India tie boost for Proteas?

2011-02-28 12:01

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – South Africa would be silly not to take an optimistic view that the freak tie between India and England in their World Cup group comes as a useful little bonus to them.

GALLERY: Proteas see sights and sounds of India


It is, after all, a point dropped by both of the two other most fancied teams in Group B – rather than one of them profiting from both points on offer -- and although there is a long way to go and there are various ways of assessing it, there is arguably a better chance now of the Proteas topping the table.

Certainly they will know that if they manage to knock over both England (Sunday, Chennai) and India (March 12, Nagpur) then finishing at the helm is assured, unless they unexpectedly botch a game against lesser powers the Netherlands (next up for them this Thursday), Ireland or Bangladesh.

The plus for both teams involved in Sunday’s high-scoring thriller in Bangalore, though, was that the point gained probably takes each a step closer to actually ensuring qualification for the quarter-finals, although there could now be some especially spirited jockeying between them for final placements on the table.

And there is enough time yet for some twists and turns in Group B to mean that the point apiece turns into a precious device rather than a curse, and for the South Africans to wish it hadn’t happened.

Also to consider is that, as both groups get closer to completion, there is no guarantee that the teams ending highest-placed will necessarily benefit from “easier” contests they’d be intended to have in the quarters.

With the tournament of such lengthy duration, some highly-touted outfits may struggle at times to maintain a good head of steam and mentally save their best for the all-important knockout phase, regardless of where they have finished in group terms.

But what else might Graeme Smith’s team take some pleasure from after watching events unfold in Bangalore?

Clearly with batting very much the dominant factor – Messrs Tendulkar and then Strauss admirably to the fore – there are some understandable concerns around the bowling attack of both England and India.

The former had also revealed some drawbacks in this department when they allowed the Netherlands – largely thanks to Port Elizabeth-born Ryan ten Doeschate -- to amass 292 for six a few days ago, and on Sunday their ace swing bowler James Anderson suffered a second personal pummelling  on the trot.

He had gone for 10-0-72-0 against the Dutch minnows, and Tendulkar and company took him to the cleaners even more ruthlessly, as he went for 91 runs in 9.5 overs.

India, of course, have been hugely tipped to prosper in home conditions at the World Cup, but this result, in failing to come out on top after posting a daunting 338, may send a few shockwaves down their frenzied supporters’ spines.

Certainly Cricinfo editor Sambit Bal was fairly cutting in his post-match analysis: “India were served the starkest possible reminder that whatever they can do with bat can be easily lost in the field ... this question will haunt their batsmen: just how much is safe enough?”

He described the tie as “an epic embarrassment in its own right (to India)” and said it had “swiftly shorn them of their aura, and the tag of favourites”.

Still, the Proteas will probably resist any temptation to be smug, knowing full well that their own bowling – with respect to West Indies’ known limitations these days – has yet to be put to a searching test by a quality batting line-up in benign conditions at the tournament ...


  • trindian786 - 2011-02-28 12:08

    england (aka proteas B team) choked yesterday... lol go india go

      Lord Haw-Haw - 2011-02-28 12:20

      Im so glad that loser Tendulkar's hundred didnt win the match such arrogance. The Indians choked as usual, how typical. The worst bowling attack ever. India are rubbish period

      Daniel - 2011-02-28 12:20


      ShabirS - 2011-02-28 12:25

      @Lord H. Tendulkar is one of the greatest cricketers ever, you confusing arrogance with confidence

      alessandroz067 - 2011-02-28 12:27

      lol... funny guys. loser Tendulkar? lmfao.... you obviously don't know much about cricket hey. Go watch S15, that's probably more your scene.

      Zolani - 2011-02-28 12:46

      you dont even deserve the steam off tendulkars urine

      HueyPNewton - 2011-02-28 12:46

      @Lord Haw-Haw. "The Indians choked as usual, how typical." Typical delusional Choke-teas fan. India has won 2 WORLD CUPS and 1 ICC CHAMPIONS TROPHY. What have the Choke-teas won????

