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Monday, November 26, 2012

2012 Mumbai Test - India caught in their own web

MS Dhoni would have been happy with the wicket, his team composition as well as his luck with the toss. For other than this, there was nothing that worked in the match (other than Pujara and Ashwin with the bat in the first innings). Dhoni did not factor his own batsmen's incompetencies against quality spin bowling (how he wished he had the recently retired Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in his batting eleven!)

For most of the match, the commentators showed the pitch map as well as the pace of English bowlers in comparison with the Indians. Though this was true, the Indian bowlers were not consistent and disciplined in their attack. Every over there was one ball that would give runs to the batsman and rotate the strike. Dhoni's captaincy has deteriorated so much that he is now ball-following mostly. He is not trying to make things happen but instead moving the fielders to where the ball went the previous delivery.

In the second innings, none of the batsmen (other than Gambhir of course) played more than 20 deliveries! What else can you expect with such a performance. Gambhir also wanted to prove that he still deserved his place in the team rather than rotate strike and score some runs for his team. Though one can praise Kevin Pietersen and Alistair Cook for their batting, it was the failure of the Indian batsmen to come to terms with the pitch that did the main damage.

Sachin Tendulkar played more like a debutant rather than one with 192 matches to his credit. Virat Kohli's stroke selection was suspect while Yuvraj showed his weakness against quality spin. Sehwag did well until he met Monty. Harbhajan's selection was a surprise and seemed to be on course on Day 1 but it has to be remembered that he did not get wickets even in Ranji matches - how can he be expected to make miracles in test matches? He was the one who bowled faster usually but on this track if the English bowlers could make such a big impact, why couldnt he? Not every question can be answered with Pietersen and Cook's brilliance!

What will happen in the next two tests? Will Dhoni still ask for a turning track, considering that the opposition has Monty and Swanny in their eleven? Kolkata will have the answers for us!
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