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Sachin, Gauti slowdown was another crucial issue

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Mar 13, 2011 12:25 IST

The defeat against South Africa, despite the match going to the wire, will leave a bad taste in the mouth for India.

However, the hosts didn't entirely cover themselves with glory despite a brilliant start provided by Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar after MS Dhoni chose to bat first on a flat pitch.

Tendulkar's innings seemed to taper off in the second half. He took just 33 deliveries to race to his fifty, but took another 68 deliveries to score his remaining 61 runs. It appeared to get a bit unproductive at that stage in the context of the innings as Gautam Gambhir at the other end was also solid --  scoring 69 runs off 75 -- without launching an all-out attack.

However, Tendulkar's big knocks have won India far more than they have lost. He has scored 33 match-winning centuries with 13 in a losing cause.

India fought on as South Africa, led by AB de Villiers step up scoring after Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis had laid the foundation. Zaheer Khan bowled a sensational 49th over conceding just four runs, leaving SA to score 13 off the final over.

But Ashish Nehra gave away 16 runs in four deliveries to seal the result.

 

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