      Man U - 2011-02-28 13:08

      @Lord Haw Haw: You know nothing about cricket you moronic fool! How did India choke? Why not say the same for England? They were cruising along nicely and had the game almost sealed but they choked! Besides, choking should be considered a choke in must win games, not a group game fool! And by the way, Tendulkar will probably hit your lousy head for a six if he reads your comment! He is the best and you not even fit to sniff the gas that comes out of his @SS!

      DeonL - 2011-02-28 13:16

      The only team that choked recently was West India!

      Lord Haw-Haw - 2011-02-28 13:19

      @Man U , yawn how stupid are you, pathetic India choked again. And to try and change the meaning of the word is ridiculous. I f any other team does it you and all the rabid Indian fans would be here in a flash. @HueyPNewton, a choke is a choke which is India, if you cant understand something so simple I think you must finish your last year of schooling which probably was grade 5

      Aitsa - 2011-02-28 14:18

      Naming himself Lord Haw Haw after the infamous WW II British Nazi broadcaster shows that the idiocy is strong in this one...

      Man U - 2011-02-28 15:32

      @Lord Haw Haw: Your mother is the stupid one for giving birth to a chop like you! Go comment on the game of poker or darts cause it is clear the cricket page is for people that have a basic understanding of the game you fool! Still no response from you on why England choked? Do you even know what the result of yesterdays game was? Again, please respond so that everyone can see what an uneducated knob you are!

  • mfsalomon - 2011-02-28 12:32

    This could mean we see either play New Zealand or Sri Lanka in the quarters.... with us at 1st or 2nd in our group...... hows that for positive thinking

  • Lord Haw-Haw - 2011-02-28 12:33

    @ShabirS, so its confidence if Tendulkar does it but arrogance if anyone does it. @alessandroz067, I know a lot about cricket. Enough to know about the childish behaviour Indian teams are known for, if things dont go there way they throw their toys out of the cot. Like what happened at Sydney and what happened in South Africa in early 2000. Absolute disgusting

      jeremy - 2011-02-28 12:51

      What happened in 2000 has very little bearing on what's happening today. The fact is that under Gary Kirsten, India have become a form team and, justifiably, favourites in the 2011 World Cup. What happened yesterday was that they thought they'd posted such a good total that their bowling was initially sloppy and allowed England to get a good start. I'll bet Gary and Craig Matthews had serious words with the team about that - and that they learned a serious lesson! As for "choking," neither team "choked." Both, in fact held their nerve remarkably well. Tendulkar a "loser?" You must be out of your mind!

      Lord Haw-Haw - 2011-02-28 13:07

      @jeremy, they choked plain and simple, if the Proteas did what happened yesterday , you and your fellow trolls would be on here in a flash. Plus have you forgotten how much India choked in South Africa. India blew it. Regarding Sydney, most of the players are still playing now, who was involved in that disgusting behavior

      jeremy - 2011-02-28 13:17

      Lord H, you're outvoted on this. I'd suggest you read Man U's comment above. He's right. I'm right. You're an idiot! By the way, I presume you know who the original Lord Haw Haw was - and what happened to him? He was an idiot you chose the right handle!

      cammie - 2011-03-01 06:41

      @ jeremy - is Craig Matthews the Indian Bowling Coach? Saw him as a guest in the stuio on SABC 3 just last week. I think you may have your Coaches confused - Eric Symons is the Bowling Coach for Inida.

      AJ - 2011-03-01 07:37

      @Lord Haw-haw: I think the point you were trying to make was lost in the way you tried to make it.

  • bey - 2011-02-28 12:38

    after posting such a huge total and being favourites to win, it was definitely india that choked infront of their home crowd, disappointing the millions of fans

      Grant - 2011-02-28 14:02

      Plus the EASY run-out at the end that the bolwer decided not to risk (fear of overthrows). Bit him in the @ss nicely! :P

  • Weepee - 2011-02-28 12:46

    Strauss cost England the game despite a brilliant innings. He called the batting power play when they were cruising and would have got there in 1's and 2's. There was absolutely no reason to go over the top at that stage. If Bell's cramping was the reasoning then he should have called for a runner. Bottom line is Strauss blew it. India are in for a long tournament if they insist on the same bowling attack. The poor fielding also does not help a limited bowling attack. I dont think India can win this WC. OZ, England and SA are looking ominous.

