South Africa v India, 1st ODI, Durban January 12, 2011

The long hop and the Inzamam memorial

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the first ODI between South Africa and India in Durban

The Batting Powerplay
It was perfectly timed and perfectly used by South Africa, which was a refreshing sign, for the middle overs had become a drone after a frenetic start. South Africa had two set batsmen in the middle, and the India spinners were looking to sort of rush through the overs. Then, in the 28th over, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy asked the umpire to rotate his hand in a circular motion. That brought back the pace bowlers who struggled through the day. Without playing a single wild shot, the duo added 45 in the next five overs.

The long hop
When nothing is working for you, in any form of cricket, when all else has failed, do try bringing on a part-time offspinner and see if he can bowl a juicy enough half-tracker. Rohit Sharma tried that for India in his second over, and was handsomely rewarded by de Villiers, who hit it straight down deep midwicket's throat. One wicket soon became two, two soon became three, and India ended up conceding 30 fewer than they were expected to.

The preparation
Fielders often charge in to prepare to field a shot that might come their way, but MS Dhoni, in the last over of South Africa's innings, showed further foresight. With Lonwabo Tsotsobe on strike, he was so awake to the eventuality of a scrambled bye, he threw down his right glove even before Zaheer Khan let the ball go. That's some anticipation.

The Inzamam memorial
Rohit Sharma does tend to end up on the wrong side of umpiring decisions, but he has also tended to emulate Inzamam-ul-Haq's slow walks back to the pavilion. He was given out caught behind off Morne Morkel's bowling, but the sound came from his bat hitting the pad, something the umpire missed. And then he stood there at the wicket, looked at the umpire, looked down, and then began evoking Inzamam. Thankfully, this didn't go to the extent it did in India's game against West Indies in the World Twenty20, when Rohit tried to urge Billy Bowden to call for the third umpire after he had been given out caught off the forearm.

The reversal in fortune
Two weeks ago, at the same venue, Ishant Sharma got a crucial deflection in his follow-through to get the wicket of a backing-up Jacques Kallis. This time around in Durban, the roles reversed not only in terms of winners and losers, but also in terms of deflecting balls onto the stumps for a run-out. India had staged a mini recovery from 43 for 4 with a 62-run partnership between Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. A straight drive from Kohli, though, found Wayne Parnell's hand on its way to the stumps at the non-striker's end to send Dhoni back. This was actually the third time during the tour that a batsman has been run out in that fashion. VVS Laxman was caught backing up in the first innings in the third Test in Cape Town when Paul Harris dropped a stinging catch from Sachin Tendulkar but ended up running Laxman out anyway.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pratik on January 13, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    @TheNeutralAnalyst: It's a shame isn't it? The world #2 couldn't beat an average and ordinary team in their own backyard, and even contrived to put up the lowest score in a completed innings against them. Must have been an aberration. And oh, by the way, why should slow tracks not count? Just because the best teams couldnt ever master the slow tracks well enough to win a series there against an average and ordinary team? Paradoxes always come in pairs, yeah.

  • Coolest on January 13, 2011, 18:09 GMT

    I don't agree with MSD's terrible policy of bowling part-timers in ODIs whenever you have the opposition struggling. I have watched every single ODI under his captaincy and I can remind people of numerous occasions whenever the opposition is in trouble, MSD suddenly decides to bowl part-timers instead of countinuing with his main bowlers to make sure you also get the lower-order batsmen out in time before they settle down by nudging the part-timers around for singles n doubles. Latest example: SA were 82-3 n then the very next over after Amla got, MSD applied his part-timer policy which took SA to 213 for 2, which took the game away from India. Rather then blaming the Indian batsmen, the FACT is that they lost the game even before the batsmen came out to bat with that 130 run partnership!! Please don't expect our batsmen to score over 250 against the supreme SA bowling attack. If India are to win more ODIs on SA pitches then MSD has to play 5 bowlers, cuz v got no seaming allrounder.

  • Ashok on January 13, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    @amit1807/Kuwait: I do not live in the past Sir, but I am a realist.How can India afford to give 289 runs to a team without their star batsman, Kallis? This pitch was aiding spinners yet India's ace spinner, Harbhajan, could not get a single wicket while Part/Time spinners took 3 Wkts. Kumble bowled brilliantly in last years IPL. He is still good & better than the crop of spinners India has.He may not be fit for a 5 day test match but still good for ODI's, like Murali.India must consider this option seriously because the Selectors have done next to nothing in developing the Indian bowling.I can understand India being weak on pace bowlers but Spin bowling is what India always excelled in. Harbhajan is anything but a shadow of the bowler he was. He managed 7 wickets in the 3rd Test match. So let him play tests but for God sake get some one who is a good spin bowler capable of taking wickets economically. Other choice is Ashwin .But doing nothing is not an option for the World cup ODI's.

  • vinay on January 13, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    If only India batted first, Ashish Nehra would have gotten another 6 wickets like he did against England in WC 2003. SA have been drubbed in world T20 by India. They failed miserably and got themselves knocked out. Australia were clueless against Ntini in one of the ODI's. The fact is its not easy to bat under lights in SA and especially in Durban.

    I still cannot believe some folks calling India fast track bullies. They might not have followed the test series.. Cant blame the T20 fans.


    I agree with the D/N matches but cannot agree with the wrong decisions..

    What are the 9 wrong decisions? There were some poor decisions against both the teams.lIn the third test Umpiring was spot on. Ian Gould's umpiring in the test series was some of the best i have seen. Eng lost both home and away series against India last time they played. They have to beat India and SL in India and SL to really claim no 1. I dont see that happening anytime soon

  • shrikant on January 13, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    @TheNeutralAnalyst why all you guy's comment in the middel of the series. you can not decide the team is avg or better from 1 game or 1 series . let this series over the time will tell who is no1 and who is avg. we indian's don't give answer with our mouth we always give answer with bat be ready..........

  • shrikant on January 13, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    @ALL SA FAN don't ve over excited you also called ind avg team in test matches what happen we alsmost domineted last 2 test and drawn the series it's just a start and we all no india's history they are slow stater's in any series but they will bounce back and stop calling kalis is a great cricketer if you take him in odi's it's just a waste of a place.

  • Shahzan on January 13, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    India is so-called the wolrd no. 1 because of its slow and pitches. India has always been an ordinary and average team. Indian players have been over-rated.

  • kallu siddartha on January 13, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    Stop it guyz..How are you saying that INDIA is a avg team??? INDIA is the best team at the moment and will be the best bad game and u are making a mess here..just watch india taking the 2011 world cup..SACHIN and DHONI will lift the trophy..!!

  • diren on January 13, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    king Kallis is the greatest cricketer of all time!!!! Dominating performance by SA!!!! Just add kaliis and Thair in place of ingram and Botha and you have a world class team with the best bowling attack in the world!!

  • Dummy4 on January 13, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    ok i have been saying this for a long time , but cricinfo never publishes my comments, but ill say it again. In SA, in a D/N match , win the toss and bat because the ball does too much under the lights. The game was half lost when SA batted. And in a day match, win the toss and bowl to exploit the early movement. Secondly, this is kind of a poetic justice considering SA shda won the test series 3-0 barring 9 wrong decisions. Its surprising when india got bad decisions on the aus tour everyone made a big deal out of it. Now no one says anything. Now we can all see what happens when correct decisions are made. thank goodness the umpires did not take pressure. Also, ill say it again England is the true no1, followed by sa and india. India is at best number 3

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