Cricket: An enthralling end.
West Indies managed to draw India towards a draw. I lot could be done but then we have settle for the result which in hind-sight is a fit result. It is also perhaps a metaphor about the way this series in general will be meandering. It will be series in which the momentum will continue to shift and this will go back and fourth till the end of series. West Indies have to do a lot in order to claim the series.
Slow start, quick wickets.
Gayle and Ganga were hell bent on “defence only” they did it well till there was 40 minutes to go for lunch. Ganga prods a Kumble delivery with stiff hands. The ball took the inside edge the ball popped as a regulation catch to square leg where Yuvraj made it look really flashy. Ganga gone India was looking nine more wicket taking deliveries.
Dravid backs Sreesanth no bounds.
It was amazing to see Sreesanth to come back and claim wickets. He was blown away by a Gayle in first innings. It was time to claim so lost pride. Sarwan drove at a ball on the up away from the body. The balls took the edge of his bat and landed up in Kumble’s safe hands. Sarwan was out for one. Lara was to be next. Lara left couple of Sreesanth deliveries only to be trapped plumb in front. Asad Rauf the umpire took some time giving it out. So from 67 for no loss they went in 74 for 3. India in control.
A diminutive Chanderpaul stands tall.
Chanderpaul is the difference between the two teams. He is all about weird ways of batting something which the budding cricketers must not see. He keeps it simple. He prefers scoring in boundaries. The more time he spends in the middle the more solid he gets. He has an amazing eye. He can change gears to go from defence to attack and then back to defence in matter of minutes. He is the key batsman if India has to win this series. He was dropped on nought of Sreesanth and managed to bail out West Indies with a good 62.
The Wickets tumble around tea again.
likely hood of a wicket tumbling around team is the highest. Chanderpaul and Gayle denied India a sniff of wicket in the second session. Gayle picked up some boundaries and dented some hug sixes. He fell to Kumble after tea.
West Indies four wickets down. India needed six more.
Last Session, India fail to push a victory.
India managed to rock the West Indies at regular intervals. The last three wickets last for more than 21 overs and denied Indians a victory. Bradshaw and Mohamed kept on pegging away. India did well of the meagre resources on their disposal. Sehwag chipped in with 2 wickets and looked in awesome touch. Kumble tried to hard to complete a five wicket haul. Colleymore and Edwards denied them a chance. I wonder if Indian tail ender could do the same thing if they were in a similar position.
The team for next test.
Sehwag, Jaffer, Dravid, Laxman, Kaif, Dhoni, Pathan, Kumble, Harbhajan, Sreesanth, Munaf. We need to play in five bowlers in alien condition if we are looking to “win” a series. VRV Singh and Yuvraj can be “rested”. The two things where India failed to push the advantage were failing to pitch in five bowlers, dismal first innings and an hour after tea on the fourth day.