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Friday, November 16, 2012

runs @ centuries flow at Motera and Mirpur...

The score card reads impressive 323 for 4 – India at close of play.  Virender made a good century; Cheteshwar Pujara is close to his 2nd; Gambhir featured in a century partnership – what it does not reveal is the England bowlers’ struggle, save Greame Swann who has taken all the 4 wickets to fall on the first day.   In the last 5 first innings when India have batted first in home Tests, Sehwag’s scores have been pretty incredible: 131 off 122, 173 off 199, 38 off 33, 47 off 41, 117 off 117. But his standards, at home, have been so high that the 38 and the 47 have widely been viewed as failures. Truth to be told, they are anything but that.

The facile century that he got yesterday is  Virender Sehwag's 23rd in Tests and his 13th in home matches.  The century opening stand is the first for India since the Centurion Test in 2010. In 20 innings in between, Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir aggregated 605 runs at an average of 30.25.  Speaking on centuries, Sachin has 51 off 191 matches; Rahul Dravid had 36 off 163; Sunil Gavaskar made 36 off 125; Sehwag 23 off 98; Azhar 22 off 99; VVS Laxman 17 off 134; DB Vengsarkar 17 off 116 and Sourav Ganguly 16 off 113.

Now they a better part of the match is played before the toss – strategies are the vital ingredient.  If Duncan Fletcher can stake claim for one, he knows  the strengths of the England attack. It was under Fletcher than the England team first mastered the skill of reverse swing. It helped them win the Ashes in 2005 and it has been a key part of their armoury ever since.  whether the presence of Duncan makes any difference remains to be seen, for he has done little of notice from the time he took over………..

The Indian spinners were probably watching with eagle eyes and looking forward to bowling on that pitch," Swann is quoted as saying.  "It's still a very good pitch for batting on. It's only the odd ball that turned. That can pose problems sometimes. I think our batsmen will look at the footage and realise that it's still a good pitch." - that should be happy news for Ojha and Ashwin. 

Ravichandran Ashwin has taken 49 wickets in eights Tests so far. By adding one scalp, he sure would become the quickest Indian bowler to reach 50 wickets in 9 tests.  still, he would not top the World list which has CT Turner doing in 6 tests in 1800s; Rodney Hogg and Terry Alderman in eight – the most recent being Vernon Philander of South Africa in 7 tests.

Elsewhere at Mirpur, the Test makes a wrong advertisement for combative cricket.  West Indies declared at 527 for 4;  Kieran Powell made 117;  Chanderpaul 203* and Denesh Ramdin 126*.  Bangladesh have made a strong reply making 455 for 6 – Naeem Islam made 108 and Shakib Al Hasan 89.

with regards – S. Sampathkumar.
16th Nov. 12

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