Mark Greatbatch a great bat in 92 world cup remarked before the start of the series that he would be happy if Kiwis draw two test matches, they did. The only worry would be a collapse in this test, the demons of thought came alive and Kiwi batsmen capitulated too soon. The Indian seam bowling looks ominous provided Zaheer is fit and fine. Sreesanth was ripping it and Ishant was making the deliveries jump.
The top order collapse and it was the question of when rather than what. The reason of Kiwi collapse was a bit puzzling especially after some decent performances earlier in the series, the type of pitches or the climate or the opposition nothing was mysterious, and the entire top order Kiwi bat except Ross Taylor had spent enough time and made some good runs. I was surprised when they capitulated early in the first innings on a score which proved to be meagre, in the hindsight. Kiwis were all out 193.
Sehwag the game changer.
Indian response was that of purpose and definite intent. Sehwag did what he does best, see ball hit ball, he can make runs at the pace he wishes. He is game changer in the sense that now people look at strike rates in Test matches. He is Bradman of strike rates in the history test matches e.g. in this series in averages 99.5 and scored at the rate on 89, which mean every time he went on to bat he scored a century in 112 balls that he face. He lobbed a return catch to Vettori. His rustic charm and nonchalance is what makes his batting more thrilling. Sehwag’s batting it may seem to be a perfect wish for Indian cricket fans, if you change anything in that it will vanish.
Rahul Dravid – still the best man at the wedding?
I honestly feel that Dravid has created his won space and around a deserving spot light that Sachin Tendulkar gets which dwarfs everyone else. He has done really well and will go down India top batsmen. There is very little in technique, class, temperament or fitness in which Dravid could be far behind. I dare say he looks the most fit and agile Indian batsmen. Dravid record as a run getter and as a player remains worth emulating. Those who wish he could be a little faster forget that at times, occupation of the crease is vital. If you bat around, Sehwag, Tendulkar and Laxman then the pace of scoring is their worry not yours. I think Sehwag, Tendulkar and Laxman would acknowledge that as well. I am not saying Dravid is a stymied stroke less wonder. I mean he has scripted one of the best Indian in Test matches wins both home and away more than once. He has done well. He played well in this series as well. I am looking forward to see him bat in South Africa. A lot of people would we surprise the way his bats there in South Africa.
A 10 or a 50 or a 100.
Tendulkar would have rejoiced a century on a bigger platform. That’s the only reason I would want to give for him not scoring his 50 century. I mean 50 centuries is huge. I would say Ponting would have crossed his mark is he had just scored 40 centuries in test. But then Ponting is now a distant second. I would bet on Jayewardene and Sehwag to come close to fifty century in the next series of batsmen. I hope Tendulkar keep his hunger alive because South Africa would be this huge tour where we have not done brilliantly and we had seen some embarrassing moments when we played them at home last. It was the same VCA stadium at Jamatha where Steyn had gunned us down and we were hopping all over like jack rabbits. Steyn u need to reload, our master cannon stand on heaps of runs and desire to do well in South Africa.
Bhajji the batsman, where is Bhajji the bowler.
Bhajji was in news for his batting prowess, he won the man of the series (without a doubt) for his performances ; he did well to rescue us couple of times, when danger pursued and showed lost of patience to get two centuries. I am worried about Bhajji the bowler in South Africa. I don’t think he will be playing in all the matches. I don’t think he would torn apart about South African batsmen, I am curious to see if he can make some quick-silver changes to his bowling. I believe he can; only time will tell.
Indians paint a mammoth score.
Indian kept piling the agony thanks to a magnificent innings by Dravid, Dhoni tonked it and extended the lead, while Gambhir seem to get into form, Sehwag did his bit, and so did Tendulkar. Indians made 566 a lead of over 350 with six sessions more in the game, perhaps there was only one realistic end, an Indian win. So it seems Indians won it 1-0. New Zealand did very well though and will be a great experience for those guys. I mean they lost 4-0 to Bangladesh in an ODI series there, those who thought they would suffer a familiar fate here in India would have been disheartened, this was a different format, Test matches don’t necessarily tread that way, and neither does the game of cricket. The best thing what it does is to make a mockery of what people, think, imagine or believe before looking at both faces of the coin.