Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Nov 21, 2005
Google



Sport
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

Sport - Cricket Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Pathan has a sense of plan in his methods

In the sub-continent, pulling back the pace could be decisive, writes Gary Kirsten

It was no secret that spinners would matter in the Chennai match, perhaps in the series. India perceives South Africa to be vulnerable in this area and would now be further emboldened. But there is also the danger they could overplay the card.

South Africa is not as bad against slow bowlers though different conditions tend to complicate the matters of footwork. The pitches in the two countries bear little resemblance in pace or bounce. We would see if the remaining week of the series is enough to come to terms with these conditions.

Ironically, it was not the spinners who precipitated the crisis. It was Irfan Pathan. South Africa would like to hold him up as the culprit.

I am very impressed how quickly he assesses the conditions and opponents. There is a sense of plan in his methods.

I have noticed pacemen in these conditions tend to bowl straighter and slower around the seam. If you have the control and shape the red cherry well, you are on your way. He did it with Graeme Smith and later Shaun Pollock served another fine example of it.

In the sub-continent, pulling back your pace could be decisive. So spinners actually did not wreak the damage; they merely picked up the spoils. In one-dayers, it is very difficult to come back if you lose early wickets.

India made a good start and built on the advantage as the innings wore on. South Africa could not have risked too much and it made the spinners' job easy. I wonder if it would still have been the same if South Africa were 50 for no loss.

Excellent finisher

There is no mistaking the merits of Graeme Smith's men. It has many match-winners with depth in batting and bowling. Justin Kemp's name is quick to recall though Jacques Kallis could as effortlessly shift gears and is an excellent finisher of a game.

It still would have served this team greatly had Jonty Rhodes been around. Besides his other values, he was an exciting player of spin. I have been told Indians are backing themselves to snare Graeme Smith in the spin trap. Much of this is evident in the manner he bats and the way he throws his bat at the ball. But Smith has a fantastic record and is still improving.

For all the spotlight on him, he is still only 23. He will start to get better and his range would expand.

The challenge is greater for South Africa because of alien conditions but India cannot drop their guard for a moment. The strife for booty has begun in earnest. — PTI

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



Sport

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |

Sportstar Subscribe


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2005, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu