England: 360-9 (Lunch, Day Two).
England covered lots of ground, which they had lost yesterday. They batted brilliantly courtesy Paul Collingwood who was not looking the most comfortable. He was beaten on many a times. But he chose to stay a made himself a good century under pressure. I hope he comes on top of the batting order. This will not only help the English who especially struggle against spin. It will give something for the Indian bowlers to thing about.I see England getting close to 400. I hope Indian bowlers having something to talk about Collingwood, who is a good player because he tends to look in control.
Sree Santh took Hoggard as the first wicket to fall. The Indian nemesis of not being able to polish of the tail came back to haunt them again as over hundred runs have been scored only two wickets are taken. The focus will shift on English bowling in due course of time. After scoring some runs in style, Harmisson will be fired up and his ability to get bounce will cause Sehwag some trouble.The scenario, which unfolds, will be interesting to see. How many will the English score? Will the Indian top order collapse? Tendulkar is slated to plunder some big runs. The role of English bowlers is the key. As far as this session in concerned, England looked in command and Indians let things past by out of their hand.This match hopefully might turn into a very interesting match provided English bat as long as possible. Then the English follow up their act with good fast bowling. Both the things remain to be seen.
Indians have a big day tommorow.
Many players have toured India after having not so good starts to their career. However, before their toured was finished their careers sky rocketed e.g. Matthew Hayden. The latest addition to this list is Paul Collingwood. He batted brilliantly to score a 134* very important in the context of English innings. He looked composed and did not make batting look complicated. He stepped down to spinners. What does that means? It means he is more liable to find the vacant spaces in the field. The spinner’s length is disturbed. He waited, waited, and was rewarded. He made his first century and looks like a vital link to this English test side.
The use of his feet was his striking feature of his innings. He along with Pietersen, Jones and Flintoff has to do well all this series if they wish to salvage some pride. The score they reached is very competitive if the English live up to their reputations as a team with good seam attack.I fear there are lots of “ifs” and “buts” involved and picture for Indian is not as rosy as it seems. Imagine a scenario that two quick wicket fell for not too many runs in first half an hour of play. This will be a big hole and the batsmen have to do a major repair work. The three batsmen waiting in the wings are Tendulkar, Laxman and Kaif. It is an odd situation, in which these batsmen find themselves. Tendulkar did not have a greatest test series in terms of scoring runs. Kaif has saved more runs while fielding then he has done with the bat in last month or so. Laxman again is looking to cement his place again. These batsmen need to score runs so that they are not labelled failures. Our N.E.W.S. channels have ensure they either one performs or sit out. Yuvraj in great nick so these batsmen will have to bat well even if he comes to crease in a blindfold.
Dravid learnt a few tricks today. The tail again wagging and last three wickets gave England over 150 runs. I hope he come well prepared when a similar situation arises next time. Sree Santh is carrying on from where he left off. He is a bit unlucky though, good fielders are dropping his catches. The spinners just took three wickets between them. Virender Sehwag will score and score big so if he occasionally misses out it doesn’t scare many. Dravid is a brilliant Test batsman for past four years now. He is nothing short of superlative. He has scored runs against every team, against every attack home and away.
If I were to write a coaching manual for batting, I would illustrate that with Rahul Dravid’s pictures. He plays every shot in the book to perfection. He has to play a big role to ensure India have the upper hand. He would not like to miss as his wife hails from Nagpur, so there is definitely some connection. His century will help India clear the deficit. Tendulkar hopefully will play some more than a cameo innings.The first session as always, hold the key and may decide as to which way the test might head. Jaffer and Dravid are looking good. But tomorrow is a new day and they should look to make some impression. The whole Indian batting line up is under some sort of pressure to perform. A solid start will pave the way to a big innings score. If England are to make some big dents and at the end of the day have a lead of around 70 to 80 runs then it will be a tough call to make. India has to make sure they don’t repeat there performance from the last test they played. The seized all advantage and then gave it to Pakistan in a gift-wrap. There is a big test of the formidable Indian batting tomorrow.