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Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

India press further - Kanpur second day

Rahul Dravid completed his century but did not let that control his run-scoring instincts. He raced at a pace that would make him look great in ODIs till he was run out backing up too far. It was visibly evident that he (more than any other Indian batsmen) wanted to show Ajantha Mendis how hurt they were in the last series when the latter took 26 wickets in 3 tests.

The SriLankan bowlers went through the motions just like the Indians on the first day - waiting for the wickets to fall or declaration to happen. Sachin Tendulkar gifted them a wicket when he tried a very uncharacteristic hoick. Rahul was unlucky to be out when he too (like Sehwag and Gambhir before him) could have scored a double century. Herath turned it around at the end of the Indian innings to push them to the end and the Indians responded in kind. They were not like the ruthless Lankans in the first test.

It was then the turn of Laxman and Yuvraj to continue the show and take the score beyond 600. The easy runs seemed to be a problem for Laxman for he lost his concentration and tried to something different - got out trying to loft the spinner. Obviously, things were becoming very easy for him and he didnt like it !!! One of the off days for MS Dhoni and he lost his wicket after fiddling at the stumps. The remaining wickets fell cheaply - in fact, last 6 wickets fell for only 29 runs!!!

Dilshan got out to the first ball but his partner Paranavitana and the skipper Sangakkara took the team to stumps without any further loss. The Indians bowled well, especially Ojha and Zaheer. The run-rate of SriLanka (2.82) shows a story of how the pitch has started to help bowlers (even though slowly). The Indians were able to score easily even though they were new to the crease. This stark difference is enough to sow seeds to the remaining SriLankan batsmen.

The pitch started showing some signs of life and it was good signs for the Indians. They had the match well in their pocket and could look at their bowling plans. One trick that the Indians missed was to try and bat the whole day today and score a large enough score so that they did not have to bat again. Not only that, they could have played till the pitch started playing enough tricks. This way the bowlers could have also had the additional rest and planned on bowling continuously the next 2-3 days. Of course, they did this the last test match also but this time the conditions and surface would be different.

The session-dashboard shows it to be still skewed in the Indian team for obvious reasons. The slow batting of SriLanka gave the Indians the half-point in the last session. Overall, a good position for the Indians to be in.

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