Friday, January 25, 2008

Tail wags to strengthen India in Adelaide

By John Cheeran
Help has come from unexpected quarters for India to go past the critical figure of 500 to put Australia under pressure in Adelaide.
It was not just Sachin Tendulkar’s 153 (off 205 balls) that gave flesh and bone to India’s first innings. On Thursday, India had missed big knocks from Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly.
But today India’s spin doctors –skipper Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh – did a wonderful hit and run job over Ricky Ponting’ s men.
Kumble and Harbhajan (63) put together 107 runs for the eighth wicket and Indian tail tickled the Kangaroos. Harbhajan’s pluck, whether bowling, batting or sledging, is legendary and it again came to the fore in Adelaide.
And skipper Kumble led from the front while cracking a pugnacious half-century (87) to take his side to 526 in the first innings.
These two spinners might have realized the importance of scoring pretty big in the first innings here, as they themselves are supposed to play big hands on the last two days on a spinner friendly track.
With rookie but canny pacer Ishant Sharma too joining in the twilight party at the batting crease, Indian innings has swelled to the size of Ponting’s ego.
Quite big that is.

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