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Harbhajan or Paul Harris?

What was the real reason the 3rd and final test in Cape Town ended in a draw?

Was it because of Jacques Kallis’ two brilliant innings?
A gutsy 64 from the injured Gambhir?
Maybe it was because of Tendulkar’s 1st innings century?

It certainly wasn’t down to the pitch being flat and unhelpful to the bowlers. Considering 8 wickets fell to spinners on the 4th day suggests the pitch had become spin friendly, so what happened on the 5th day?

Paul Harris, thats what. South Africa’s lack of a top class attacking spinner has cost them the chance to beat the No.1 ranked team in the world.

Harris may have gone for less than a run an over, but he was nowhere near good enough to penetrate India’s batting line up. He could have bowled for 5 days and wouldn’t have got near Harbhajan’s wicket haul.

Thats what cost SA today. The Indian batsmen knew Harris was no threat, that all they had to do was be careful and watchful and that he would be no match for them.

They knew Harris mainly gets his wickets through the pressure created by Steyn and Morkel. The batsmans eyes light up when Harris comes on after the seamers. They see easy runs and Harris cashes in on any mistake.

With India not looking for runs, Harris was no threat.

Harris is a good team man. He’s gutsy and can hang around with the bat, he is also a very good fielder.

He is supposed to be in the side to bowl though. All his role with the ball seems to be, is to give the seamers a rest. He does give his captain the element of control though, no one ever really takes him to the cleaners.

Harris epitomizes the negative roll in which spinners can be used in world cricket these days. He’s a throw back to the halcyon days of Richard Illingworth in the England side.

There must be better more attacking spin bowlers in South Africa. When Steyn and Morkel don’t come off, SA seem to have no wicket taking back up bowlers. This is what cost them the victory today for me.

Would your cricket loving Buddies enjoy this?


  1. Anonymous

    Hi Dean,

    Unfortunately (from a SA perspective), there don’t seem to be quality wicket-taking spinners in SA. They do have Boetha and Van der Merwe as back-up, but they too haven’t proven themselves as wicket-takers.

    However, an important development has just happened…a Pakistani leg-spinner Imran Tahir (perhaps you know about him?) has very recently become a SA citizen and has been included in their ODI squad…and is expected by many to supersede Harris in the Test squad. I’ve heard he’s played plenty of 1st class cricket, including in England, and has pretty good stats in the longer form. So SA could potentially become an even better bowling side, in all conditions, in the time to come. Though we still have to see how Tahir goes at Test level.

    All in all, I think 1-1 was a fair reflection of the tightness of the contest…a high quality one at that. But as I had lamented before…I only wish the BCCI had emulated the ECB’s preparation for the Ashes and given India a warm-up game or two in those conditions. But then, this isn’t the 1st time the BCCI has let Indian cricket and the Indian public down (not to speak of world cricket).


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