India with a chance – Ind vs Aus 2008-09: Day 3, 2nd Test

October 20, 2008

A lot can happen in two days. India’s middle order, precisely Ganguly, Tendulkar and lower-order batsman Dhoni powered India to a decent total of 469. Four quick Aussie wickets meant that the Aussies needed some damage control. That they did, but nothing more. In fact, the Aussie damage control would have looked a lot less fancier had Watson been given out by umpire Rudi Koertzen when he was actually out. That would have given the Indian think tank some food for thought about the follow on. But forget it, they would have never enforced it anyway.

A lot of things have been good for India:

  • Ganguly’s silken century, his 16th ton in his farewell series enabled fans to watch Grace and helped India to a good total
  • Dhoni’s “gadayudh” batting helped us get quick runs and goes to prove my earlier point that Dhoni cares to perform with the bat only when he captains (ok, ok, it was a batting pitch and I’m being a little harsh here)
  • Mishra’s dream debut got him a fifer. So, the spin closet has one worthy item in it. One in hand and in form is worth ten times the weight in gold of a closet full of junk
  • Gambhir and Sehwag have gotten us off to a flier.

What needs to be done:

  • Viru and Gambhir need to bat some more and get more runs quickly
  • Don’t know if Dravid will bat at #3 tomorrow, but this could be the best opportunity to cement his place among seniors. VVS seems like he’s currently on tenterhooks.

It will be interesting to see when – both in terms of run and timing – that the declaration comes. I would think setting Aus 450-480 in over 3.5-4 sessions would be a good ask. Will we do it?

PS: Meanwhile, for those of you looking for a daily dose of Dravid goodness, he’s only 5 short of Mark Waugh’s record for max catches in Test. Mark Waugh was really cheap in saying this, but I hope Waugh is wrong. The only person close to getting a pair is an Aussie and he’s called Matthew Hayden. Waugh! Which match are you watching?


India fail to capitalize – Ind vs Aus 2008-09: Day 1, 2nd Test

October 17, 2008

On a day that will only be remembered for the milestones, India’s top three batsmen will rue the fact that they failed to make merry on a what seems like a batting paradise.

In case you missed it, here are the milestones

  • Sachin breaches 12000 runs in Test Cricket
  • Sachin makes 50th Test 50 and is the second Indian to do so after Rahul Dravid 🙂
  • Sachin breaks West Indian Brian Lara’s record for most runs scored in Test Cricket
  • Ganguly crosses 7000 runs

Meanwhile, there was a game of cricket being played.

Sehwag should have paid attention. Dravid looked set for a big one with some of the shots reminding us just what kind of a player he is. He should have capitalized on what looked like his best innings in the last 4 Test matches. Gambhir should have stayed on, he got stuck after lunch and fell shortly after Dravid. I have no words for Laxman. Maybe he should not have been promoted up the order – it seems almost like some kind of a curse. Tendulkar and Ganguly each played a brilliant innings, one true to their reputation. This partnership has saved India some blushes.

India will do well do get to 400. Does Amit Mishra bat? My fellow Delhi-ite bloggers NC, SB and SP will know better if deserving debutant Amit Mishra can bat. Now a days one has more faith in India’s lower order than our middle.


South Africa humiliate India – 2nd Test at Ahmedabad

April 5, 2008

An innings defeat at Motera was almost imminent as South Africa crossed 200 runs in their first innings after bowling out India for an embarrassing 76.

Many things went wrong for India at Motera:

1. Being given a green top

2. Kumble choosing to bat first on a green top

3. Picking five bowlers with Pathan being the fifth

4. Poor fielding

5. Shocking shot selection from some of the batsmen

Credit to the South African bowlers to have taken full advantage of the green top. Sometimes you get caught in a middle of an excellent spell of bowling; that was the case with the dismissals of Dravid, Laxman and Ganguly, the last being perhaps at lightning speed.

What will happen now is the question on most people’s mind. Are we thrashing the seniors again? Fellow blogger Soulberry fears that this might bring out the likes of the Yuvraj and Rohit Sharma. I shudder at that thought. That would also perhaps shut the case of Mohd. Kaif.

Till Kanpur do us wait!