Monday, January 22, 2007

The Return of the Prodigal

I guess that India will win a match, if the match is not telecast live on T.V., India defeated the West Indies by 14 runs in the first match of the Pepsi Series. The pitch at Nagpur was a beautiful batting track, and had absolutely nothing for the bowlers in it. Lara won the toss and asked the Indians to bat first.

The mess that Team India created for itself in South Africa was still vivid in our memories, and it was a gamble of sorts when Gautham Gambhir and Sourav Ganguly opened the innings. The Carribean attack was bludgeoned by the two south paws and shared an opening partnership of 144 runs, India's best in almost nine months. Dada scored 98 runs of just 109 balls and missed out on a century because of an excellent piece of fielding by Dwayne Smith. Sachin was out for 31. Dravid and Dhoni scored 54 and 62 respectively. The last 12 overs yielding 119 runs. India set West Indies an imposing total of 339 for victory.

The West Indies chase started in true calypso style with some powerful shots from Gayle and Chanderpaul. Some shoddy fielding resulted in the Indian fielders dropping three-four catches.
Harbhajan got the breakthrough by removing Gayle and Morton. Chanderpaul was batting as if he was on a mission and spared no Indian bowler, he remained notout on 149, but it was not enough as they could only score 324 at the end of 50 overs for the loss of 8 wickets. Gayle scored 52 and Samuels scored 40 runs. If somebody in the tail would have supported Chanderpaul, the result would have been different.

Well let us celebrate when we can, Dada has acquited himself, though he should have completed his century and boosted the total. I am really happy for him and hope he plays an important role in the forthcoming matches and the World Cup.

The bowling and fielding needs to improve and the bowlers need to get their act together, or the series will definitely go the Calypso way. Let us hope that the Nimbus-Prasar Bharathi battle is sorted out and we can watch the remaining matches.

1 comment:

Aswin said...

A well written post indeed! But you never mentioned that all our heroes had performed in a pitch that was the best of Batting Beauties in India. It is mind boggling to see the curator preparing yet another dead track which will just benefit the home side thus making them TIgers at HOme (except during the Mini World Cup) and Cats in foreign pitches.

Should not we be practicing for the world cup on pitches similar to those in West Indies. If India really treated the series against W.Indies as a practice before the World Cup, why didn't they take steps to prepare the batsmen, Bowlers and fielders for the low and uneven conditions in W.Indies.

If we start to celebrate worthless wins like these, we are just fooling ourselves.

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