Do you remember the Johannesburg ODI of 2011 between India and South Africa? Let us take you to one of the finest ODIs in the history of Indian cricket where our Men in Blue made a terrific comeback. It was 15th January 2011! Dhoni & Co. were all set to give their best and then this happened:
Failed to convert their good start
India, after winning the toss, elected to bat first. In the absence of Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar had to open the innings with Murali Vijay. They both got starts but failed to deliver big. India, at one stage, were 67/3 and was desperate for a partnership. Then came the two savious of the squad Yuvraj and Dhoni, who added 87 runs for the 4th wicket. After Yuvi’s wicket, India started losing wickets on regular intervals. Finally, there were all-out for 190 which was not even a fighting total at any ground in ODIs.
South Africa showed why they known as ‘Chokers’
Gone are the days when 190 was a good total in ODIs! The game was in the hands of South Africa! All they should have done was sticking at the wicket! But… that couldn’t happen! Skipper Graeme Smith gave a brilliant start to the team after Amla’s wicket. He and Colin Ingram added 59 runs for the 2nd wicket before Ingram got trapped in front on the bowling of Harbhajan Singh. The hosts added some crucial runs in between but no one could stay at the crease just like the visitors. The were 160 for 6 at one stage and that’s when India played a gamble by staying with Munaf Patel on one end. Zaheer Khan was exceptional on the other end as well. South Africans were unable to identify Munaf Patel’s slow deliveries and were looking helpless at that moment. They had overs but not wickets. In the 43rd over, which proved to be the last one, Africans had already lost 8 wickets. Wayne Parnell’s confidence was down and the hosts were in need of just 4 runs. The left-hander took a single on the first ball but Morkel got out on the 2nd. Indians started roaring at the ground! 3 was required but Indians needed one wicket! After played the first ball for a dot, Lonwabo Tsotsobe went for a single. Parnell was under huge pressure with 2 required! And then… He played a square cut that went straight into the hands of YUVRAJ SINGH……. India won by 1 run and leveled the series 1-1. That was a stunner from Men in Blue, which will be remembered for many more years.
Pic credits: BreakNews