Saturday, October 11, 2008

India's brittle batting gives Ponting room for hope

So my fears came true but when Harbhajan Singh did his bhangra at the batting crease, things perked up a little for a beleaguered India.
India lost wickets while looking for quick runs, and except for that bright opening from Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, the home side was without a master builder.
So no wonder then that the cavalier Singh emerged as the king, not with the ball, but with the bat. The Fab Five must be chastened by the fact that Harbhajan emerged as the top scorer for India with 54. Only a patient half-century from Rahul Dravid came closer at 51. Yes, Sourav Ganguly hung in there, again proving a point that he is still better than many in Indian cricket. It was an innings under pressure again, but when you consider the struggles of Sachin Tendulkar (13) VVS Laxman (0) and MS Dhoni (9) at the crease, you can make your own judgments about the state of Indian batting.
So where is this Test heading?
Australia definitely enjoyed the upper hand when they saw the back of Ganguly at 232/7, but Indian tail or rather Harbhajan has spoiled Ricky Ponting’s push for victory. India is still behind Australia by 117 runs. If Indian spinners fail to tease and torment Aussies in their second innings, the last day of the match could see India caught between victory and defeat while chasing an almost 400 target.
Thus it is all about managing the contradictions. You got to attack but only knowing well where your weaknesses are.
Anil Kumble, going wicket-less in the first innings, has a cross to bear tomorrow both at the batting and bowling creases.

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