South Africa v India, only T20, Johannesburg March 30, 2012

Fitting farcical end to meaningless game

Perhaps its biggest failing was that the match was marketed as a tribute to Jacques Kallis. Only an invitation to contest a pillow-fight or a game of noughts and crosses would be a more ill-fitting way to honour him
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On any other day, this could have been an extraordinary game of Twenty20 cricket. South Africa smashed a total at almost 11 runs to the over, India's chase began speedily and the match was set up for a thrilling finish. Today was not that day, though. The game was labelled a farce and no matter which way you look at it, that's pretty much what it was.

Sure, all traditions have to start somewhere and this one is just trying to find its feet so it probably should be cut some slack. It had its beginnings at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban in January 2011, when the idea to have a marquee game to bid farewell to Makhaya Ntini became reality. Accompanied by a Bollywood concert, it was a novelty. If it was repeated once a year, at a suitable time, it would have been able to retain that novelty.

But the naked truth about the way it was handled this year is that it felt forced. Neither CSA nor the BCCI made any attempt to disguise how loudly money talks in their decision to have this game on this day. It has been slotted in a little over a week after India's journey at the Asia Cup ended, five days before the IPL begins and less than 48 hours after South Africa returned from their tour of New Zealand. Slotted in is giving it too much credit, it has been squeezed in the way a couch has to move through a doorway, awkwardly.

South Africa countered the scheduling maze by picking a squad that involved only one player who was in the Test squad in New Zealand - Lonwabo Tsotsobe, the most economical bowler of the night. Their fringe players, such as Colin Ingram and Farhaan Berhardien, gave a decent account of themselves but whether their performances will materialise into more chances to play international cricket is questionable. There's every chance that most of what happened in this match will be forgotten.

Gary Kirsten, the coach, suggested that South Africa would treat this match as a "fairly light-hearted" affair. In fact, they handled it with even less care than that.

The squad did not hold a single training session. Late on Thursday afternoon, the day before the match, Johan Botha had not even met Kirsten, nor did he have any idea about who would be in his starting XI. Two hours before the start, none of that had changed. Dane Vilas was clueless whether he would keep or Morne van Wyk would get the gloves. Tsotsobe had only just arrived from Port Elizabeth and didn't know if he would play. South Africa's management were sending a message that they would treat a match without context with the casualness it calls for.

India treated it with more respect. They arrived two days before with some of their best players, held a net session and discussed the match with sincerity. MS Dhoni usually has a hint of mischief in his voice but that only came when he left his press conference and slipped in this prophetic remark. "Let's hope it doesn't rain," Dhoni quipped. But, rain it did. The showers added a different dimension of meaninglessness to an already hollow game and almost fittingly brought it to its end.

Perhaps its biggest failing was that the match was marketed as a tribute to Jacques Kallis. Only an invitation to contest a pillow-fight or a game of noughts and crosses would be a more ill-fitting way to honour the all-rounder. Kallis has served South African cricket as a colossus of courage and class. This match was neither of those things. It was crass.

It had all the usual ingredients of a T20 match. Music, dancers, fireworks, cheeky shots, body-flinging fielding, and a constant drone around the stands that got louder and louder until it was deafening. Kallis and all that he has given South African cricket deserved more that. Actually, he probably deserved less. A less meaningless and more thoughtful way of showing appreciation for his service to the game. He also deserved it at a different time, considering retirement is not in his immediate plans.

The man himself would never say so and the money being given to his scholarship foundation softens the blow of such a garish gesture. If only the blow was not so hard to start off with.

Edited by Abhishek Purohit

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Fast_Track_Bully on April 2, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    funny to see people who criticizing Indian bowling not mentioning about the wickets fell during chase! Does that mean 'great bowling'?? If we had a 20 over match, India will chase down that total. India proved that in recent ODIs, then what?

