Indian analyst Prasanna Agoram with South Africa during the 2011 World Cup. He was the mastermind behind South Africa’s win against the dominant Indian side in the marquee event which eventually saw them become champions. Agoram, in a YouTube interaction with Ravichandran Aswin, spoke about how he planned India’s defeat.
Team India batsman were highly contributing in the series. Agoram has planned to target premier India fast bowler Zaheer Khan and neutralise his effect on the South African batsmen. He had also closely monitored how MS Dhoni worked on his plans to use Zaheer Khan effectively and worked accordingly on his plans.
“So, he would bowl his first 5 overs in the initial 10 overs. In the period of 27-32, he comes in for a small spell, to get a breakthrough. By then, he would be done with 7 overs. So if you force a batting powerplay then immediately, Dhoni has to bring him back. And that was his pattern.”
“So if the batting powerplay is taken then, by 37 overs Zaheer would have bowled 9 overs. My concept was that a batsman would anyway swing in the last 5 overs, so the powerplay is always wasted at that time. Another thing was, as the ball got older, his reverse was more effective.”
“It is not easy to defeat India in India. For the last 10 overs, we needed 69 runs with 7 wickets standing and Zaheer Khan has only one over to bowl. In that situation, it is very simple.”
“So Dhoni got Zaheer back again in the 49th over. There were 17 runs required in the 2 overs. Even then, we played him out for 4 overs. Ashish Nehra had 13 runs to defend. Game over in 4 balls. So this was the theory behind it.”
Opting to bat, India had posted 296 runs on board in the Group B match against South Africa with Sachin Tendulkar scoring a century and Gautam Gambhir contributing 69 runs. Dale Steyn picked up five-wicket haul in the match.
South Africa rode on brilliant performances from Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers to help their side clinch victory with two balls to spare.