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Old 5th January 2018, 17:35   #21
billyguntheballs
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SA/India serve up competitive series? SA were humiliated in India last time out, wasn't it like 4-0? In terms of the day to day play, England have been more...erm...competitive if that is the word, in Aus than SA have been in India or vice verse.

Also, let's not read too much into Kohli's average in SA, as it took into account just 2 tests before this one. That is nowhere near a good enough sample size.

Anyway, I don't understand criticisms of Sharma being selected considering his last 3 test innings have been a century and 2 50s. Yeah I know he isnt as good outside of the sc but not many modern Indians batsmen are.

Pujara, however, is the man who holds the key. Imo he has been the best Indian test batsman for 12 or so months and if he can go on and get a score and be supported by the remaining batters, India can get themselves back in the game.
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Old 5th January 2018, 17:50   #22
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Pujara is the archetypal home track bully. Averages a Smith-esque 65 in Asia but mid 30s away (although that mid-30s would still get him in the England side). Now is his time to show he's matured and improved, rather than just cashed in on home conditions. Certainly has the temperament for this kind of battle imo - if you get in tomorrow there should be runs to be had.

Just checked Rahane's comparable stats - average 33.6 in India and 54.4 away! I remember he was by a mile India's best batsmen when they came to England - Vijay was the only other one who impressed me - but that's a mega record for a subcontinental batsman.
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Old 5th January 2018, 18:27   #23
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SA/India serve up competitive series? SA were humiliated in India last time out, wasn't it like 4-0? In terms of the day to day play, England have been more...erm...competitive if that is the word, in Aus than SA have been in India or vice verse.
Yeah, cause test cricket started, like, two years ago.
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Old 5th January 2018, 20:14   #24
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You kinda feel like you're watching a great band on its last legs with this South African side don't you? Amla, Faf, ABD, Steyn, Morkel, Philander all over 32 years of age. At least half of them are all time SA greats. Hopefully they don't fall off the cliff too hard when they all retire within a year or two of eachother.
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Old 6th January 2018, 02:28   #25
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You kinda feel like you're watching a great band on its last legs with this South African side don't you? Amla, Faf, ABD, Steyn, Morkel, Philander all over 32 years of age. At least half of them are all time SA greats. Hopefully they don't fall off the cliff too hard when they all retire within a year or two of eachother.

Amla is really struggling and certainly the ageing bowlers may be another major injury away from retirement.

ABD has had the edge taken of him by too much limited overs cricket, but he is still a combative batsmen who reminds us of his prodigious talent when on song.
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Old 6th January 2018, 09:56   #26
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Rahul and Rahane dropped for Dhawan and Rohit Sharma? Roflol. India are going to get annihilated here.
They certainly justified their recall so far.
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Old 6th January 2018, 09:58   #27
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Love watching Rabada bowl when he's near his best. Fantastic.
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Old 6th January 2018, 10:03   #28
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That was a Sharma masterpiece. 11 from 59 balls and loses India a review.
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Old 6th January 2018, 10:46   #29
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Indeed. And its not like his outside of Asia record (average 24 from 11 Tests, more ducks (3) than fifties (2)) could possibly have predicted that...
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Old 6th January 2018, 10:59   #30
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On a more positive note, fantastic to see Pujara's fight. He's a limited batsman against pace (Graeme Smith was rightly saying Pujara needs to build a bit more momentum, but I don't think he has the capability) but his concentration is incredible. It'll only mean that India stretch out the game a bit longer before the inevitable defeat but there's only so much one player can do.

Says a lot about how little Virat Kohli understands Test cricket that he dropped Pujara from the side for a good long while - again, for Kohli's blue eyed boy Rohit.
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Old 6th January 2018, 11:00   #31
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Yeah, cause test cricket started, like, two years ago.
Well, the last test India played in SA before this one, they were battered and SA won by 10 wickets in their final innings.

You have to go back almost 7 years to find a competitive series between the two sides, so to say they always put on competitive series is to ignore recent results.
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Old 6th January 2018, 11:04   #32
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4 down now, India are in tough but even if they can get to 150-170, the y can claim a level of moral victory and make SA just a bit nervous.
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Old 6th January 2018, 11:32   #33
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Well, the last test India played in SA before this one, they were battered and SA won by 10 wickets in their final innings.

You have to go back almost 7 years to find a competitive series between the two sides, so to say they always put on competitive series is to ignore recent results.
Maybe you weren't into cricket then, or didn't watch any of those previous series, but before the recent one in India the previous five had gone to a deciding test with three drawn and plenty of good competitive cricket between the sides. Does it matter that this means going back 5+ years? That's just a reality of the frequency of test series.

Anyhow, not looking like this test will be very competitive as India slide 81/6.
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Old 6th January 2018, 12:05   #34
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Indeed. And its not like his outside of Asia record (average 24 from 11 Tests, more ducks (3) than fifties (2)) could possibly have predicted that...
Unlike Rahane who averages 50+ away from home and 60 or so in SA. Baffling selection.
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Old 6th January 2018, 12:32   #35
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I hope that cg or Confused Male can shed a little more light on this, but why did India choose to have that extra long series v Sri Lanka only a short while after touring there and playing here with NO warm up matches. It seems almost as daft as some of the selections. England fans have a right to moan at the lack of quality in our squad but you donít have as much of an excuse in my opinion. With better preparation and selection India could mount a bit of a challenge but this looks as though this will be done by Monday night.
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Old 6th January 2018, 12:48   #36
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India counter-attacking atm. The pitch has been benign today.
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Old 6th January 2018, 12:55   #37
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India counter-attacking atm. The pitch has been benign today.
It hasn't, it's seamed quite a bit with plenty of zip.
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Old 6th January 2018, 13:06   #38
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It looks pretty flat atm. Mind you SA has bowled some very ordinary stuff during this session. Wonder if Faf will reconsider his tactics if he gets another chance to bowl when the pitch is most conducive to swing. Philander would have loved the conditions yesterday.

He will have to hope that SA bat well in the second dig and the pitch turns late.
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Old 6th January 2018, 13:06   #39
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It hasn't, it's seamed quite a bit with plenty of zip.
Compared with yesterday it has looked flat.
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Old 6th January 2018, 13:09   #40
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The current tactics of having such a defensive field against Pandya has been very reminiscent of the work of Alastair Cook with the batsmen allowed to build and rotate the strike too easily.
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