Saturday, 27 February 2010

India not targetting a whitewash against RSA

With the first two matches already being won by India and with it the series as well, suggestions are that India would be looking in for a whitewash. One need not specially cite the way India won the first one dayer against South Africa where the match went on until the last legal delivery was bowled. Anyway, that is a different issue altogether. However, the fact that seems evident after Dhoni's decisions to rest Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag is that Dhoni doesn't have the idea to whitewash South Africa. Instead, Dhoni's idea seems to give youngsters some international match practice.

This would be the first whitewash imposed by India over South Africa if at all India succeed in doing so. I just cannot remember as to when last did South Africa ever play an ODI series against India in India. From the past 6 years since the 2003 world cup, South Africa have been to India only for the test series if not for the 5 match ODI series that was played in October 2005 which was leveled 2-2 with one ODI being abandoned. In 2004, South Africa visited India for only a 2 match test series and so was the case on its earlier tour in 2008 where the Proteas played just 3 tests.

As a matter of fact India has hardly whitewashed any team barring Bangladesh. The only ODI series that I can recall in the recent past is the 5-0 victory over England in November 2008. That was a 7 match ODI series that was cut short to 5 one dayers owing to the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. The second best to this would be the 6-1 series win over Sri Lanka in 2005 and 4-1 against Pakistan in 2006. As a matter of fact, India were unable to whitewash Bangladesh on its earlier tour when India lost the 2nd one dayer at Dhaka in 2004-05 by 11 runs.

And now though this is no golden opportunity, India has given up the idea of going in to whitewash South Africa. Dhoni has included the likes of Abhimanyu Mithun, Rohith Sharma and Murali Vijay who will be replacing Tendulkar and Sehwag. And as usual, there is no Harbhakan Singh and Zaheer Khan which completely rules out India's chances of winning the 3rd and the final one dayer at Ahmedabad. However, some chances despite the absence of key players would be absence of Smith in the South African team and the presence of Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina etc among a few others who can put pressure on the visiting team.

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