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Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 Ahmedabad Test - Pujara and Cook stand out in Indian win

Cheteshwar Pujara and Alistair Cook are two of the softest yet most determined players you will see in international cricket today. It gives one great pleasure if these cricketers do well on the ground - no one will grudge their performances even if you are the loyal supporter of their opposition. In the first test at Ahmedabad, both played their roles to perfection but only one of them was destined to be the winner. That it was Pujara was because he was helped in his cause by his bowlers while Cook was let down by his batsmen.

Sehwag was the first to score a century, making up for his century drought by giving the bowlers their moments in the sun and then starting to hit out at the average bowling that England showed up. Gambhir also stuck around to stitch a partnership with Viru but not for long. Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli failed but they will deliver in the next test, if not the next innings. Dhoni also flopped but the form of Yuvraj Singh was pleasantly enjoyable.

But, the innings of the match was that of Pujara - showing everyone that he is made for test match, Pujara showed admirable patience and technique to counter the attack of Swann and the other English bowlers. It is not fair on Pujara to compare him with Rahul Dravid but from the current crop of batsmen, Pujara will occupy the slot of the one who is most accomplished and composed (just like Dravid would occupy in a line-up consisting of Sachin, Laxman and Ganguly).

The Indian bowling rose to the occasion as well - Ojha standing out with nine wickets while Ashwin couldnt get more than one in the 2nd innings. Ashwin will do well to emulate Ojha's consistency and persistence in the next test while Ojha will have to add a couple of skills from Ashwin's resume to make him a complete bowler. Yadav and Zaheer pitched in regularly to show that they are better bowlers than the English rivals on Indian conditions.

Will the English team change its lineup for the next test? Will they bring in Panesar for Samit Patel and Finn for Bresnan? These changes will weaken their batting but you need better bowlers to take 20 Indian wickets - with the current lineup, the English team could take only nine in two innings.

Next to Mumbai and I dont think the result will be anything different!

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