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Old 25th January 2018, 22:26   #9901
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End of Day 2 India ahead by 42 runs with 9 wickets still standing - Hopefully we can now go on from here and win this one, the batters have a job to do tomorrow !
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Old 25th January 2018, 22:54   #9902
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End of Day 2 India ahead by 42 runs with 9 wickets still standing - Hopefully we can now go on from here and win this one, the batters have a job to do tomorrow !
At this juncture, it's even Stevens in this match.

Can't get a decent / winning score in second innings unless at least couple of batsmen bat extremely well in these conditions (pitch is doing a lot), probably they need to play the innings of their lives.

However, given the consistent pattern in this series, we need to keep expectations very low. The first session of play on day 3 is crucial and can probably make things clearer.

Last edited by NPV : 25th January 2018 at 22:56.
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Old 26th January 2018, 11:30   #9903
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At this juncture, it's even Stevens in this match.

Can't get a decent / winning score in second innings unless at least couple of batsmen bat extremely well in these conditions (pitch is doing a lot), probably they need to play the innings of their lives.

However, given the consistent pattern in this series, we need to keep expectations very low. The first session of play on day 3 is crucial and can probably make things clearer.
I'd say India is ever so slightly ahead. I saw the last session on both days and the South Africans were looking worried. Their body language was much poorer than the Indians in comparison. In the last session yesterday I think they bowled poorly. Far too short and too wide of the stumps. Vijay and Rahul were leaving almost 9 out of 10 balls and hardly any play and misses. If India can scrap together some decent partnerships and set about 180 to win in the fourth innings they have a good chance. SA are known to choke . Either way it's a gripping test match. Really looking forward to today's play. It can go either way from here.
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Old 26th January 2018, 14:00   #9904
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So back to square one, yesterday's good work undone. Another 150 should still be gettable, but someone needs to stick around.
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Old 26th January 2018, 16:00   #9905
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If Kohli and Rahane stick around for another session, maybe two, and take India to 180 I'd say it's game on! And if the tail wags enough to put on about 30 runs, it's India's game all the way!
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Old 26th January 2018, 17:12   #9906
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Its so nice to watch Rahane bat so freely. Wish he was picked for the 2nd test!

Anything above 160-175 will be very competitive. Bumbrah will be quite handful in this uneven surface

Edit: Just as i was typing this, Mr. Maverick gives his wicket away.

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Old 26th January 2018, 17:45   #9907
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Some of our top order batsmen should take a leaf or two out of the book of batting skills displayed by Bhubaneswar Kumar! If he can apply himself so well, what are those guys at the top doing ?
And it's not the first time Bhuvi has batted well low down the order.

SA fielders are dropping catches, good for India, now just past 180.

Last edited by NPV : 26th January 2018 at 17:48.
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Old 26th January 2018, 18:03   #9908
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Its looking good. SA are looking nervous in the field and dropping sitters. Rahane is back! I just hope the umpires don't call off the game due to 'dangerous' pitch conditions. I think it needs both captains to agree though for that to happen.
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Old 26th January 2018, 21:13   #9909
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Would be a shame if this test is abandoned citing dangerous pitch conditions.
India is in a good position and I think if SA are sportive enough they would continue with the game.
Clearly all commentators are saying the pitch is tough but not dangerous. Elgar made it look bad with his misjudged attempt at negotiating the ball. It was a well directed bouncer from short of length. If a good length ball were to take off like that then it's dangerous. Elgar has been out of sorts for sometime now.

Captains still in talks with umpires and match referee.

Last edited by NPV : 26th January 2018 at 21:15.
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Old 26th January 2018, 21:21   #9910
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A dilemma now on the field, that is more of one post the Phil Hughes tragedy. There is no doubt that it was Elgar's error of judgement that caused the hit on his head and the stoppage of play. But was it caused because his mental balance was affected by the earlier blows taken lower on the body and hands by balls that jumped from a good length because the pitch is lousy?

Virat Kohli is probably justified in wanting to play but let's assume for arguments sake, that consequent to playing on because of his insistence, someone is seriously hurt. This is a game, not war, and even he would struggle to deal with those kind of consequences.

The thing to do would be for the umpires to take matters in their hands and call off the match. They should have done this early in the Indian innings. By not doing that, they have made this situation a complete mess.
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Old 26th January 2018, 21:26   #9911
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Elgar got hit with a genuine bouncer, but the umpires understandably had the day's events on their mind.

They offered the Indians the same choice earlier in the day so I don't have any complaints of inconsistent officiating, though I believe they could've been more assertive. I think the match should continue, but I wouldn't go berserk like Gavaskar did if it does get called off. Plenty of commentators said the exact same things without sounding like a petulant teenager.

Whatever the stakes, it is still just a game. I'm still hoping we can continue tomorrow, terrific game so far and would be a shame to end it this way.

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Old 26th January 2018, 21:42   #9912
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Lol@the Gavaskar comment. He still hasn't grown up from being the man he was when he almost abandoned a match in Australia as captain by walking off the field because he did not like the umpiring decisions. And he carries an immense chip on his shoulders that Indians are downtrodden even today and reminds those - Indians and others - that do not think this way to start doing so.

As I wrote earlier, this is a sorry situation created by indecisive umpiring. It would take a rare captain to agree to call off a match when in a winning position and it is not fair for one to be placed in the position that Kohli is in. Or even the position that du Plessis is in.
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Old 26th January 2018, 22:02   #9913
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Lol@the Gavaskar comment. And he carries an immense chip on his shoulders that Indians are downtrodden even today
After the game on the hindi telecast, Gavaskar indirectly accused Elgar of theatrics saying the ball hit his grille but he was holding an ice pack on his head! Funny but in bad taste according to me!

Regarding the game, Rahane was the most fluent inspite of it being a difficult pitch. This was probably our best batting day on this entire tour. I hope the team management has learnt its lesson regarding the selection. Better application is all that we need. Bhuvi & Ashwin are proper bowling all rounders. Just take a look at how many overs Pandya has bowled in the last 2 games.Whenever you play 5 bowlers, 1 bowler invariably underbowls!

Also, the over rate throughout this series has been very poor. Won't be surprised if both the captains get a suspension in the coming months!
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Old 26th January 2018, 22:10   #9914
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Its amusing to see how fellow Indian fans are always criticizing their own players, commentators etc. Never seen this happening with any other country no matter how bad those players will behave.

Gavaskar was absolutely spot on. He stated what happens always. If this match was in India all these countries would bounce on us stating doctored pitches and what not. Even if we would have walked off in our innings we would have been called cowards and afraid of SA fearsome bowling attack which in actual has been below ours. When it comes to India double standards are aplenty.

Though I agree with you guys on lackluster umpiring. If they wanted to call it off should have done in Indian innings itself. Elgar missed the length, it didn't bounced awkwardly. Hopefully, sense will prevail and match will continue tomorrow cos we deserve to win this one. The whole team has fought like a unit. Commendable.

Also, Pandya is not an all rounder in tests. Ashwin and Bhuvi are and management needs to get this by now.

Last edited by harry10 : 26th January 2018 at 22:12.
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Old 26th January 2018, 22:16   #9915
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India have competed in this match in a manner that makes the losses in the first two tests harder to take and even to understand; this was a series we could have won.

Irrespective of what happens tomorrow, India has regained respect in this match. I would even agree to calling off the match, take the credit for that gesture as well as claim the moral victory in addition to the moral high ground, and as a bonus of this action, completely eliminate even the slim chance of losing the match - which would be anti climatic if it happened.
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