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Friday, November 18, 2011

India-Windies tests - India muscle their way

After the first test display when the Indians were given a rude shock, the Indians ensured that they pulled up their socks and put up a display that underlined their strength at home. The batsmen came to the party which meant that the Windies had a large total staring at them.

Sehwag and Gambhir threw away their chances to make a big score while Sachin continued to play under pressure. It is better for the Indian team that the maestro gets his next century before the Oz series starts. Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman continued their love story with the Eden Gardens and each other! Yuvraj Singh missed out on yet another opportunity to cement his place in the playing eleven - no wonder the selectors dropped him for the final test match. Somehow, he gives an impression that he is not interested to be playing test cricket - hope that is not true.

MS Dhoni picked up a century in the process, cashing in on the chances he got from the opposition. The captain overcame a lean patch in tests to score a confidence-boosting hundred. His captaincy was on the spot during the first innings while it became more defensive in the 2nd. Agreed that the pitch was placid and the bowlers were inexperienced, but MSD could have been more aggressive with his field placements.

The bowling of Umesh Yadav was fresh, compared to the others who have played for the country in recent times. The picture of stumps shattered by an Indian fast bowler was a sight to behold. Two opening bowlers who were operating at more than 140 kmph was a rarity, the pitch notwithstanding. If Ishant had performed to his potential, the match would have been completed much earlier.

Pragyan Ojha and Ashwin bowled well in tandem once again. They seem to be ensuring that Harbhajan's chances on the plane to Oz are depleted further. They capitalized on the chances that came their way in the first innings while being patient in the second sojourn. They will face better batsmen in their career but this experience of bowling a lot of overs will give them a good experience.

Considering the status of the series, it would be better to play Varun Aaron in place of Ishant. If one agrees to take some drastic steps and taking into mind the conditions of the wicket that one gets in Mumbai, it is not a bad idea to play three spinners in Mumbai. Virat Kohli can open the bowling with Umesh, a role that Ganguly used to do not so long back. Will Fletcher and MSD take this step?
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