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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sri Lanka race ahead of India - 3rd Day at Motera 2009

Sri Lanka did what the Indian team could not do for the first 2 days - survive the first session and also score runs at a fair clip. Even though they lost 2 wickets in the first session, they gained control of the proceedings to make it difficult for the Indians. They gradually reached the Indian score and overtook it to have a lead of 57 by tea. They consolidated further after tea to take the lead in the match. By end, it was very evident who was the dominant force.

Thilan Samaraweera may not be a well-known game in international cricket but on sub-continental pitches, he is dangerous for his big knocks. Mahela Jayawardene is a well-rounded player and can be considered to be one of the greatest batsmen of SriLanka cricket - he showed why in this innings.He did not stop after his century and continued like Rahul Dravid in the Indian innings (in fact went even better). He was supported ably by his namesake (Prasanna) in his charge.

India's bowling appeared better than yesterday - Ishant in particular, regaining some of his lost form. The pitch is not helping any of them also. That left very less options for MSD, in fact. He did a good job by giving the spinners early overs to bowl before resorting to the new ball - do not believe that the pacers would have got any assistance with the new ball early in the morning.

During the days of Prasanna or Bishen Bedi, if a batsman sashayed down the pitch to attack them, there would be two-three fours hit followed by the batsman's wicket. Now, what happens if the batsman charge the bowler, the bowler gets into a negative line of thinking - I dont know if you agree with me but that is characteristic of the bowling of Bhajji especially.

There have been views on Dhoni's captaincy on how he has probably settled down into a more stereotyped way of captaincy. The fact that he would counter-attack with well thought-out strategies and innovative field placements when he started his captaincy stint is missing - no doubts agree with the observation. Whatever be the strategies, the first necessity is that of a good bowling attack. There is no sting in the bowling and wickets like the Motera doesnt help him.

The session-status shows a tilt towards the SriLankan team after the first 3 days. The difference in sessions shows the number of sessions that the Indian team should win, to get back into the match. From evidence seen so far, the chances are less. India need to do something similar to what they did earlier in NewZealand.

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