Dale Steyn versus Sachin Tendulkar in an abbreviated title bout

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Tendulkar wins this roundThere’s a great Test series taking place in South Africa at the moment and we’re gutted that we’re missing so much of it because of the Ashes.

It’s like when you get carried away ordering takeaway. The leftovers won’t keep for a week, so you’ve got to make some tough decisions about what gets eaten and what doesn’t. However, while we’ve had a hell of a lot of Ashes, we’ve always got room for Dale Steyn and Sachin Tendulkar.

While Morne Morkel’s a 5-90 then 0-90 kind of a bowler. Dale Steyn’s more 3-50, 4-80, 5-90. Off-days are very rare and he’s been slashing at India almost constantly for three Tests now.

In many ways, Tendulkar is similar. Test hundreds 50 and 51 against this bowling attack in its home conditions tells you pretty much all you need to know about the man.

If we have one minor gripe, it’s that it’s only a three-Test series. Wait. Did we say ‘minor gripe’? We meant ‘colossal ball-aching issue that just about makes us want to cry’.


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  1. I thought that half the point of ordering take-away food is to have loads left for breakfast in the morning.
    Why can’t we have more five test series generally? Is it to do with money? Probably!

  2. Oh yeah, order for the morning as well, but the Ashes running concurrently with South Africa v India is way beyond that.

    It’s like you’ve got three sets of takeaway remnants, Chrismas leftovers AND some steaks that need using and they all need eating by yesterday.

    Something’s got to give.

  3. Your “three sets of takeway” rant sounded like the contents of Daisy’s fridge on Sunday.

    All better now. She’s cutting the last of the ham as I write and the bone will make a darn good soup together with those poultry bones.

    Did somebody mention cricket?

  4. ‘colossal ball-aching issue that just about makes us want to cry’

    And you come up with 2 posts (may be 3 ?) about one of the more closely fought series’. Compare that to about 20 for the ashes.

    Do not get me wrong, I’d love to see aussie bashing as much as the next guy. But I expected more.

  5. We’re watching the Ashes first and foremost. There’s only so many hours in the day.

    Plus, we don’t like to update too often cause we like to give comment threads a chance to develop.

    Two more South Africa v India Tests AFTER the Ashes would have helped a lot.

    So annoying the two series have run at exactly the same time, but it’s just one of those things.

  6. Even with 3 test match series, I like the South Africa – Australia setup. 3 matches at home followed by 3 matches away. It provides an illusion of a longer test match series played in very varied conditions.

    Of course this probably only works because both of them are in the southern hemisphere and have pretty close cricketing schedules.

  7. Blame that fat syphilitic bastard Sharad Pawar. The scum-sucking Jabba-the-hut twin runs the BCCI as his personal fiefdom. If I was in-charge of the BCCI, there would be 5 test series with about three practice matches thrown in. Let the teams sort out which one is best by eliminating all excuses.

  8. “Plus, we don’t like to update too often cause we like to give comment threads a chance to develop.” And i don’t go to the gym because i don’t want to rip my new t-shirts.

  9. Huh?

    All we mean by that is that when we update too frequently, posts get pushed down the page and no-one comments on them.

  10. Nope.

    We’d love to do more on the series – we really would – but we’ve just the one writer and so can’t do it justice. That’s the long and short of it.

  11. That’s the official line.

    The unofficial line is that it’s a group editorial voice that was exposed as being a bad idea about four years ago.

  12. Brave words, Horatius.

    Now, who will stand on either hand and keep the BCCI honest with thee?

    “I’ll give it a try”, spake Ged “Spurius Lartius” Ladd.

  13. KC…you have no idea what you’ve missed today at Capetown!!!

    You’d be kicking yourself in the balls if you knew what you’ve missed out on today! 🙂

    Irreristible force took 5/75…immovable object made 146. But no words can do justice to how it all went down…especially the session after lunch…

    Thank you, Lord, for my good fortune!

  14. Watching the highlights right now. Won’t be kicking ourself in the balls though, no matter what we see.

  15. I heard someone in the commentary mention that Tendulkar played and missed 26 times in this inning. That must be another record for the little master.

  16. It was unbelievably good bowling, but when you hear statistics like that, you think maybe they should bowl a couple more at the stumps.

  17. I managed to catch some of Tendulkar’s inning this morning. Steyn beat Sachin’s bat many times with lovely outswingers, and yet Sachin gave the impression of being in control. It was weird. It was superb.

  18. I love Ashes as much as the next guy, but only nationalist fervor, patriotism, and (in the case of you English) the perverse desire to seek gloating revenge for 24 years of humiliation can make a cricket fan choose it over Ind-SA. The world’s best batting line-up against the world’s best bowling attack. Naturally, the contest has oscillated almost every session.

    The last 3 days have been particularly pulsating. The consolation for you is that the Sydney test actually seems to be getting exciting, not turning into the predictable one-sided knock-outs that almost all Ashes tests after the memorable 2005 shoot-out have been. So in the end, choosing SCG ’11 over Newlands ’11 might not seem as much of a howler as choosing MCG ’10 over Kingsmead ’10 was.

    P.S. On second thoughts, I actually hope that Cook and co will bat Australia out of the game tonight and make this a one-sided contest too. Thrilling contests are well and good, but even for a non-Pom like me, the schadenfreude of an Aussie debacle is too good to resist.

  19. KC…the highlights can’t possibly do justice to the live ball-by-ball unfolding…but better than nothing at all.

    But Steyn’s 2 spells needed to be seen live…5 brilliant overs at the start of play, and then THE BEST SPELL OF FAST OUTSWING bowling YOU COULD EVER SEE… just after lunch!!!

    And yes, Tendulkar did play and miss 26 times, technically…I’d say around half were genuine beats when trying to defend…the others were either balls he tried to reach out and score off to keep SA on the back foot, while a few were misses down the legside.

    Actually even the commentators are noting how this is a completely atypical Capetown pitch…seaming and bouncing all over the place! On top of that…Steyn’s 135-140K leg-breaks!

    What a Test!

  20. That it wasn’t a typical flawless Tendulkar innings made the day even more enthralling (although 26 played and missed sounds too high….some, as commentators noted, were ones he started to go after but then fractionally held back at the last moment). it made the action all the more exciting. It even made him appear human, scrapping and struggling, not fluently powering along.

    Same story with Gambhir. Good old fashioned grind. It was tragic to see him fall to Harris of all people (although Harris did deserve a wicket for persisting with that line). Harbhajan’s innings might get reported as a cavalier cameo, but he only started that way, and once the field spread, took a nuanced approach. He could not have lasted that long by just throwing his bat around the whole time.

    It was a day when almost everyone on both sides made a good impression. Even Pujara looked generally assured for his short stay and it was a once-in-a-decade delivery that got him plumb. Dhoni fell to a relatively benign ball, but he can be forgiven for what was his first true “failure” in the series.

    All in all, one of the best days of test cricket I have seen in my life.

  21. How do you people get the time to watch all this cricket?

    Don’t you have jobs to go to and desks to stare at?

  22. @sam

    ah the benefits of a summer holiday for a uni student…

    @all those who missed the action

    the best session of cricket i’ve seen since the 2005 ashes series … in fact, Steyn vs Tendulkar was the best 1 vs 1 contest i’ve ever seen.

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