  • Fast_Track_Bully on April 2, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    @Shaun_wick. Why it is hard? India won the ODI WC in 2011 not T20! And in ODIs Indian performance is not that bad as England. Then what?

  • Shaun_wick on April 2, 2012, 1:37 GMT

    Hard to Believe Indian team as the world champions. Lucky to be the world champion at least on paper...lol

  • on April 1, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    Stop complaining, ill planned or not, S.A. batting put up a good show...Kallis's shots were a delight to watch and some of Pathans deliveries reminded me of the pathan when he first came onto international cricket.The rain was the downer, and theres nothing anyone can do about it. And if you want to complain about commercialization of Cricket, start with IPL, not a single t20!

  • csowmi7 on April 1, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    Sad to see the Indian team go downhill so fast. After the World Cup we were a formidable side and all Indians believed that we would rule cricket at least for the next 2-3 years. But the Indian team lacks the same passion and intensity that once made them a serious force. In the past even when we toured and played against better oppositions in their home like Australia in 2007 and 2003(who were nigh invincible) and South Africa in 2010 at least 2-3 batsman stepped up(partly owing to the fact that Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxan were younger and better) and we managed to be formidable with whatever bowling resources we had. IPL itself cannot be blamed as it has led to many good youngsters coming to the fore but the duration of IPL certainly needs to be questioned. 16 matches should be reduced to 8 matches a side like the BBL and the Big bash league.

  • here2rock on April 1, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    A meaningless game, what was the purpose to it? BCCI has lost the plot, chasing money after money, we need somebody with a vision.

  • harmske on April 1, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta - "nothing is impossible for BCCI (except, winning & consistency)." Well said my man, well said.

  • on April 1, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    Though it's end up as a farce but there a crucial question still looming for the Indian cricket administrators, that of bowlers. Since last 2-3 series they contributing a good fraction towards the losses. No doubt, in India there was and is batting is the main concern, and because of overlooking the bowling department not only from top playing countries but with the sub-continent teams also we struggle time and again. Even they sink so low that even Bangladesh terrorize them! We can clearly say that because of poor bowling we can't even create some fight abroad (confirm from scoreline of recent aboard test). Whereas we have so many bowlers today who give glimpse in the past two three years that there could be a team of bowlers only. Where are the Ishant, RP, Munaf all gone? We haven't searched a genuine wicket taking fast bowler. I think we are still living in a delusion of strong batting line up which can chase any target, however this is also denied at occasions.

  • neerajprasher on April 1, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    i just can believe manoj tiwary went to australia,in asia cup and now 1 T20 in SA didn't play any game.they keep giving chances to rohit sharma.and he failed most of the time.they should give tiwary a chance intead of raina or sharma.

  • g.narsimha on April 1, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    HAKAPU- WELL SAID i lost count number vof times INDIA chased down 300+ scores in all over the cricketing world the so called best bowling attack could not defend , 330, in DHAKA , had it been our team, we would have seen flood of coments rubbishing indian bowling , even if we win chasing t hose totals tht wiill be termed as luckily, flat track , no drs, or bcci manipulated the results, they never atribute success to our team we lost in eng , aus, ind bashers are still celebrating , the funny thing is they rubbished our proven greats as flat track bullies , cant score out side they are good only at home , now see eng won nothing in ind for decades ,thrashed us in eng tha too t after a long gape , 5-0 drubing in ind ,3-0 in uae , now in SL , see thier, coments we could not play , that this blah,,,, but no body is saying they are not good in asia or out side .

  • Fast_Track_Bully on April 2, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    funny to see people who criticizing Indian bowling not mentioning about the wickets fell during chase! Does that mean 'great bowling'?? If we had a 20 over match, India will chase down that total. India proved that in recent ODIs, then what?

  • Fast_Track_Bully on April 2, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    @Shaun_wick. Why it is hard? India won the ODI WC in 2011 not T20! And in ODIs Indian performance is not that bad as England. Then what?

