Sunday, August 26, 2007

PARITY RESTORED

At Bristol, the Indians managed to beat to home team despite having the luxury of putting up a score of 329 runs on the board. The small ground makes it possible for shots to go over the boundary. But more importantly, the Indian bowling was not adequate. The woes of the team were compounded by the atrocious fielding.

Speaking about bowling, it is a mystery that Ajit Agarkar continues to have the support of the selectors and the team management even after proven inability. The same logic does not apply to Gambhir who was dropped from the playing eleven after the first match. Munaf Patel is not looking to bowl fast. He is looking like a veteran of over 300 matches. R.P.Singh produced some good balls. It is a pity that Sreesanth was not picked for the limited overs contests. In the third test, Dravid did not enforce the follow on ostensibly to give a breather to the bowlers. Of the bowlers, Kumble, Zaheer and Sreesanth are not playing the one dayers and the others barring R.P.Singh, did not play in the test matches.

In the batting department, Sachin and Dravid were simply outstanding. Sachin has, in his career, played many better knocks. But in the context of the series, this was worth its weight in gold. Sachin played and missed a number of times, but he hung in there to score 99. Ganguly was not fluent but the opening partnership was worth more than 100. Yuvraj scored 49 runs and looked good for a lot more.

It was Dravid who was a complete revelation. The man, who struggled in the first match, suddenly carted all the bowlers to all parts of the ground. He could not score a 100 as the overs ran out. But the knock was crucial to the final outcome of the match. Great batsmen like W.G.Grace, Wally Hammond and Zaheer Abbas who played for Gloucestershire at Bristol would have been proud of the way Dravid stroked the ball.

The parity has been restored and now the teams have to start from scratch.

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