Friday, November 7, 2008

4th Test Match End of Day 1 :

India 311 / 5
( Sachin 109, Jason Krejza 138/3 )

As the two captains walked out for toss, a realization sank in, no A. Kumble in the team. However all good things have to end and newer better things have to start. So let the Dhoni Era commence… MSD did the right thing by winning the toss and electing to bat.

The way Sehwag started it looked like he was in a hurry to get this over, but it was too brisk and too good to last long. The new opener with whom he started the innings M Vijay looked solid, ran quick singles and played the ideal foil for the free stroking Sehwag feeding him lots of strike. The new kid almost gave India another 100 run opening stand. Agreed the pitch was flat and with only two genuine seamers in Lee and Johnson the task was a bit easy. Still he showed no nerves and was composed his technique looked quite okay, also he learnt a lesson when he got out that you cannot relax in international cricket. Having got to 30 odd it seemed he just relaxed a bit and was caught immedeatly by a short one from Watson.

Dravid continued his poor run, poking at an innocuous off spinner and giving shortleg an easy catch. He must be itching badly to score runs, all his mates have done, he is the sole exception and this comes after a very poor series in Sri Lanka and the pressure is well and truly on Dravid. Some one needs to tell him to just relax a bit as he is a little anxious at the moment lunging at the balls.

Jason Krejza the other debutant of the match was finally picked for the 4th and final test, strange selection policy of Australia just came to the fore when the original bowler selected was not played in tests while a stand in replacement played all 4. Cameron White is not a wicket taking bowler and it also surprises me why Stuart Clark was dropped and not White. Increasing the batting line up eh !! Positive Ricky for you …

Anyways Krejza had a very tough initiation with Sehwag having decided that he was not going to allow the spinner to bowl. At the end of his third over Krejza had given away 32 runs without a wicket and Ponting would have been wondering. Eventually he paid the price for over attacking but not before a flamboyant 66 at less than a run a ball. Suddenly from a dominating position India was at 122/3 at lunch.

But this Aussie attack barely seems like they can run through the team, the entire series at all crucial times the Indian batsmen have come up with partnerships, this just highlights the failure of the bowling attack.

Sachin looked his self assured and signature stuff and Laxman his easy self. Just when it seemed that Laxman was gonna get another century to follow his double he got out at 64. The bowler again being Krejza. Both the batsmen had played some delightful good old test cricket and the batting was a joy to watch, they had also bailed India out of trouble by than.

After Laxman’s wicket something got into Sachin and twice he tried to loft Krejza over his head and miscued twice and twice by different fielders dropped at mid off. Imagine Krejza who was out for 3 test matches would have had 4 wickets. Eventually Sachin got out after his 40th Test hundred. Again his runs came at a time the team needed them, kindly the media please remember this.

At stumps Sourav had notched up a decent twenty and Dhoni came up before a night watchman. I hope this is the new strategy that Dhoni brings, I am against night watchman’s.

Going into tomorrow India need to make sure they don’t lose too many wickets in the first session. They would like to get atleast 400 and they must ensure that Australia are not allowed into the match. For Ganguly’s last test match there is a great incentive for him, one batsman has a century in the first and last test match of his career and that is none other than Greg Chappell. What an antithesis if Dada can get one as well !!!!

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