      Clyde Campbell - 2011-02-28 13:14

      @Weepee The batting powerplay is mandatory. Strauss took it in the 42d over, so he could only have delayed it by 3 overs.

  • Licikityspit - 2011-02-28 12:59

    Great match to watch! the best so far this CWC. Both India, and England showed exactly why they wont win the 2011 CWC - their bowling is awfull and fielding not much better. Although SA might be long shots to win the Title they at least look like the most rounded team albeit a power hitter short. Then again, the power hitters (Proteas) could never play spin and wouldnt be effective on the Sub continent anyway!

      Gilgamesh - 2011-02-28 16:31

      Which teams touring India have won a one day series there in the last 15 years? Your flippant assumption of SA being long shots needs to be re-thought. They actually play spin better than many other fancied sides - stats don't lie... In fact, it's their ability to play spin on these same wickets that is going to stand them in good stead. If I was a bookie I would put their odds much closer to India's than any other team playing.

  • thirdmaan - 2011-02-28 13:03

    Gents - It is just one match in a long tournament. We will find out who the real winners and losers are in a month and a bit. Until then hold your peace.

      Aitsa - 2011-02-28 14:19

      Thank heavens for a sane opinion.

  • Ivan - 2011-02-28 13:06

    Is it just me or did Rob not have his thinking cap on when he wrote this? "Certainly they will know that if they manage to knock over both England (Sunday, Chennai) and India (March 12, Nagpur) then finishing at the helm is assured, unless they unexpectedly botch a game against lesser powers the Netherlands (next up for them this Thursday), Ireland or Bangladesh." Even if either team had won and we beat England and India without losing to the minnows we would have topped the log. He obviously had nothing better to do than write this excrement.

      DeonL - 2011-02-28 13:23

      botch up, meant if we loose. He meant we can still come 2nd or third if we beat the strong teams but loose to a minniw or 2. It has happened before, at 1999 World cup we lost to Zimbabwe.

      Ivan - 2011-02-28 14:03

      I know what he meant Deon. The point is that even if India beat England or vice versa in yesterday's game and we beat them both as well as all the the minnows we would still top the log. We didn't need them to have a draw for that to happen. Logically we would top the log as we would be the only team in our group not to have lost a match.

      Grant - 2011-02-28 14:05

      Agreed Ivan - Deon, you arent getting the point here. The author suggests that because of the draw, if we beat India and England (and not lose to the minnows), we will certainly top the log. The fact is, regardless of the England vs India result, if we win against all teams, we will top the log ANYWAY. So its a pretty idiotic comment.

      DeonL - 2011-02-28 14:13

      Yes I agree if we win all our games we will be top. Should we beat England and India, but loose to 2 minnows we might not be top, this is probably never going to happen, we hope.

      Ivan - 2011-02-28 16:11

      OK I give up

      No Good - 2011-02-28 23:46

      lol...Deon is such an ass, I know

  • Stryder - 2011-02-28 13:12

    "...if they manage to knock over both England (Sunday, Chennai) and India (March 12, Nagpur) then finishing at the helm is assured..." . And how did this statement become more true now that India and England have drawn? Seems to me that had England or India won the match this statement would still me true. Am I missing something?

      DeonL - 2011-02-28 13:24

      unless we loose to a minnow. - 2011-02-28 13:28

      You are quite right. All the draw does is guarantee us second place if we lose one of those 2 games. There might have been a case were we could have finished 1,2 or 3 on run rate if all three teams lost once, but that is out of the window now.

      No Good - 2011-02-28 23:47

      y shud we care if either England or India loses?

  • IceMan - 2011-02-28 13:14

    Wow, emotions already running high! The game between England and India was a great match. How oftern do we see more than 600 runs in a game and the control tipping from one team to the other so many times. Its what we want from the world cup! Nobody choked. Tendulkar is the best batsmen ever and Strauss did exstremely well himself. Let's hope we get more of these games in the rest of the tournament!!!

      Brendon - 2011-02-28 13:59

      England choked huge.

  • BigD - 2011-02-28 13:38

    @ lord haw haw. You are such a twat. What choke are you talking about. Maybe the turds you are sprouting is causing you to choke. Maybe Man U and u can be in same class. So, haw haw, you are also a cricket expert, I wonder if that is crap speaking as well.

