India failed to win the last test, They were just three wickets away when West Indies were seven down three to go. Indian bowlers could manage all but one wicket. I don’t think Indians would have saved this test if Indians were in such a position. Indians having rested key bowlers would have found themselves in surprising position of beating the West Indians. The fire power was missing as the combine Indian seam attack was had all of four matches and then there was Kumble. Chanderpaul and Gayle looked in no fuss. Chanderpaul, well his shot selection makes up for his unusually style of play which often looks very irritating to watch.
The “Sehwag” show.
When he hits they remain hits. He is a big innings player and makes up lack of technique by scoring big, meaty centuries. He has done so all over the world against every team. He has a special liking for Pakistani attack. The pitch was green with bare patches scattered all over the place. A green pitch is where I back Sehwag to get a century. He looked focused and hungry and wanted to make up for getting starts and not converting in the first test. He smashed a whirlwind 180 which knocked the winds out of West Indians sails. He slowed down after a mini collapse and then he along with captain Dravid resurrected the Indian innings.
Jaffer was against sucked in t play away from the body. He should have left it alone. He played well though and made sure Sehwag stole the show. Laxman played a nothing shot. He paid the penalty and was out nothing against his name. Yuvraj Singh looks to leave the ball which he must play. The leave can sometime be an attacking move but Yuvraj thinks otherwise. He is trying to play a game which he is not accustomed to playing. H was looking anything comfortable. He was bowled of a beautiful delivery. His dismissal was a example of out of sorts batsman getting a magic delivery. Yuvraj was caught napping.
Dravid and Kaif carry it further.
Three Indian wickets fell around Tea. Dravid and Kaif came in together and make sure then drive home the advantage of a big opening stand. They shut all doors, with Dravid looking very majestic. The day ended with Dravid not out on 95.
Indians look to keep West Indians on the mat.
Dravid and Kaif batted to continue pile on the agony as India was able of maintain a run-rate of nearly four and over. Kaif and Dravid painting a very glossy picture and perhaps emphasizing how cheaply Indian batsmen had played in the One Days and the first innings of the first Test. A few injuries to key West Indian bowlers did not help matters either. Dravid looked to go well beyond 150 but played a tired shot and was out on 146. Kaif meanwhile was playing to make sure he is there in next match too as he guided the Indian team beyond 550. I was so happy for him. I hope he is not dropped for the next match.
Kaif and Yuvraj; Dravid and Ganguly.
I think the comparisons are obvious. It is a comparison of Yuvraj flamboyance versus Kaif’s talent. It is Yuvraj’s flamboyance versus Kaif’s assured form of game. It is a comparison of Yuvraj’s unlimited ability versus Kaif’s willingness to learn and improve. It is in some ways comparison of Ganguly’s protégé to that of Dravid. I hope their (Yuvraj and Kaif) careers don’t pan out as that of Ganguly and Dravid. There was no one who would have backed Dravid to do whatever he has done so far.
Indians make inroads.
Munaf Patel bowled some magic balls to take wickets of consecutive deliveries and created a huge dent. The dismissal of Ganga and Sarwan will same and it looked very difficult to find a difference in the two dismissals. Lara was leg before to Kumble. Kumble by the way has to have a big say in this match if India have to win this one.
Indians get a firm hold.
The West Indians looked very brittle at 65 for 3 with 523 more to get and 323 to avoid the follow on. Gayle hit Kumble over the boundary for a six only to get out, caught behind the next Kumble delivery. Kumble looked in control. Chanderpaul was piqued by by a Pathan Yorker. I hope to see Irfan doing more of this in near future. VRV impressed without registering wickets against his name. Sehwag is enjoying West Indies. He is not only making runs but he is also busy taking wickets. He wiped of the tail with some old fashioned off break bowling. Harbhajan and Powar might exchange a few points from him. Kumble, Sehwag and Patel shared the three wickets while Pathan claimed the priceless scalp of Chanderpaul.
What will happen?
I hope for once it does not rain. Indians looked in total control with Gayle out for two runs. He was caught behind of a beautiful Pathan delivery. There is an opportunity for Ganga to score some runs. Lara can make runs anytime. Indians have to plan to look to attack Ganga. Chanderapul has to be got in early then only there is a chance of Indians getting to victory. Chanderpaul plays well then we just might have to settle in for an unlikely draw. Bravo looks good but then offers chance. The tail wag put then VRV, Munaf and Pathan should use their ability to get them out.
I can just pray that India wins the test.