“Dhoni- Bhajji partnership was key”
Filed Under: Opinion, Sports | Posted: 12/17/2008 at 9:23PM
Comments | Region: South Africa
"There’s no doubt that the decision to play the first Test at Chennai was vindicated. That was a superb game, rounded off by a fantastic knock from Sachin Tendulkar. There was something for everyone — except, for
"Clearly India batted out of their skins in the final innings but I believe an area of the game that has been overlooked was the seventh-wicket partnership between Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh on the second day, when they added 75 just as India were threatening to collapse.”
"That meant the first-innings deficit was manageable rather than impossible and underlines how much you need guys who can bat at number eight. It was a critical period," he says in his column.
"Mind you, Tendulkar played so well and he probably would have scored a hundred against any attack. I remember thinking during
"Are there any chinks in his (Tendulkar’s) armour? We used to think he could be vulnerable against the short ball but the problem in
"Graeme Swann bowled better in Chennai than Monty Panesar and if
"The question is whether there is a better alternative. Swann bowled more wicket-taking deliveries in Chennai than Panesar. If the ball’s turning and the opposition have a lot of right-handers, I believe you want the ball coming back into them, and that along with his batting and fielding would give Swann the edge," Fletcher said.
"Players have to learn to think on their feet. It’s crucial a bowler understands what batting’s about and that’s where Monty keeps coming unstuck. Beyond understanding the technical aspects of variations changes of angle and delivery Monty has to come to terms with the way a batsman’s mind works, and second-guess his intentions. But he’s just sending down the same ball again and again.”
"For Monty to be dangerous, the wicket’s really got to help him. If there’s bounce and spin to be had he can be lethal, because he has this beautiful action. But he’s played enough Tests now and he should be doing a lot of thinking about how to set his own fields and how to adapt them according to the line he’s bowling."
"Defeats like that can have a huge effect.
"You can’t blame one person for the defeat: a lot of the players have to take a look at themselves. Sure, two totals of 300 look good but those numbers hide a few problems as
"But it must be a concern that
"The same goes for the bowling.
"As for Harmison, a bowler of his experience should have learned by what to do to be successful in the subcontinent. Put simply, you need variations. You can’t just rely on your height and hope that bounce comes into play."