Friday, November 27, 2009

A well deserved Test century for Team India in Kanpur

By John Cheeran
Team India completed a century of Test wins on Friday in Kanpur. India defeated Sri Lanka by an innings and 144 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series. The third Test will start in Mumbai on December 2.
All wins are sweet. Let's not forget that Sri Lanka is the No.2 side in ICC's Test rankings. Sri Lankans are not merely our neighbours, but a significant power in world cricket. So there is no reason to be dismissive about the victory at Green Park.
It is quite interesting to note how skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni fashioned the Kanpur win. Some of the tactics were quite traditional. Win the toss, put on a huge first innings score with a couple of centuries from the batsmen and put the opposition under pressure. Normally, then spinners take over the match.
Here in Kanpur, the significant departure was the role of pace bowling. Yes, turn did come, and Harbhajan Singh and rest of the spin gang got wickets. But it was fast bowler S Sreesanth who wrecked the Sri Lankan will and willow. That India does not have to rely on a deteriorating wicket and tweakers for the victory augur well for Indian cricket.
As Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara pointed out during the post-match briefing, the wicket was not the villain in the plot. It was some good bowling, and then the pressure of climbing the huge mountain of runs that turned things in India's favour.
Yes, Sreesanth has proved his worth by bowling India to victory. The man of the match award is just reward for the youngster.
The question, however, remains unanswered why the Indian selectors overlooked the claims of a fit fast bowler for so long.

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