Ind vs Aus 2008-09 – Day 3, 1st Test, Bangalore

That was some drama for a side that was 69-0 at the end of Day 2 after about half-a-session’s play. If you’re an India supporter, you can never rule out the fall of Sehwag to rash shot early in the first session. It would be unfair to criticize him for that, for it is that very rashness that shocks the opposition and some times his own team. But Gambhir was first to go and that was plumb!

Enter Dravid. I thought he looked a lot better today than he has in the last 3 months. Maybe it helped that he’d played on a similar low-bounce/uneven-bounce pitch at the Irani Trophy just a few weeks ago. Yes, it was disappointing that, given the start he had and how “set” he looked, he was unable to carry on. As a fan, I would call it a contentious lbw decision, perhaps the most contentious since that 47 again Pakistan late last year, but on a more rational note, getting one’s front pad out so far is bound to create doubts in the mind of umpires. What is heartening is that Dravid has been getting better, albeit slowly, since the hole that deepened in Sri Lanka. What we saw today was a thoughtful innings, mindful of the Ponting’s traps, and hard-working and patient enough not to fall for it. The difference between this innings of Dravid and the previous few was the more obvious attempt to make runs, and faster (given the conditions, his strike rate and Wall-ish tendencies). Most of his runs came from between the deep fine leg and deep square leg area. Well played, Dravid. Cricinfo describes Dravid’s innings from today here.

Sachin and Laxman, the latter despite being pushed up the order, failed. Maybe it is Sachin, not Ganguly, who should be retiring. A rather harsh thought about Laxman has been bothering me for some time now – maybe part of the success he’s since is because he’s been playing with the tail. Fielding sides tend to ignore the batsman and target the tail ender. I do realize that this is very rash, cynical and even evil on my part, but maybe 10% of it is true?

Sourav “Dada” Ganguly Maharaj, as blogging-friend Soulberry calls him, played a fighting innings. If it wasn’t for a lapse in  concentration, he could have carried on. I’m not even going to say anything about Dhoni’s innings.

The hero of the day should undoubtedly be Harbhajan Singh. Yes, he’s been batting rather well for some time now, but today’s innings was one which even top-order batsmen would envy. Those shots weren’t slogs – they were proper cricketing shots. An innings for class – a good mix of defensive shots, wristy drives and aggressive “over-the-bowler’s-head” one. Was a pity he went less an over before Stumps today. Zaheer did well to support Harbhajan. The “never-give-up” spirit shown by Harbhajan and Zaheer is what India-Aus from the past decade has been about about. The top-order batsmen will do well to take from what they saw from two tail-enders.

I see this match going two ways: a draw or an Aussie victory. There’s an outside chance that India have to win this, but that’s asking for way too many miracles from too many people. For India to win, tail-enders Kumble and Zaheer need to put on at least another 60-80 runs. The closer they get to 400 the better. Then, they need to bowl and field really well and get the Aussie out to chase less than 180-odd runs. Then, we need to hope that Indian batting doesn’t collapse  – either due to out-of-formness, lack of confidence, fear of failure or umpiring errors. Whew! Isn’t that a huge ask. On current form, I’m not expecting much from the Indian second innings, either. India will feel moral victory if they draw this.

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7 Responses to Ind vs Aus 2008-09 – Day 3, 1st Test, Bangalore

  1. the way it’s gone so far, expect rain, and a draw. just a sense of the test, a wait and watch, neither side ready to go for the jugular.

    bhajji’s batting, put it down to clearness of mid, sadly lacking when he bowled.

    also dravid had some of that, dare say dada’s retirement would’ve cleared his head somewhat.

  2. Ottayan says:

    I foresee a 4 th innings collapse.

  3. Scorpicity says:

    Dhoni may soon need to be under the scanner for his dismal abilities in test cricket. Now if only the other two in line can keep as well as him.

  4. Soulberry says:

    I only saw the re-run Vctoria so there wasn’t any suspense.

    Ganguly, on rumination, was plumb and Dravs was plumber. But they tried.

    It were Sachin and Sehwag who disappointed.

    Stirring fightback though even if it is still an almost impossible mountain.

  5. Trideep says:

    Bhajji & Zak has made it easier for India to draw this match. Hope the top order learns something from the way they have batted.

  6. The Indian tail is finally starting to support the team in batting when in trouble. Bhaji and Zak were brilliant. The match is surely heading for a tie.

  7. vmminerva says:

    @NC, India needs some heavy showers to “waste” some time and prevent a 4th innings collapse.

    @Ott, that’s on the back of my mind. Is it just me or does the Perth victory suddenly seem like ages ago?

    @Scorpy, I’ve been screaming about that for months now. God, I wish Dhoni played in the Sri Lanka Test series.

    @SB, Sachin has been failing for long now, and in very weird way. Maybe he should play only ODIs.

    @Tri, I sure hope so.

    @David, you mean draw right? Btw, thanks for blogrolling me – returning favor.

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