it. Before the match starts you can say any thing. This south africa who knows who is going to be star this time. But by far if middle dont work for india then go go ta ta. Dont ask Sehwag to play big innings , its not sub continent. Its SA.

    India needs to play test match as a complete team and they cannot relay on one or two players.

    Collective team work is require to play against SA in SA and Aus in Aus.

    No heriosm, just sime team play , like eng is doing in Aus. Every body from top to bottom should play their part as humble team player not like a super star.

    Its not WC, Its not T2020, its pure hard test cricket for India. Just play like a team and show us that you are really number 1 allround team.

  • sankar800 on December 16, 2010, 0:32 GMT

    Sehwag and Steyn both will have sucess! Sehwag will score big and Steyn will take early wkts of other Indian batsmen except Sehwag!

  • Praxis on December 16, 2010, 0:18 GMT

    Beautifully written article. Shewag's batting's is surely something very very special. But its Steyn whose bowling I look forward to see. This present era of cricket has very few quicks of his kind.

  • knowledge_eater on December 16, 2010, 0:06 GMT

    Brilliant writing, you have just cross the barrier of my top 3 cricinfo writer. :D

  • RanjithShettyJordan on December 15, 2010, 23:15 GMT

    The most important leave out side the off-stump is sachin.I wanted this to happen from last 10years.I think that, when all are concentrating with others, sachin will do his best.Cannot wait untill the game restarts.I wish sachin to make a name where Gandhiji started his political carrier and earned independence to Mother India .

  • on December 15, 2010, 22:51 GMT

    To cabinet96: Shewag scored his maiden century in SA under swinging conditions. His maiden century required only 96 balls. Shewag is fearless. Steyn is not fearless. Steyn may be little feared to bowl to Shewag but Shewag will never never never ever be feared to face Steyn. That's the difference.

  • on December 15, 2010, 22:39 GMT

    I am glad to see that the pressure is not on Sachin. I have a feeling it will be Sachin who will deliver the goods for India in the batting department. I remain worried about who will deliver for India in bowling department. Harbhajan has not delivered outside the subcontinent in a long time and the pace bowlers are too inconsistent.

  • on December 15, 2010, 22:31 GMT

    beautifully written ,... this will be a beauty to watch the duel between Sehwag and Steyn...

  • vaidyar on December 15, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    Well, isn't it kind of obvious that a good ball for someone can be a bad ball for someone else? No one 'redefines' them. If your strengths are good and you back them, you have more bad balls than good balls. Even within an innings a good ball doesn't remain a good ball if you keep bowling it all the time and are predictable. This article reminds me of college tests where you had no idea beyond a single sentence on a topic but would spin the whole thing into multiple paragraphs and bore the evaluator into giving you higher scores.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on December 15, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    Spot on!They are the 2 most destructive players in the world and of their generation and the contest will be fascinating once they are at their best. If one of them is off it will be one sided.

  • on December 15, 2010, 20:17 GMT

    Well! This article had to spring up at some point and truly so! Of all the hype surrounding the series, this has the most awaited contest, the defining moment of the series itself. The World's best and most fearsome fast bowler at present running in to bowl at the most fearless opening batsmen of our times has to be 'THE CONTEST'. Whichever of these two great cricketers gain the momentum over the other, shall invariably hand over more than the necessary edge to their sides.

    Wonderfully written article...Can't wait for the match to start!

  • cabinet96 on December 15, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    Steyn will win the battle. Sewag's technique is fine for when the ball is not moving much and is coming of with little pace and bounce. India will get a big shock when they find Sewag will not perform.

  • on December 15, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    Certainly a premier contest. The last decade saw the few remaining great bowlers of the game retire. The trio of world beating spinners aside McGrath, Ambrose, Walsh, Wasim and Waqar hung up their boots while the very good ones like Gillespie, Flintoff, Lee, Ntini and potentially great Shane Bond all succumbed to heartless decks, small boundaries and broader bats. It's a sight to behold then to see a genuine quick with nearly complete fast bowler's arsenal like Steyn sport the average and strike-rates of bygone era. Sehwag on the other hand has rewritten the role of Test match opener scoring big and at a faster clip than anyone in the history of the game. He is the enforcer of this Indian side looking to negate conditions and create results out of seeming stalemates. Let's hope they both get to showcase their talent.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on December 15, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    Certainly a premier contest. The last decade saw the few remaining great bowlers of the game retire. The trio of world beating spinners aside McGrath, Ambrose, Walsh, Wasim and Waqar hung up their boots while the very good ones like Gillespie, Flintoff, Lee, Ntini and potentially great Shane Bond all succumbed to heartless decks, small boundaries and broader bats. It's a sight to behold then to see a genuine quick with nearly complete fast bowler's arsenal like Steyn sport the average and strike-rates of bygone era. Sehwag on the other hand has rewritten the role of Test match opener scoring big and at a faster clip than anyone in the history of the game. He is the enforcer of this Indian side looking to negate conditions and create results out of seeming stalemates. Let's hope they both get to showcase their talent.

  • cabinet96 on December 15, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    Steyn will win the battle. Sewag's technique is fine for when the ball is not moving much and is coming of with little pace and bounce. India will get a big shock when they find Sewag will not perform.

  • on December 15, 2010, 20:17 GMT

    Well! This article had to spring up at some point and truly so! Of all the hype surrounding the series, this has the most awaited contest, the defining moment of the series itself. The World's best and most fearsome fast bowler at present running in to bowl at the most fearless opening batsmen of our times has to be 'THE CONTEST'. Whichever of these two great cricketers gain the momentum over the other, shall invariably hand over more than the necessary edge to their sides.

    Wonderfully written article...Can't wait for the match to start!

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on December 15, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    Spot on!They are the 2 most destructive players in the world and of their generation and the contest will be fascinating once they are at their best. If one of them is off it will be one sided.

  • vaidyar on December 15, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    Well, isn't it kind of obvious that a good ball for someone can be a bad ball for someone else? No one 'redefines' them. If your strengths are good and you back them, you have more bad balls than good balls. Even within an innings a good ball doesn't remain a good ball if you keep bowling it all the time and are predictable. This article reminds me of college tests where you had no idea beyond a single sentence on a topic but would spin the whole thing into multiple paragraphs and bore the evaluator into giving you higher scores.

  • on December 15, 2010, 22:31 GMT

    beautifully written ,... this will be a beauty to watch the duel between Sehwag and Steyn...

  • on December 15, 2010, 22:39 GMT

    I am glad to see that the pressure is not on Sachin. I have a feeling it will be Sachin who will deliver the goods for India in the batting department. I remain worried about who will deliver for India in bowling department. Harbhajan has not delivered outside the subcontinent in a long time and the pace bowlers are too inconsistent.

  • on December 15, 2010, 22:51 GMT

    To cabinet96: Shewag scored his maiden century in SA under swinging conditions. His maiden century required only 96 balls. Shewag is fearless. Steyn is not fearless. Steyn may be little feared to bowl to Shewag but Shewag will never never never ever be feared to face Steyn. That's the difference.

  • RanjithShettyJordan on December 15, 2010, 23:15 GMT

    The most important leave out side the off-stump is sachin.I wanted this to happen from last 10years.I think that, when all are concentrating with others, sachin will do his best.Cannot wait untill the game restarts.I wish sachin to make a name where Gandhiji started his political carrier and earned independence to Mother India .

  • knowledge_eater on December 16, 2010, 0:06 GMT

    Brilliant writing, you have just cross the barrier of my top 3 cricinfo writer. :D