South Africa v India, 2nd ODI, Johannesburg January 15, 2011

How not to use a Powerplay

Plays of the Day from the second ODI between South Africa and India at Wanderers

The mosts
Sachin Tendulkar has reached a stage in his career where everything he does seems to break a record - his own, if not someone else's. As he walked out to bat today, he joined Sanath Jayasuriya as the most capped ODI player, with 444 matches. In terms of innings, he went one better than Jayasuriya; this was the 433rd time he was batting in ODIs.

Graeme Smith, though, is not that familiar with records, but as he went out for his 139th ODI toss, he broke Hansie Cronje's record of having captained South Africa in 138 matches.

The bouncer
The moment he saw Suresh Raina, Lonwabo Tsotsobe went on a bouncer spree. So excited was he that he nearly bounced himself with one, pitching it at his toes in a way that the ball almost hit him in the face during his follow-through. Smith, fielding at straighter extra cover, had the best seat in the house and fell down laughing.

The contest
Watching cricket in South Africa is a complete experience. People come with their portable chairs, iceboxes full of beer, and spend lovely time either on grass banks or in the stands. During the innings breaks, the kids either get to play cricket on the field or take parts in contests, as has been a ritual at Wanderers. It is a long-standing tradition, and they keep records: Faf du Plessis today broke the previous record held by Johan Botha, set at a time when he used to be an extra.

It involves running along the 30-yard circle, doing various tasks. First up is to lift and rearrange three sets of balls from one cone to the other. Then run along, collect a ball and bowl at the plastic stumps. Can't move to the next before hitting the stumps with a legal delivery. Then a machine throws up skiers. Catching one of them completes the next task. And finally one tennis ball has to be hit from the 30-yard circle into the crowd. One extra from each side, and kids from the crowd take part in the contest. India's R Ashwin took one minute and three seconds, one second better than the best among the kids. Botha's record was 56 seconds, which du Plessis smashed by three seconds.

The Powerplay, and how not to use it
After South Africa displayed the perfect use of the Powerplay in the first ODI, India showed the dark side of the moon today. When Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni were going well, India didn't ask for it, even though Yuvraj was starting to hit aerial shots. Three overs after Yuvraj's dismissal, India asked for one, and immediately lost Raina. A maiden over followed. Then another wicket. Then another. Four wickets fell for 14 runs during those five overs. South Africa did not fare much better, taking their Powerplay in the 32nd over, and hurtling from 145 for 4 to 165 for - a passage of play that ultimately cost them the game.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Gavin on January 17, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    Poor poor cricket from SA here. Every time SA loses an ODI, regardless of the circumstances, they are called chokers, so we have goten used to that. That we could not win this match against such a rubbish indian attack from being in such a strong position, I cannot explain. I think they are suffering from over confidence, typical South acfrican arrogance. Bothas dismissal is exactly the reason why UDRS must be used. LBW without even hitting the pad??? I know India think every ball they bowl deserves a wicket but come on??? India do not like the udrs system because they think everything is out when they bowl, and nothing is out when they bat. Just look at their UDRS appeals which totaly supports this. Good luck with the next game, looks to be a good series.

  • Praveen on January 16, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    Its very strange about this so called tough tour of India. All experts and articles showing that Indian team is playing far below as per its calibre and as compared to SA team. But still in advantage. Test match Series 1-1 ODI Series 1-1 (till now) T-20 Series 1-0 So what could be the scenario if the player would be in top form?

  • Sibhi on January 16, 2011, 9:21 GMT

    JustOUT - Excuse me My friend.I think You got ur Definition 4 Chocking wrong.It actually goes like this - The team Which fails to win After Playing well for the most part and not the team which competed well enuf to come back from back foot to score a win.SA failed to win Inspite keepin India under the mat.They had a score of 4 down 140 odd in their first 32.Needed jus 50runs in 110 Balls :D but somehow managed to Bundle out.Shows which is a Team with the better Temperament.Only No 1 teams(even though they are not 1st in the rankings) can come back this good.A teams Choking habit comes to light in these Kind of matches and i'm not surprised who lost it in the End!! :D Seems like SA players have nerves Like sand,Lil bit of wind and they go everywhere.But this is turning into a good Contest :D.Lookin the way SA plays,Badly want to see a match against Pakistan.Even though the series was lost,They tested the SA players Big time.

  • Arvind on January 16, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    Albie Morkel is who South Africa needs! Cannot believe a player of his caliber is being ignored...

  • Vikram on January 16, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    I hope Tsotsobe doesn't turn out to be another Ntini - a bowler made to think he is destined for greatness courtesy of Indian batsmen, only to be exposed by other teams and fall by the sidelines.

  • Praveen on January 16, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    I don't see how Sachin is going to play the whole world cup. He keeps getting injured. He should seriously do something about it. I want Sachin to be a part (and also play a major part) in India's World cup campaign. If he is there, India have got a huge chance to win the cup.

  • Dummy4 on January 16, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    Funny Tsotosbe... No idea why he is dancing too much for everything... The only reason why he got bunch of wickets was Indian batsmen targeted him instead of steyn and morkel.. And Suddenly this guy thinks that he is one of the greatest bowler ever produced in SA... This guy shouts so much... He could never become Ntini...

  • Satish Chanderi on January 16, 2011, 1:56 GMT

    very poor performance by SA. I had literally lost hope for Ind as Smith was going greats guns but definitely Dhoni's bowling changes and field placements were spot on today. Still its going to be difficult for Ind in the remaining matches as Sachin has got injured. I guess they have no choice but have vijay open with kohli and pathan can come into the middle order.

  • NIHAR on January 15, 2011, 23:14 GMT

    Both the team perfrom badly but fortunately for India S.A played more badly and allowed India to be alive in the series. The matter of concern for India is still Rohit Sharma and Raina din't grow into man from boy and as Tendulkar is returning home so now onous is on Yuvraj singh to keep Indian hope alive.

  • Steve on January 15, 2011, 22:34 GMT

    Unless Raina corrects his glaring weakness against short pitched bowling quickly, his days in int cricket will be numbered. Sachin hasn't been able to guide top order in the absence of both Shewag and Gambhir. I think he should come lower in the order. Vijay is just not fit for 1-day cricket. He should be included in Tests only when needed. Lucky escape for India which does not hide issues within the team combination.

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