Wednesday, June 07, 2006

ANTIGUA TEST

The first test between India and the West Indies and the last test match at the Antigua Recreation Ground ended in a draw on the last ball of the match. The Indians who were behind the home team, looked the better side on days four and five, well almost.

Just as the bowlers could not finish in Karachi after the spectacular burst from Pathan, this time also they could not dislodge the tailenders. Then Kamran Akmal was the stumbling block, but Bradshaw and company do not possess similar batting abilities.

The strategy of playing five bowlers did not work in the end. V R V Singh was someone who looked completely lost. At times he just was ambling back to the run up mark and he did not inspire any confidence when the team was looking for wickets. Sreesanth was taken to the cleaners in the first innings but that did not stop him from offering glares and his mouth to the Windies batsmen. What a sight it was! Munaf Patel also looked out of sorts. It was Kumble who kept India in the hunt with able support from the new look Sehwag.

The much vaunted batting line-up came unstuck in the first innings and in the second innings with the pitch showing signs of easing off, the Indian batsmen could make big runs. Also, the bowlers of the home team were also guilty of undermining their side. Probably, they just ran out of gas.

There were few let offs from Indian fielders that proved costly in the end. Jaffer could not latch on to a chance off the blade of Chanderpaul. It is foolish for the slip fielders to stand that far when neither the pitch nor the bowlers were really that fast. Speaking about Chanderpaul, he once again feasted on the Indian bowling. Gayle is just continuing with the form that he showed in the one dayers. Lara once again could not make a big score against India.

With the draw, India have left a great chance to win a test and put the home team under pressure. With that, chances of a series win have also become slim.

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