Friday, February 19, 2010


What is common between Hashim Amla and Andrew Strauss? These are the only two overseas batsmen to have scored two centuries in a Test match in India in this millenium. And guess what! Both ended up on the losing side.

The similarities between these two Tests (v England, Chennai 20008 and v South Africa, Kolkata 2010) and these two grounds (M.A. Chidambaram Stadium and Eden Gardens) don't end there. Dhoni lost the toss in both the matches, just as Sachin Tendulkar scored a ton. These were arguably the two most thrilling Tests to have been played in India since the unforgettable Australia series of 2001. Incidentally, the final 2 Tests in that series (the ones that make this series so memorable) were also played at Kolkata and Chennai. All of these four Tests were decided in the last session of the match. And well, one for the statisticians - these are the only two grounds in India where batsmen have managed two centuries in a Test match (5 at Kolkata and 2 at Chennai).

India will be very proud of this win, South Africa proud of their fight, and Hashim Amla proud of... himself. This win did not come on a doctored surface like in Green Park, Kanpur. In fact, South Africa had just as much of a chance on this surface as India. The same cannot be said of South Africa's series - levelling efforts against England last month.

Having said that, the Proteas can certainly walk with their heads held high. No other team can claim that in their last to visits to India, they have not lost a Test series. True, they had a disappointing Test as India had had in Nagpur. But both the Tests had a show guts, determination and perseverance - something that made this series deserving of the fight for No. 1.

Let me recount the series statistics. We saw 1 Double Century, 10 Centuries, 1 Seven-for, 1 Five-for, 1 Four-for and 5 Three-fors. We saw 12 wides being bowled by a bowler in a single innings. We saw 18 no-balls being bowled by a legspinner (what is the world coming to!) in the series. We saw a foreign batsman so comfortable in the Indian conditions that we mistook him to be an Indian (with good reason, too).

And finally, a word for the wonderful Eden crowd. It's fitting that the Kolkata crowd got a good reward for their immense passion. Given by the recent history  of crowd attendance in Tests in India, no other ground deserved to host this match as much as the Eden Gardens.

1 comment:

straight point said...

it was indeed a great win... congrats!