Thursday, December 28, 2006

Runs to score for India

By John Cheeran
There are miles to go but India certainly is keeping the fight alive in the Durban Test.
It is gritty percentage game out there at the wicket. With Sachin Tendulkar showing the resolve for a big innings (unbeaten on 46) India should match SouthAfrica in the first innings.
It is not easy, but it is very much possible for India to bolster their first innings which will ensure a draw at Durban. The first priority for Indian batsmen is to ensure that we do not lose this Test from now on.
The bad light interruptions should frustrate South African bowlers more than the Indian batsmen.
Skipper Rahul Dravid again fell for a low score but the lbw decision that went against him should be taken with a pinch of salt. Conversely, Tendulkar was extremely lucky to be dropped by South African skipper Graeme Smith in the first slip. All these are part of the long-drawn out war of attrition.
Dravid will definitely get his chance to redeem himself soon.
As I have been stressing, more than a scintillating knock or two, what India require in Durban and Cape Town will be percentage game from everyone who can hold a bat.
And Virender Sehwag failed to do just that when he was out for the very first ball he faced.
It is a pity that team management has decided to sent home IrfanPathan, who has had an excellent run with the bat, instead of a man who refuses to learn from his repeated failures. If Sehwag is fit for hangman's noose, Wasim Jaffer gamely tried to live up to the opener's role.
He again fell short of his responsibility but lasted 79 balls in the Indian innings, an achievement of sorts if you consider the immediate history of Indian batting in South Africa.
If the next five batsmen in the Indian dressing room can each hammer 30-odd runs, overcoming the South African innings should be within India's reach.
And if that happens pressure will be on South Africa to score quick runs in their second innings which will give Indian fast bowlers Sreesanth and Zaheer Khan an ideal opportunity to rip their rivals apart.
May be I'm thinking far ahead.
Let's wait and watch how Indian first innings unfold in the middle.

1 comment:

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