  • Shaun_wick on April 2, 2012, 1:37 GMT

    Hard to Believe Indian team as the world champions. Lucky to be the world champion at least on paper...lol

  • on April 1, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    Stop complaining, ill planned or not, S.A. batting put up a good show...Kallis's shots were a delight to watch and some of Pathans deliveries reminded me of the pathan when he first came onto international cricket.The rain was the downer, and theres nothing anyone can do about it. And if you want to complain about commercialization of Cricket, start with IPL, not a single t20!

  • csowmi7 on April 1, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    Sad to see the Indian team go downhill so fast. After the World Cup we were a formidable side and all Indians believed that we would rule cricket at least for the next 2-3 years. But the Indian team lacks the same passion and intensity that once made them a serious force. In the past even when we toured and played against better oppositions in their home like Australia in 2007 and 2003(who were nigh invincible) and South Africa in 2010 at least 2-3 batsman stepped up(partly owing to the fact that Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxan were younger and better) and we managed to be formidable with whatever bowling resources we had. IPL itself cannot be blamed as it has led to many good youngsters coming to the fore but the duration of IPL certainly needs to be questioned. 16 matches should be reduced to 8 matches a side like the BBL and the Big bash league.

  • here2rock on April 1, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    A meaningless game, what was the purpose to it? BCCI has lost the plot, chasing money after money, we need somebody with a vision.

  • harmske on April 1, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta - "nothing is impossible for BCCI (except, winning & consistency)." Well said my man, well said.

  • on April 1, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    Though it's end up as a farce but there a crucial question still looming for the Indian cricket administrators, that of bowlers. Since last 2-3 series they contributing a good fraction towards the losses. No doubt, in India there was and is batting is the main concern, and because of overlooking the bowling department not only from top playing countries but with the sub-continent teams also we struggle time and again. Even they sink so low that even Bangladesh terrorize them! We can clearly say that because of poor bowling we can't even create some fight abroad (confirm from scoreline of recent aboard test). Whereas we have so many bowlers today who give glimpse in the past two three years that there could be a team of bowlers only. Where are the Ishant, RP, Munaf all gone? We haven't searched a genuine wicket taking fast bowler. I think we are still living in a delusion of strong batting line up which can chase any target, however this is also denied at occasions.

  • neerajprasher on April 1, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    i just can believe manoj tiwary went to australia,in asia cup and now 1 T20 in SA didn't play any game.they keep giving chances to rohit sharma.and he failed most of the time.they should give tiwary a chance intead of raina or sharma.

  • g.narsimha on April 1, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    HAKAPU- WELL SAID i lost count number vof times INDIA chased down 300+ scores in all over the cricketing world the so called best bowling attack could not defend , 330, in DHAKA , had it been our team, we would have seen flood of coments rubbishing indian bowling , even if we win chasing t hose totals tht wiill be termed as luckily, flat track , no drs, or bcci manipulated the results, they never atribute success to our team we lost in eng , aus, ind bashers are still celebrating , the funny thing is they rubbished our proven greats as flat track bullies , cant score out side they are good only at home , now see eng won nothing in ind for decades ,thrashed us in eng tha too t after a long gape , 5-0 drubing in ind ,3-0 in uae , now in SL , see thier, coments we could not play , that this blah,,,, but no body is saying they are not good in asia or out side .

  • KillDevil on April 1, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    @nilankaraja, poor or not, world champions they are. you can't change it till 2015, so learn to live with it.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 31, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    Meaningless or not, the great man showed his class, yet again. I can't afford to miss a single match of Kallis, Clarke and Dravid in this year's IPL. Can't wait.

  • csowmi7 on March 31, 2012, 16:31 GMT

    I have never seen worse bowling from India. The only things these guys know how to bowl are full tosses and long hops. Irfan Pathan, Vinay Kumar and Praveen Kumar are never gonna be terrifying with their pace. The only world class bowler India has is Zaheer Khan and nobody else is even close to him in the indian side. Varun Aaron may have the skills to succeed as he can bowl 150+ and can bowl good yorkers but only time will tell.

