Thursday, November 05, 2009

Partnership is the big word in Hyderabad

By John Cheeran
Now Indian batsmen have a wonderful opportunity at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal, Hyderabad, to justify their star status. Australia has set India a target that would satisfy the appetite of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Sachn Tendulkar.
Batting is easy in the given conditions, and 350 is not a daunting target, when you have a deep batting lineup. Though hobbled by injuries, this Australian side has thrown down the gauntlet to the host. Pick it up, Dhoni.
Ricky Ponting did the sensible thing after winning the toss yet again. That the Indian bowlers could not get an early wicket helped a great deal in Aussies scoring seven runs per over. All batting efforts have to be measured against the nature of the wicket but Shuan Marsh (112 off 112 balls) and Shane Watson (93 off 89 balls) deserve fulsome praise for making the best use of their opportunity.
Harbhajn Singh was unlucky when skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni falied to latch onto a thick edge offered by Shane Watson when he came on to bowl. And only Harbhajan escaped unscathed from the Aussie onslaught.
But, again, India need not worry. Australia's bowling does not have its lethal edge.
It's a score that can be overcome, provided that each batsman steps out with a purpose, instead of coming up with a few cameos. Partnership is the big word. There has to be a steadying hand on Indian innings and that, ideally has to come either from Sachin Tendulkar or Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Let the chase begin.

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