When a team gets bowled out for 76 runs in 20 overs on the first day of a test match and goes on to lose by an innings and plenty in just three days, one would think that the opposition bowlers won the test for their team. And therefore one of them would have been named the man of the match. Dale Steyn returned match figures of 8 for 114, while Makhaya Ntini ended up with 6 for 62, including 5 top-order wickets (the most decisive performance, in my view). But AB de Villiers walked off with the man of the match for his unbeaten double century in the Ahmedabad test.
Sure a double hundred is a significant contribution, but look at the circumstances. When de Villiers strode in to the crease, his team was already 41 runs to the good, the man at the other end was Jacques Kallis, the pitch had lost its juice and the opposition were already looking forward to the next match. So how critical was de Villiers’ innings in the context of the game?
More often than not, bowlers win matches and batsmen save them. And when two out of the three innings read 494 for 7 declared and 328, the 76 stands out in stark contrast. And one of the people who engineered that devastation would’ve been the decisive force in the match? Well, it’s a batsman’s game, isn’t it?
One more piece of mine on individual awards here – And the award goes to . . .