  • on March 31, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    Can someone in BCCI quickly find one more country for the Indian team to visit and LOSE before the IPL starts. Even "half a 20-20" will do, with minimum 3 overs for a result. Hurry up please! BCCI can always arrange the players to be dropped by choppers on the ground, even after the toss, in their respective IPL matches. Nothing is impossible for BCCI (except, winning & consistency). Is it not?

  • nilb on March 31, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    Maybe Indian team should only play in India where they can at least win a game. Poor world champs.

  • JG2704 on March 31, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    Probably was a hollow victory in what was shaping up to be a decent game. I would possibly have just favoured SA with runs on the board but Ind had not lost a wicket and had plenty of firepower to do the job. Also Tsotsobe who was by far the most economical bowler had bowled 3 and only had 1 left.

  • rahuja on March 31, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    Usually I find tons of Uthappa's fans on this forum. Can one of those please stand up and explain how was their hero scoring at a strike rate of less than 100 when every other batsman, seemed to find it way too easy to murder bowlers of all hue.

    And i do know that my comment is kind of irrelevant to this article. There is no other article to comment on for this match.

  • tntn on March 31, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    In the southern Hemisphere, one indian team team does not lose a single wicket and loses the match and in the northern hemisphere another India team loses all 10 and wins the match. East or West, its at least an Indian who won. So much so for directions!

  • chancricfan on March 31, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    @Mr.Cricket666: Of the all you mentioned gayle and sanath only qualifies, Haydos to some extent... pollard is highly inconsistent and these two other australians have genuine problem with spinners. do you remember sanath/arjuna tossing the ball to aravinda to derail gilly? and Warner has made only two test centuries that too in absence of spinners no Vettori against NZ and No ashwin against Ind. And yes we are proud about Kohli because in nets/ state matches he faces our mediocre swing bowlers (i wont call them fast) and comes back to thrash some of the fastest apart from negotiating great spinners like Ajmal. And if someone says Ind is No:1 hit him on the head.

  • on March 31, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    If you need a minimum of 20 overs ( I am not sure, correct me if I am wrong) in a 50 overs match to have a result, using the same proportion, it needs a minimum of 8 ( not 7.5) overs to have a result in a 20 overs match. If so, declaring result from 7.5 overs is another farce

  • Jabulani on March 31, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    Some of you need to actually think and read a little more, the game was labelled a farce because it was a once off t20 squeezed into an already cramped international and local schedule. It had nothing to do with the manner in how the game was played...honestly do some of you use that which is between your ears?

  • on March 31, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    Even in this farcical game, Indian bowlers proved to be totally ineffective. The most noticeable decline over the last year or so, seems to be with Praveen Kumar, and Ashwin! I feel sad for the four Indian players who flew all the way back and forth, just to sit in the dug-out. By the way, is there any bonus payment to any of the SA officials, as it happened on an earlier occasion.

  • Manush on March 31, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    Waste of money and very poor management by BCCI by sending 15 people, to SA, for a 2hrs affair and each of eight Indian bowlers used bowled 2 overs and in batting totally nearly 8 overs!! How will Indian Cricket improve ?

  • iamgroot on March 31, 2012, 8:21 GMT

    This Twenty 20 game is oddly scheduled game. Neither Indian team nor the south african team were ready for it. They had no choice. 20 / 20 cricket is nothing but the gully cricket in india everyone used to play back in 90s, 2000s and they still do in some places where there is place available. But this is an international match and match finishing in 7.5 overs? In 50 overs game they say 20 overs should be bowled to actually a count a match so why not 10 overs in 20/20 match? BCCI is making a joke of already demoralized indian team. They need break to regroup and look back at what went wrong in past 10 months. Two disastrous tours. Eng tour marred by injuries , weather , bad luck , poor bowling , lethargic fielding, and Aus tour was nothing short of demolition job. Indian top order crumbled repeatedly and bowlers bowling gifts to opposition batsman. Tough times for indian team. May god save indian team. And congrats SA for playing very well.

