Vijay, fooled by full one
It was Morne Morkel's version of the sucker punch. A full delivery on off-stump bowled at 145.4 kph. It also had Murali Vijay's number written all over it. The Indian opener went down without a fight. His feet remained limp, and a weak poke away from the body resulted in an outside edge to South Africa wicketkeeper AB de Villiers.
All the hard work put in during the first session, over in a jiffy.
Morkel had of course forced Vijay into his trap by softening him up and pushing him onto the back foot. Thrice the ball reared up and flew past the splice of the right-hander's bat. Morkel even managed to clip the edge, only for the ball to fall agonisingly short of Hashim Amla at third slip. And off the final ball before drinks, he had Vijay fending awkwardly against a short ball, the inside edge ballooning and almost being snared by a diving Amla at backward short-leg.
Incidentally, the opener looked quite comfortable till Morkel came on. The last time he had played a Test on South African soil, Vijay had been quickly sorted out by Dale Steyn's pace and movement. Today, however,he seemed to have conquered his fears. Vijay was beaten only once in the first hour, by a customary Steyn outswinger. Otherwise, he had left the ball outside his off stump without much fuss.
Before Morkel came on, Vijay had shouldered arms to 19 out of 31 deliveries he faced against Steyn and Vernon Philander. He had even left a few on length, trusting the bounce on the Wanderers wicket. Even when a few from Philander tailed in sharply.
But against Morkel's extra bounce, Vijay was suddenly all at sea. The confidence was gone as he jabbed and prodded meekly, the gap between bat and pad widening on each occasion.
- No SP role in dropping sedition charges, say Meerut officials
- NaMo Army stages dharna, wants BJP to name Modi from Varanasi
- EC halts Amitabh Bachchan’s shooting for Gujarat tourism
- Wigan stun Man City again in FA Cup
- Cong primaries bring state chief, CM at loggerheads
- Sangh’s public backing of Modi begins