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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NZ series - India finish the 2nd innings quickly

BANGALORE, INDIA - OCTOBER 12:  Captain Mahend... India settled the match today very quickly, wrapping up the series in a convincing manner. They were helped by the umpires who had an off-day. The match never looked like ending on a different note, forget ending a day earlier. Rahul Dravid in this test match and Harbhajan Singh in the series have lead well in their roles, keeping the Indians at the top spot of the ICC Rankings.

MS Dhoni did the right strategy by starting the day with Pragyan Ojha. He struck early to put the Black Caps on the back foot. Wickets by Harbhajan and Suresh Raina meant that the NZ team was down to the lower-order batsmen before lunch. Token resistance by the tail was broken by Ishant Sharma. It helped the Indians that Ryder was suffering from calf injury (which has forced him to go back before the ODI series).

The poor NZ batting in the first innings, coupled with the bowling of Ishant Sharma was key for the Indians to make gains in this test very early. The return to form of Sreesanth and Ishant is good for the Indians before they embark on the South African tour. MS Dhoni's innings in this test should have given him a lot of confidence while his request for rest to be provided to Raina must be considered - Pujara is on the sidelines waiting for his chance.

Vettori must be happy with the performance of the team in the first two tests but this test match was beyond the capability of his team. The wicket in this match was a typical Indian wicket with turn and bounce. The form of McCullum must be a good sight for the captain while that of Ross Taylor must be giving him a headache. The reinforcements for the ODI matches will change the mood and set the tone for the new series. 
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