  • anshu.s on March 31, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    Problem is not it is a one-off 20-20 match but timing of it coming in beetween already concluded series n the IPL,however Indians could have given some fringe players a chance instead of sending the same Asia cup squad sans a exception,Indians by choosing a so called best team would giving feelers to all prospective T.V channels bidding for 5 years right that whenever India plays they would be guarranteed a best team so to please there sponsors.

  • on March 31, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    Vinay Kumar, Praveen Kumar and Ashwin play again …..the opposition make a big score…india struggle to chase again……rahul sharma and other seamer(varun/yadav/dinda) are not included…India lose again. The same batting line up is persisted in test matches…..India lose 8 test matches ….no they are thrashed in 8 test matches….Is this game no brainer?

  • on March 31, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    It may of been a game for Kallis, but that was a secondary point. The game was meant to celebrate \ mark \ remember 150 years of Indian History in South Africa. Outside of Indian SA has the highest population of Indians in the world. The 2 countries history goes back a long long way, and that's what the game was for. Could of been any 2 countries if it was just for Kallis, hell if it was just for him they would of probably arranged one of the games in New Zealand to be for him.

    So please get all the facts next time, even the SA radio and TV was advertising it as 150 years of history between the 2 countries, so no excuse.

  • on March 31, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    kholi is the next sachin !!!!.this match was for charity so its good.

  • Adeel9 on March 31, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    whether D/L is right or wrong a game shouldn't be decided in 7.5 overs. Perhaps D/L shouldn't be applied to 20/20 at all because game changes faster in T20 than any other format.

  • Mrcrick666 on March 31, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    i agree with "cricarch" without kholi in those two chase's india sunk 4 sure

  • on March 31, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    The match was balanced.I think India could hav won the game.btw it was a nonsense planning from the board in hosting this game.

  • Mrcrick666 on March 31, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    @rockyyy you indians talking kholi kholi he is not only player capable of doing that , there many players who dominates bowlers like Cris Gayle, Pollard , Wanner and there many legends from past Adam Gilchrist , Sanath Jayasooriya , Matthew Hayden. yeha kholi did one or two Stop saying kholi is the best india is the no 1 coz ur wrong......

  • Vivian_Richard on March 31, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    Why is it being termed a meaningless game? I feel that a lot of people went overboard in trying to dump this game and ended up watching it. The truth is that people who wanna watch cricket will lap it up even if it's dished out everyday. If you get bored, find some other sport till your interest creeps back, stop whingeing. No one's strapping you to a couch. What's it about cricketer's being overloaded? Labourers are overloaded. And they get paid far less and die almost unrecognised. As any guy on the fringe lines if he's ready to play cricket 365 days if that guarantees a place in the Indian side. I rest my case.

  • TestDaBest on March 31, 2012, 3:30 GMT

    To me the D/L method makes no sense and even though its created by mathematicians but there is absolutely no logic to it in the practical sense. The reason I say that is because the two creators claim that it keeps in mind the resources available to the teams so surely the team batting second and only having 7.5 overs to bat should supposedly have more resources (i.e. more wickets than overs) than the team batting 20, so when the target was set at 11 RPO in 20 overs how does it fall down to around 10 RPO. D/L method has been under scrutiny and constant debate since its arrival but no one can still find a replacement how bad is that?

  • TheDoctor394 on March 31, 2012, 3:27 GMT

    "Gary Kirsten, the coach, suggested that South Africa would treat this match as a "fairly light-hearted" affair. In fact, they handled it with even less care than that." Isn't that how you approach any 20/20 game?

  • chilled_avenger on March 31, 2012, 2:59 GMT

    @rockyyy He has said India batsmen 'barring' Kohli are known to crumble in chases!