  • juan4280 - 2011-02-28 13:58

    go to cricinfo on odi then batsman tabs. this is what revealed: SRT 47 hundreds, average 45 daylight daylight daylight daylight Pointing 29 hundreds, average 40 + daylight daylight daylight daylight Kallis 17 hundreds, 40+ average in ODI, SRT stands alone innit. Do jog on you cricketing neanderthals

      Lord Haw-Haw - 2011-02-28 14:14

      Please the Indian batsmen play on the flattest wickets and play ridiculous amounts of ODI's against the likes of Bangladesh to inflate there stats

      Sipho - 2011-02-28 15:29

      I second Lord-HawHaw here. Just try and see SRT's scores out of India compared to the rest. And he will be a distant 5th or worse.

  • Lord Haw-Haw - 2011-02-28 14:01

    These replies just prove a point. Its okay to insult Protea players and the team, but let anyone say anything about team India or any of there players then all there one eyed rabid supporters jump on board. And quite frankly believing these rabid fans is questionable, these same fans give these silly nicknames like God or something just as arrogant to there players. The thing that is even more funny is they try convince people that India didnt choke but if another team performed the same way they will be on here flapping there mouth off. To people like ShabirS, alessandroz067, Zolani, Man U , jeremy , Big D and the two morons in chief trindian786 and HueyPNewton - you are the biggest hypocrites there is.

      juan4280 - 2011-02-28 14:08

      what a ponce, in the years since re-admission, RSA went into most competitions as the worlds number 1 or 2 and came back with the wooden spoon. Since that time, teams like sri lanka , india , england, etc went in as underdogs and came back with the trophy in many competitions. Lord Whore Whore, on this logic, can you not make any a reasonable deduction that RSA are the only chokers in town. Notwithstanding, i really want them to win something soon. please. ps, whore whore>> you don't have to be indian only to recognise the genius of tendulkar. he is on par or better than even federer, woods in their respective sports. do the math ito of fans, revenue, viewership. you silly man.

      trindian786 - 2011-02-28 14:36

      @juan4280 - thumbs up for the last line... @lord cough cough- guess now u understand who the real choker is in cricketing world. And all the big names that u hv mentioned in ur comment as biggest hypocrites have already shown u where ur standing is... so just stfu.. chokers..

      Lord Haw-Haw - 2011-02-28 14:38

      @juan4280, you are the idiot. This reply says it all "Lord Whore Whore, on this logic, can you not make any a reasonable deduction that RSA are the only chokers in town." You are clearly so one eyed its unbelievable, your lack of cricket knowledge is outstanding. Other teams do it so often but your prejudice makes you so blind, blinkin moron. And the rest of your post, good grief...

      Man U - 2011-02-28 15:40

      For the record you pr!cks! I support S.A, you are also included as a Pr!ck Tshane! The crap that the 2 of you talk amazes me! If you research properly, you would see Tendulkar scores hundreds all over the world! Talk about one eyed comments! @Tshane: Nobody dissed "Your" team you AMERICANISED fool! Learn to speak the terms of our country before you go on about telling us who we support etc...

      alessandroz067 - 2011-02-28 15:41

      It's clear that you have your masters in wanking and that's the only you're good for. It's okay if you failed your blood test, don't hate... appreciate.

      BigD - 2011-02-28 15:59

      Spoken like a true idiot.

      Lord Haw-Haw - 2011-02-28 17:18

      @Tshane, yes well the supporter issue is also annoying but that is a different story.

  • bobbythebozo - 2011-02-28 14:38

    Amazing how totally worked up people can get over a match which if you really think about it, is nothing but an exhibition game with no bearing whatsoever on who will win the world cup. This is the "beauty" of the incredible format the brains trust at the ICC came up with. I am a huge cricket fan. Have paid good money to watch cricket all over the world. But I just cant get excited about this tournament.

      BardofAvon - 2011-02-28 22:32

      Yes, I can't wait for the day we have a real cricket world cup... lasting maybe even over a year, and, of course, comprising of five-day matches. It should be played then every five years. That would be a real reflection of the best team and the best players. 50-50 cricket is exactly as its name suggests - a lottery.

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