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Saturday, June 25, 2011

WI-India 1st test - Dravid helps India take lead

The Indians gained early lead in the test series in the Caribbean thanks to the heroics of Rahul Dravid and the bowlers.

The test started with a relatively inexperienced line-up on both sides. Two players on both sides had played in excess of 80 matches while there was a lot of inexperienced players also - 3 debutants from the Indian team. The table below shows the difference between both teams.

The bowler with the maximum number of wickets had the least impact in the test match while showing his latest prowess with the bat. It was the debutant, Praveen Kumar, who shone for India by swinging the ball both ways. Similarly, Bishoo from the Windies was effective with his leg-spin, capturing wickets of leading batsmen from the Indian team.

The batsmen with the highest number of runs on both sides, however, showed everyone how to bat on such a surface. He had done a similar act on the same ground the last time India visited the Windies. Probably the KSCA need to create a wall in Sabina Park the same way they have done in Bangalore. This will not only be a honor for the legend but also a way to remind their future batsmen of the four innings that Dravid played on this ground. The patience with which Rahul handled the vagaries of the pitch as well as the Windies bowling was worth every dollar spent by the crowd. The youngsters in the Indian team should feel blessed that they received such a master-class during their stint with the Indian team on how to bat in difficult conditions. There is nothing much that can be said about the WALL himself. He has time and again, proved his worth to the Indian team despite all the claims by the media that the younger stars were ready to take the mantle.

VVS Laxman had rare failures in both the innings - another class act who will be raring to be back at his best in the next test match. The Tamil Nadu openers could not capitalize the opportunity that was provided to them because of Gambhir/Sehwag's injuries - hope they learn from their mistakes and rise to the occasion in the future. Virat Kohli is regarded as 'future of Indian cricket' by Duncan Fletcher and one expected him to continue the good form from the ODI's. Alas, this was not to be in this test match - he will get more chances in this series to justify the praise from the coach. Suresh Raina used this opportunity to help the team recover from a difficult situation in the first innings even though he looked ugly while playing the short ball.

Regarding the bowlers, the Windies batsmen have now got used to Amit Mishra's variety - that could be the only reason for his less-than-usual haul of wickets. Is it time to bring Pragyan Ojha to the team? Ishant Sharma was good in patches but he is still not the bowler who troubled Ricky Ponting in Perth. If the Indian team plays as per their potential, they will have no reason for not winning the series 3-0.
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