  • kunderanengineer on March 31, 2012, 2:12 GMT

    Ms. Moonda writes "the game was labelled a farce and no matter which way you look at it, that's pretty much what it was" but also says that "India's chase began speedily and the match was set up for a thrilling finish". Suppose it had not rained and India won on a last ball six from Dhoni would the author have still referred to it as a farce? Just wondering.

  • RandyOZ on March 31, 2012, 1:39 GMT

    In dia lose yet again! WHat a surprise!!!

  • RasCric on March 31, 2012, 1:24 GMT

    Well Indian thought they have been humbled all around the world in past 10 months. So why leave SA from "Come and beat me" fun?

  • rockyyy on March 31, 2012, 1:18 GMT

    @cricarch hello man!!!! kholi is a man to crumble in chases???? remember hobart and dakka against pakistan!!!

  • hakapuu on March 31, 2012, 0:41 GMT

    @UltimateTruth: INdia were 71/0 and also smashed the south african bowlers across the park. Everytime someone scores against india its bad bowling by india but whenever india scores its always good indian batting and never oppositions bad bowling? Its ridiculous to have a shortened twenty game! A game decided after 7 OVERS ...is this gully cricket!

  • on March 31, 2012, 0:40 GMT

    Poor Indians. They travel all the way, just to see the match end up with rain and D/L. Feel sorry for them.

  • Ra_Thore on March 31, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    India was only 2 runs behind but 1 wicket head and each wicket was worth 3 run under 10 over spell. This would probable 71/0 with 74/1 which is 1 run more than what SA had - 73/1. Unfortunately, the system does not allow raising scores for T-20 format because it would be unfair for the bowling team's predictions and strategies. It could only lower the target being chased which would definitely be welcomed by the bowling team.

  • on March 30, 2012, 23:07 GMT

    @Zia: India are 2 runs short of SA however SA lost a wicket. That makes the difference

  • TheUltimateTruth on March 30, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    I don't know why this is a meaningless game? The cricinfo staff are constantly harping on that theme. It is as meaningful as any other T20I not associated with a big tournament like the World Cup. People enjoy watching it. I was disappointed that a promising run chase was aborted by rain. The odds were against India given their terrible bowling, but it would have been fun to see Raina, Dhoni, and Yousuf Pathan go for it. Indian bowlers had little variety (no slower balls) and were either bowling length or too short. Dhoni should intervene mid-over and advise the bowlers.

  • shovwar on March 30, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    The future of SA cricket looks great. Levi could be a very interesting individual. I ll keep an on him in the IPL.

  • on March 30, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    Throw the D/L out and still at 7.5 overs india were 71/0 and South Africa were 73/1. so why must india blame the rain? it would still have been a 2 run defeat not much different from an 11 run one imho

  • on March 30, 2012, 21:20 GMT

    why's there so much fuss about a one off match!!! it was a charity affair.. so at least there was some money that went to meaningful cause. you folks wouldn't have covered it if you really saw no meaning to it.

  • stone-mason on March 30, 2012, 21:18 GMT

    This could have been a close affair but also could have collapsed into what we have become used to by India recently. Nice one Mr Abhishek Purohit, I quote "what was shaping up to be a close chase and what could have been the highest successful one in T20Is" Isnt this a bit rich, considering a few factors. 1st This was India playing The Form side - 2nd SA had the score on the board, India still had to get it - 3rd There was this complicated calculation of 148 needed of 72 balls, not impossible but highly improbable. So my opinion, good game in the offing but India were up against it, could have pushed it close but most likely would have fallen short.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on March 30, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    D/L method in a Twenty20 match? Now I've heard it all! What an absolute joke; as if this format wasn't just down to luck as it is... The sooner cricket abandons this embarassment and allows more time for tests (what the point of a two-test series is is anyone's guess) the better.

