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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

McCullum completes 300 ~ India struggling at 10/2

The debate whether the Indian bowling is toothless or its batsmen consistently fail abroad would flow unabated !

Away at Dubai International Stadium, India beat Scotland…. It is U19 World cup – 15th Match.. it was the chinaman bowler - Kuldeep Yadav who became the first Indian bowler to take a hat-trick in Under-19 World Cup history and in the process, sent Scotland Under-19s crashing to 88 all out in Dubai. India ended up making heavy weather of the chase after what was predicted to be a cakewalk, given the gulf between the two sides. Scotland's spinners had entertained thoughts of an upset, having pinned India down at 22 for 5, eventually won without losing further ~~!!

At Wellington McCullum was practical ~ he went on to make 302 – eventually got out  ~ but exhibited more of impracticalness as they went to grind for another 10 overs – when he declared with a lead of 434…  At Wellington perhaps none sat – anticipating that important run  - Father Stu McCullum was in attendance, seemingly whole of Wellington too…. Naturally, runs did not flow as fast as they had been – still at Basin Reserve, nothing could stop McCullum who added those 19 runs in style – but even before he could be there, his partner Jimmy Neesham became only the seventh man to score a century on debut from No. 8.

There was to be no celebration when McCullum eventually got out at 302 and in a little surprise, New Zealand batted 10.3 overs after that ~  Neesham went on with his merry hitting, and found enough time to register the highest score for a No. 8 debutant.  It was 67 overs in which to try to bowl India out. Four of those overs were played out safely before lunch.

The Indian bowling card which had yielded 680 reads : Ishant Sharma 45-4-164-0; Zaheer 51-13-170-5; Mohammed Shami 43-6-149-2 and Jadeja 52-11-115-1….. disaster was to strike as immediately after lunch, in that Trent Boult over, the ball swung back a lot and struck Dhawan pretty high, still  Davies ruled him out  .. 2 balls later Murali Vijay edged to slips and India in dire straits at 10/2….. now India if and when they lost, will have gone 14 Tests and three years without an overseas Test win. Only Zimbabwe have a poorer record over the same period.  One cannot  blame Dhoni alone ~ there is the failing brittle line-up, fielders grassing catches, and generous bowlers….. and added is  a coach who can be credited with most abysmal performance. It is not risk elimination but passive allowance of things that they scheme.

Sad is the state of affairs, most of which would get buried under the carpet as IPL draws closer.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

18th Feb 2014 @ 06.40 am.

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