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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kapil was dropped for a single shot ? What will selectors do now ??

India humiliated at Mumbai ~ it is not as though we have not seen losses; in fact we have been at the receiving end many times.  England’s comeback  to 1-1 in a four-Test series has  roused England's self-belief in Asia throwing open India's  strategy for the series of relying on sharply-turning tracks. England, ridiculed after their heavy loss in Ahmedabad, have now inflicted two of India's last four Test defeats at home.

Recently when we lost 4-0 at England it was all about swing and unfavourable conditions; the 4-0 drubbing that followed at Australia was due to pace and bounce ~ here it was all favourable conditions, a spinning track, 3 spinners, a toss won – yet India lost the match.  More importantly no Indian spinner matched Monty Panesar.  This  defeat should not be forgotten — India need to learn from this defeat and they need to learn that winning needs more than just favourable conditions.   The Team for the remainder of the Series is to be announced today…..  other than Cheteshwar Pujara, Pragyan Ojha and Virender Sehwag – nobody deserves a place ~ but will there be harsh decisions from Sandip Patil and Co ?

Recall the  Test no. 1148 played at Lords in July 1990 – Gooch, captained, won the toss and made a marathon 333 in 485 balls. England declared after making massive 653 for 4.  India had a good start; Ravi Shastri made a 100; Vengsarkar 52 and the captain Azharuddin 121. When the 9thwicket of Sanjeev Sharma fell, it was 430, still a good 23 short of avoiding a follow-on. Kapil was joined by the bespectacled Narendra Hirwani. Eddie Hemmings, the off spinner was the bowler – the first 2 deliveries were innocuously played by Kapil. then came the savage attack – all the 4 remaining deliveries went for huge sixers. The fourth one, a straight six saved the follow-on and to end the drama, Hirwani was out to the first ball at the other end lbw to Angus Fraser – India All out for 454. India set to score 472 were all out for 274 and lost the match, is another story

Way back in Dec 1984, it was different turmoil – India had won the 1st Test at Bombay thanks to debutant L Sivaramakrishnan taking 12 wickets.  In the 2nd at DelhiIndia scored  307 in the first innings, Kapil Dev top-scoring with 60; England replied with 418.  Indians had to play for a draw as wished by the then Captain Sunil Gavaskar; the ebullient  Kapil Dev, having just hit Pat Pocock for a six,  was caught in the deep in trying to repeat the shot.  India folded; England won the test.  Gavaskar was furious and the greatest allrounder of Indian cricket was unceremoniously dropped for the Calcutta Test ~ yes dropped.  The greatest allrounder was punished for one shot !

Fast bowler Umesh Yadav, who was ruled out of India's second Test against England due to a lower back injury, will miss at least the third Test.  No point in allowing personal landmarks with Harbhajan’s 100th appearance beckoning.    The situation is not far different ~ but will  the Selectors have the guts to drop  Senior players or the Captain himself now ?

At P Sara Oval, Colombo, Kiwis after losing the 1st Test made a strong statement making 412 with centuries by Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor with their 262 run partnership.  Ranganna Herath shone with the ball again with figures of  : 49-10-103-6.

At Adelaide Oval, it was a great show by the South Africa in keeping the scoreline 0-0 ;  CSK player Francois du Plessis, known as Faf,  made his debut and played a marathon knock to stand denying defeat and took his team for a draw.    Faf  would not have been playing in this Test were it not for JP Duminy hurting his Achilles tendon at the Gabba. du Plessis has grabbed his first chance at Test cricket to provide a remarkable result for the South Africans.

Batting first Aussies made 550 with centuries by Warner (119); Michael Clarke (230) & Mike Hussey (103).  Imran Tahir had forgettable figures of 23-0-180-0.  Jacques Kallis  fought off his hamstring strain to provide important support in a 110-ball innings of 46. And Dale Steyn, Rory Kleinveldt and Morne Morkel did just enough to ensure that the No.11, Imran Tahir, would not be required. Steyn fell for a 28-ball duck when he chipped an inswinging full toss from Siddle to midwicket, where Rob Quiney snapped up a sharp catch. And Kleinveldt survived for 17 deliveries before he missed a yorker and was bowled by Siddle for 3.  Faf who made 78 in the 1st;  remained unbeaten enduring 376 deliveries making 110*

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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