  • maddy20 on March 30, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    You yourself have told that it would have been an exciting game if not for the rain. And then you say it was hollow. Which one of them is it Ms.Moonda? I personally thought that the game was set for an exciting finish despite of the many frontline players for both sides missing(Zaheer, Umesh, Sehwag, Yuvraj nd the like for India). Despite of that it was fun!

  • cricarch on March 30, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    It was disappointing to not see the match until the finish. But even when I am trying hard not to be pessimistic, I think the rain somehow helped India reduce the defeat margin. 220 was a monstrous task and India batsmen barring Kohli are known to crumble against such pressure. Gambhir looked good but the target was beyond the reach of one or two person heroics. Nevertheless, watching the whole game would have been fun.

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  • cricarch on March 30, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    It was disappointing to not see the match until the finish. But even when I am trying hard not to be pessimistic, I think the rain somehow helped India reduce the defeat margin. 220 was a monstrous task and India batsmen barring Kohli are known to crumble against such pressure. Gambhir looked good but the target was beyond the reach of one or two person heroics. Nevertheless, watching the whole game would have been fun.

  • maddy20 on March 30, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    You yourself have told that it would have been an exciting game if not for the rain. And then you say it was hollow. Which one of them is it Ms.Moonda? I personally thought that the game was set for an exciting finish despite of the many frontline players for both sides missing(Zaheer, Umesh, Sehwag, Yuvraj nd the like for India). Despite of that it was fun!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on March 30, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    D/L method in a Twenty20 match? Now I've heard it all! What an absolute joke; as if this format wasn't just down to luck as it is... The sooner cricket abandons this embarassment and allows more time for tests (what the point of a two-test series is is anyone's guess) the better.

  • stone-mason on March 30, 2012, 21:18 GMT

    This could have been a close affair but also could have collapsed into what we have become used to by India recently. Nice one Mr Abhishek Purohit, I quote "what was shaping up to be a close chase and what could have been the highest successful one in T20Is" Isnt this a bit rich, considering a few factors. 1st This was India playing The Form side - 2nd SA had the score on the board, India still had to get it - 3rd There was this complicated calculation of 148 needed of 72 balls, not impossible but highly improbable. So my opinion, good game in the offing but India were up against it, could have pushed it close but most likely would have fallen short.

  • on March 30, 2012, 21:20 GMT

    why's there so much fuss about a one off match!!! it was a charity affair.. so at least there was some money that went to meaningful cause. you folks wouldn't have covered it if you really saw no meaning to it.

  • on March 30, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    Throw the D/L out and still at 7.5 overs india were 71/0 and South Africa were 73/1. so why must india blame the rain? it would still have been a 2 run defeat not much different from an 11 run one imho

  • shovwar on March 30, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    The future of SA cricket looks great. Levi could be a very interesting individual. I ll keep an on him in the IPL.

  • TheUltimateTruth on March 30, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    I don't know why this is a meaningless game? The cricinfo staff are constantly harping on that theme. It is as meaningful as any other T20I not associated with a big tournament like the World Cup. People enjoy watching it. I was disappointed that a promising run chase was aborted by rain. The odds were against India given their terrible bowling, but it would have been fun to see Raina, Dhoni, and Yousuf Pathan go for it. Indian bowlers had little variety (no slower balls) and were either bowling length or too short. Dhoni should intervene mid-over and advise the bowlers.

  • on March 30, 2012, 23:07 GMT

    @Zia: India are 2 runs short of SA however SA lost a wicket. That makes the difference

  • Ra_Thore on March 31, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    India was only 2 runs behind but 1 wicket head and each wicket was worth 3 run under 10 over spell. This would probable 71/0 with 74/1 which is 1 run more than what SA had - 73/1. Unfortunately, the system does not allow raising scores for T-20 format because it would be unfair for the bowling team's predictions and strategies. It could only lower the target being chased which would definitely be welcomed by the bowling team.