One of my first posts in the blog was on the historic One day International played between Australia and South Africa in Johannesburg , where South Africa chased down a record total of 434 in 50 overs
Several years later, history came quite close to repeat itself.. But this time , the other team, or rather would say , the best team won in the end
The feud ,competition and rivalry between these two teams is not yet over , which is quite evident from the recently concluded test series in Australia.
Despite the fact that , South Africa won the first two tests by luck and won the series, the third and final test match was not an easy affair.
5 days , 450 grueling overs , a broken test wicket at the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground), an injured captain with a broken hand , coming out to bat at No.11 (as compared to him coming opening) , a controversial catch claimed by the Australian captain , this match had seen everything cricket had to offer in one of its finest forms of the game , Test Cricket
Ricky Ponting, the most resilient and daring captain of the Australian cricket team , allowed the visitors to chase a target of just 367 with more than a day’s play left , by declaring so early .. Despite knowing fully well , that SA had won the previous match by chasing a mammoth target , Ponting dared them to achieve the impossible yet again.
Sports fans and critics would have called him a foolish person to declare early ,esp when SA had reached 67 for the loss of just one wicket at Stumps Day 4. Yet Ponting silenced them all and proved why he is still the best captain around , with his intent of going for a kill rather than play for a draw
The match extending to the last 3 overs of the fifth day’s play and still the result of the test match was quite indecisive with both possibilities of a OZ win or a draw was laid open..
120 runs to win , and one wicket in hand (that being the SA captain , Graeme Smith, who had earlier walked out on a retired hurt ,after an express delivery from Mitchell Johnson broke his left hand,and showed no signs of coming to bat again)
With less than two overs to going the final day , Graeme Smith walked on to the pitch , with a standing ovation from the crowd , jus to bat through the final 15 odd deliveries to draw the match. But though , his stumps were rooted from the ground by the same Johnson , with just 10 balls left in the match.
The match would have won by the Aussies , and the series captured by the South Africans , yet at the end of this magnificent 3 weeks of test matches , it just shows to prove why Test Cricket is still and will ever be the best the game can offer.
5 days of intense and grueling cricketing action in fading lights and broken pitches , brings about a sheen,an efficiency and a class in these players that ODI or a T20 can never dream to display .
Fours and Sixes can show you who has more power , but the true test of character comes out only when you battle out an entire day’s play in a test match..
That’s why , they still call Dravid, “The Wall” !