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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mithun in for down under - Narine debuts and India loses at Motera

At home, India was on a roll – which was ended at Motera yesterday.  If your memory is good  only recently we saw Champions League T20 2011 - Trinidad & Tobago played close matches. At Bangalore on 26th Sept 2011, against Mumbai Indians, they scored a paltry 98 but fought back brilliantly – two were needed off the final delivery and with the nervy nervy Yuzvendra Chahal, the 21 year old who bowls leg spin with no great exposure at the stumps  -there was high drama.  The low full toss was hit to mid wicket and batsmen tumbled like a hare – the throw of Adrian Barath was off the mark, Denesh Ramdin fumbled – if he had hit the target with a underarm lob, then it would have been a super over  and  more excitement for the spectator.  

This was the photo and you can see the T&T bowler on the ground in agony – that is Sunil Naraine for you, who made his debut at Motera.  Sunil Narine, is an offspinner, a former West Indies Under-19 player, considered to be a good prospect for the future.  There were doubts raised over his action during the Caribbean T20 in 2011 and he worked with bio-mechanical experts at the University of Western Australia in Perth to change it.

The Indian collapse is easily understood by the fact that for the third time in succession this series, Virender, Gautam and Raina failed. Virat Kohli also joined them – Parthiv Patel flowing at his best made 39 and at the start of the 20th over, Indians were reeling 91/5 – that was an over of Ravi Rampaul to Ravindra Jadeja – the fifth ball (19.5) Jadeja was caught in front to a 143 kmph delivery.. was given out – Jadeja hung around – Umpire checked for the correctness of the delivery – it was not, Rampaul had overstepped, Jadeja earned a reprive – from ecstasy to agony for the bowler – a free hit – another faster one at 141.9, a bouncer, jadeja top edges over the keeper for a four; next ball was struck past point for another boundary.
Earlier, Sehwag won the toss and opted to bowl.  Abhimanyu Mithun came in for Varun Aaron, perhaps an indicator that he would be picked for the Australian tour.  Ahmedabad has been a happy hunting ground for WI and they won their 5th in seven encounters.  That was largely due to mad hitting by Darren Sammy and Andre Russell adding 79 off 34 balls in the end.

India's 11-match winning streak in home ODIs came to an end with the 16-run defeat. Their previous loss at home came against South Africa in Nagpur during the World Cup.  A disciplined innings from Rohit Sharma and his 91 run stand with Ashwin  raised hopes but was never going to be the winning one in the end.  Pollard again did not make many but Marlon Samuels, Russell and Sammy did. Umesh Yadav went for 75 in his 9.
Yadav, Mithun & Sammy with souvenir
Photos courtesy :
A target of 261 was always going to push – India lost Sehwag & Gambhir at 8 and at 84 when Raina got out, half were back in the pavilion – from 105 to 196 was the partnership between Rohit [who eventually was run out @ 95] and Ashwin – who made 31.  Mithun made some lusty blows giving hopes for die-hard Indian fans but it was never going to be in the end. Abhimanyu Mithun and Umesh Yadav  made 28 for the final wicket to keep West Indies on edge, before Rampaul yorked Mithun to close the game.

With that comes the news that  Abhimanyu Mithun, the Karnataka fast bowler, has been named as Praveen Kumar's replacement in India's Test squad for their tour of Australia. Irfan Pathan, the Baroda allrounder, has been picked for the last two one-dayers against West Indies, marking his return to the international setup after more than two years.  After PK ruled out with a fractured rib, there was another spot for a seamer and after speculation, it is Mithun .  Mithun took six wickets in three Tests on the tour of Sri Lanka in July 2010, his debut series. He had to make way for the returning Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth after that series, and his next opportunity did not come until May 2011 in the Caribbean. He took three wickets in the Test against West Indies in Barbados but was subsequently left out of India's tour of England.  Now down under India would have Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Ishant, Zaheer (provisionally) and Mithun – studded with rookies but capable of making their marks.

The come back of Irfan though on good Ranji performance is surprising and that is the only change in the ODI squad.  Whether Rahul Sharma would earn his cap or whether Manoj Tiwary or Rahane would come in the place of struggling seniors is the Q

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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