Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The Durban Test is all set for a thrilling finish... South Africa can win the series with 192 more runs... India can level it with 7 more wickets.

Durban has seen rain overnight... and though the sun is out again, I hope the early morning start will see a bit of help for the Indian pacers, particularly Zaheer Khan. If Sreesanth keeps his head about him, he may also prove to be crucial to the task.

For South Africa, the overnight batsmen are the key. Before they commenced the chase, I had figured out that four batsmen in their top-5 are the biggest threats in my opinion - Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and AB De Villiers. Two of them are out and two of them are in. If the Indian pacers can use some help that they might gain from the conditions and dismiss these two early, the game might well be in the bag.

Yes, Ashwell Prince and Mark Boucher are good batsmen... and the South African lower order can hang around (Morkel and Harris) or even spank the ball a bit (Steyn). But the situation in this Test is so tight that it will be hard to hold the nerves.

Most people are saying that Harbhajan will be the key man considering the bounce he might be able to generate on the pitch. But I would still peg Zaheer as the key man for India. Bhajji might prove useful if the match gets too tight as he is a lot more experienced than the South African lower order batsmen (except Boucher).

There may not be a lot of clouds in the Kingsmead sky, but there should be a bit of moisture due to the rains last night. I hope India can use this to their advantage and manage a victory here. It is too tight to call at the moment. The match should begin in less than 10 minutes now... and I am off now to watch it.

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