January 22, 2006

Tricky Situation for India.

India are in a tricky situation in this test. Though as I wrote last time the pitch is largely batsmen friendly, there is a tiny bit of help for the bowlers and Indians appear as if they are needing to work hard. They are playing quite competently, but there is just a hint of vulnerability. In the last test Sehwag was the key to the appearance of invincibility and dominance. After Sehwag got out yesterday, Dravid and Laxman did a commendable job, but there was always something for the bowlers. After almost total annihilation of bowlers by batsmen in this series so far, bowlers did a decent job for the first time. Not so much in terms of wickets, but definitely in terms of run rate: India ended the day at 110/1 in 37 overs, a run rate of 2.97, a far cry from what seemed to be the norm for this series. There is still no occasion for alarm; but Indians are chasing such a large score that they need to avoid any kind of collapses.

Yesterday, Pakistan continued their domination with simply beautiful batting displays from Afridi and Inzamam. I thought Zahir Khan was the best bowler for us, though he was a bit unlucky. He bowled with spirit and invariably managed to extract something from the unresponsive pitch. RP Singh was a welcome sight as he bowled with discipline and was rewarded with four wickets on his debut. But for the 7 wickets by these two, both last minute inclusions, India would have in front of them a much more daunting task, not that it is any less daunting now.


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