India won a compelling and now comfortable looking test match. Like the one in Delhi this match too ended on the fourth day, with more than four sessions of the match remaining. The low slow turner has found West Indies to skid and slide into boring and now a trademark feature of West Indies batting. The last West Indian inning while following on was a refreshing change to witness, their batsman play gutsy meaty knocks. It was refreshing to see their second innings effort especially after their first innings slump.
Dravid the one who breaks the glass ceiling while the other soar the skies.
There are many ways to see how the batsman has performing over the period of time, it could be by number of centuries or half centuries scored, number of runs,the average runs scored etc. Let's look at Dravid purely on the basis of partnerships that he has stiched with other batsman. Its amazing how he has weaved big chunks of partnerships with most of his colleagues, these are not just hundred runs, these are like double, triple , quadruple century partnerships, these are serious numbers. It is the luxury of Dravid that we have while other batsman can play strokes while Dravid provides assurances of solidity in technique and classy test book shots. I think we the fans can praise him but I believe his colleagues would be the only ones who would know his worth. Dravid is into his swan song, perhaps counting down to last of his couple of seasons. His batting numbers are mind boggling and need to be judged independent of all the other batsman of his era, including Tendulkar. His true might would be know and felt immediately after his retirement.
Meanwhile typcical of Dravid who broke the glass celieing and let other soar into the sky. I am not trying to start any Dravid vs Tendulkar debate. Dravid professionalism, strong sense of discipline and his work speaks for himself. Tendulkar was destined as a prodigy and he to all his credit did everything to justify and excel it. Dravid like Tendulkar remains a perfect example of poise and everything that is good. Dravid set this game up by stitching partnerships, Laxman cashed in and Dhoni just hammered it in. All the batsman leading the front with centuriesas India piled on the agony and West Indies found themselves chasing a wild goose with a score in excess of 630.
Big tour wants a big scores.
India will set sail for Australia, its the best chance we have to beat Aussies in Aus. The opening is crucial on any wickets let alone bouncing Aussie pitches. Sehwag and Gambhir need to be in habbit of batting for long hours and making big scores, just to be in the right mindset. A run making mindset, top fitness and some runs under the belt is one of the way to set the right tone, if Aussies are to be challenged. Gambhir and Sehwag need to turn out big numbers in one of the two possible innings before ODIs are played. I also wonder if it would have been wise on the Board to schedule ODIs first and then may be the Test matches on livelier pitches. I think that would keep our batsman in better tuned for Aus. A set of lively pitches and West Indian bowling with like of Edwards, Roach, Rampaul would keep Indian batsman in tune. I guess in some way it would helped Indian bowling as well.
Harbhajan is being un-missed.
There is no doubt of Bhajji's class, but it was more to do with his mental aspect that seems to paint a very sorry figure. He was being smacked away for fours, when he bowled around the wicket. There is not a single weak link to be in found in his bowling a closer look suggest all links withered away weak. He bowling round the wickets to right hand batsman is saying to the batsman, I have surrendered now would I get a consolatory wicket. The last I heard of Harbhajan was he took One wicket in 28 overs playing in a Ranji match. It doesnt exudes much confidence. It will be tough to say if Bhajji will be off to Australia or not. There is this guy called Ricky Ponting though, who Bhajji would claim to be his bunny, it was the time when Ponting was making big runs big time. Out of form Ponting and distant from any form Bhajji isnt my idea of contest. Bhajji need not find something new, its just needs to search for some of the old good things he did. Ojha and Ashwin has got truck load of wickets. Bhajji isnt a popular name right now. But then life is stranger than fiction.
Indian bowling attack is impressive.
A lot of teams farring well have very potent bowling attack, a couple of steaming fast bowlers, a spinner full of guile. I think we didn't expect a lot from the Indian bowling attack, Ashwin and Yadav were on debut, Ojha was making a comback. Ishant was in that esteemed injured list from the tour of England. It was our batsmans cake to bake. The bowlers however have done really well, triggering collpase of a fragile West Indian batting. It seems to be all falling in place. The question is if untested Zaheer and Munaf and Bhajji make it to the squad for Aus. I dont know if the previous tour to England hurt us a lot but certainly there was a whole squad players who were injured. If a fully fit squad with sufficient match practice doesn't go to Aus dreams of winning a test will be as distant as the next galaxy.
West Indian batting sum of some missing parts.
West Indian batting has been on terminal decline any new age cricket fan. They will find it hard to believe that at one point in team, West Indian team was one of more feared teams, of all times. I have always remember them as a team on decline. It hard to pin point if Chanderapul is an oasis or a lost island of the Caribbean. He is simply tremendous, keeps piling the runs, looks odd with his stance but keeps making runs. It requires and perseverance and determination. I wonder what motivates him. Even if two West Indian batsman stick with him, their team would be a better batting team. There bowling a bit wayward but it is good. Its their batting that falters regularly.
India has won the match and the series, Dhoni whould give up his gloves for the next test. One of the big three must be rested. Yuvraj should be asked to bat a bit higher. It must be made sure that its a pace qnd bounce there, youngsters should be tried even if that means losing a test or two.