The dream run continues.
Tough task set.
The West Indies might be ruing the fact that they could have driven home the advantage by amassing a total inexcess of 20 but that was not the possibility as the Indian bowlers did a good cleaning up job by restricting the hosts to just 251. This made sure that in form but a fragile middle order could keep things in control. A 250 was a tough ask tough and India needed to almost pull this match with all the muscle they had.
Sehwag without run scoring ideas. Raina must be tested.
He still seems out of sorts. He looks feeble and lack lustre. The best thing for him would be too stick around and get some momentum going for himself even if it means playing an unfamiliar and uncharacteristic manner. He hardly looked in tune with the pace of the game. Could anyone believe Dravid playing at run a ball while Sehwag just defending? But that was the story in the last game. There is a case of pushing Sehwag down the order if not dropping him and make way for a young Raina to open the innings. I think if ( and when )Tendulkar comes back to open in O.D.I.’s he and Raina would be a good pair (right and left opening batsmen at that ) and who better partner for Raina then Tendulkar at the other end from ball one. Raina has a decent technique suited for One Days, he isn’t flashy enough and doesn’t mind hitting over the top.
Yuvraj takes a deep plunge in knee level waters.
Yuvraj try to repeat performance which he was displaying in recent history did not amuse many by playing a nothing shot, kudos to Samuel as he held onto a very good catch. I think would advise him to look and leap. Over confidence has ruined a many. I think I would have preferred him settling down and some quiet over wouldn’t have mattered much coz he is a very good finisher of the One Day game along with Abdur Razaaq, Brendon McCullum, Andrew Symonds and Kevin Pietersen. He is perhaps on the top one feels. I think number four is a place best suited for him, number three is a bit too much.
Kaif accidentally discovers some runs.
Kaif’s runs getting capabilities seemed to waning after guiding his state to Ranji success. His batting woes were worsened by some poor opportunities given to him. He looked rugged as well and two dropped catches only helped his cause. The fact that he hit winning runs in a tight match makes we wonder if he has left behind his bad form. His form was so poor that he just averaged in binaries in couple of series and he might have saved more runs than he scored. He is a good prospect for both forms of the game as he has better technique to Yuvraj in the longer form. The comparison between Kaif and Yuvraj often reminds me of Dravid and Ganguly. Kaif has perhaps the best qualities of Azhar and Dravid.
The fact that Dravid was other end to guide him also might have clamed his nerves. He plays well with Dravid. A good partnership between him and Dravid was the key to Indian success. It is so good to see someone from the middle order to raise his hand up when there is a crisis. So far so good for Dravid Chapell and Indian cricket team.
All and all it’s just another brick in the Wall.
The team has done exceedingly well so has the Captain courageous, Rahul Dravid. A century in the very first game is a chasing cause will help the team a great deal and perhaps set the tone for the coming Test Series as well. There is a lot of class in Rahul Dravid, I will again reiterate what I love about Dravid, he is a timeless classic, if ever anyone wishes to write an illustrated manual of batting he has to include Dravid picture perfect snaps. Dravid’s strokeplay is shear delight as it covers all angle of batting be it a powerful cut or a pull or an elegant silken cover drive or the timing of a signature flick to the mid wicket boundary or just a push to long on and long off he is a pure delight.. He can play for ages and I don’t mind him seeing ever.
The middle order has done so exceedingly well and credits lies to the man who has picked up the gauntlet of opening the innings in absence of Tendulkar and now a prolonged and sad exclusion of Ganguly from the O.D.I. It is no mean task opening especially after not having much experience. This is Dravid’s determination. He leads by setting examples that’s what has taken the team to this level.
Indians caught in a Gayle.
The series and the match started an hour late.The series started in a manner most hated by true Cricket fans, the ground staff did a great work to ensure there is atleast 90% of the game was ensured. The pitch, that was coloured in aq colour which the Indian team envies the most, the Indian fan prayed Indians won the toss. They did it and managed to put West Indies into bat.
Poor Show Ten Sports.
I miss ESPN-STAR although they enjoyed cricketing broadcast privilege for nearly a decade the other channels coming up still have to catch up standards set by them. The coverage was awfull as the TV screens only displayed the playing members of this team.
Poor start with the ball.
Irfan Pathan taking wicket in the opening spell is now a custom. He was wayward and off the line and I remember another left arm quick who seems to played in the team while ago aka Zaheer Khan there was a similar disastrous start then and I remember knowing the result after the first over itself. I don’t want to feel the déjà vu again. The first over saw couple of wides no-balls some pitched up and some half tracker. There was one particular delivery which Chris Gayle very reluctantly hit towards the boundary, it was a real half tracker. Dravid had the luxury of the other 3 bowlers out of whom only one put his hand up. The West Indies score read 87 for none in 13.3 overs after which the first wicket fell.
Agarkar rises to challenge.Harbhajan stamps the rot.
Agarkar is a tremendous first change bowler. I think he has a lot more control once the white ball loses its shine. He proved it once again. He maintained line and length got rewarded with a wicket of a very impressive Morton. He also maintained enough pressure ensuring that Harbhajan snarls up Sarwan for not too many. He returned with the figures of 9-0-37-2.
Lara and Gayle steadied the ship.
The two got a partnership going and not only steadied the ship but also rocked the Indian bowling with some Calypso cricket. This resulted in a solid partnership of 82 runs in 14 over and three balls. The strokeplay was a blitzkrieg with spinners being tonked out of the park. The partnership was also helped by extras. There were plenty of them actually. Gayle then notched up a very bludgeoning century. I wonder if it is his best score. It was a strokeful century with nearly two thirds of his runs coming in boundaries.
Indians mop up.
The Indian bowlers mopped up some poor show with ball in the frist innings. It is upto the batsmen to score a good challenging 251 in 45 overs. There is no doubt over the capability but the Indians have to lay to rest fear of chasing in second innings abroad and the West Indian bowling is not something our batsmen may be accustomed to. The Indian bowlers held onto their nerves and managed to restrict West Indians to 251 which at one time looked 275.
The end of the first edit.
It is getting really late as I finish up and I have to go to sleep against my wishes of watching Indian chase. Lets see of this night has some surprise stored up for me. I hope we are not underestimating West Indies in the light of recent Indian performances at home.