Team India – Ranked first in the World was expected to control the game by putting good total in the second innings in the first Test against West Indies at Sabina Park. Instead the youngsters made Rampaul, Edwards and Sammy feel as if they belong to the Golden Era of West Indies. Thankfully, Dravid held forte, hit a century and helped battling India to set a tough target of 326 runs.
Dravid Stops Carribean Smile
India played a very slow game today, averaging just above 2 runs per over throughout their second innings. Ironically, the young turks – future face of Indian Cricket – could not survive longer. Dravid, reminding everyone his knock of 2006 at Sabina Park, slowly got India to a healthy total. He scored his 32nd century in the process.
On the other end Kohli, Raina and Dhoni perished as if they were playing against the West Indies bowlers of 70s and 80s. Dravid showed why the Fab Four is so difficult to replace. Singel-handedly he kept the scoreboard ticking. With his every shot, West Indies heart beat faster.
Amit Mishra deserves special mention. Coming at number 10, he showed better technique and common-sense than the likes of real batsmen in his innings of 28 runs. He even scored more runs than Dravid in the 9th wicket partnership of 56 runs. He also faced the new ball with full grit, and later with an intent to score.His knock deserves to be written in Gold. If he had also shown the selfish temperament of the likes of Praveen Kumar (tail-ender) and middle order batsmen (Kohli, Raina and Dhoni) who decided to sit in pavillion rather than sweat out with patience on the ground, India would have just perished below 200 in the second innings.
West Indies Bowler Impress
The quadrat of Edwards, Rampaul, Sammy and Bishoo were impressive. They repeated the feat of first inning, putting India under pressure. While during first inning, Raina and Harbhjan’s partnership bailed out India, Rahul Dravid saved India the blushes again. Unfortunately for West Indies, he was dropped when he was just on 6. Otherwise, West Indies could have ruled Sabina again. Now, can their batting stand against Indian bowling on the difficult track and reach the target!!
40 wickets or 326 runs!!
The chase of 326 runs for West Indies kept the game in balance, although India can be termed favorite after snatching 3 wickets in 33 overs that saw West Indies top order rushing to 131 runs. Now in 2 days they have 7 wickets to score remaining 195 runs. Fourth day should see either 7 wickets falling making it 40 wickets in 4 days, or 326 runs chased by West Indies to get the lead in 3-test series.
Prospect to win
With Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo on crease remaining 195 runs does not appear a tough target, specially with the ODI style successful batting of the top order who gave a quick start reducing the target dramatically. Yet, Dhoni has 195 runs cushion to try his generally successful tricks and inspire his bowlers to grab 2nd win for India at Sabina Park.
Fourth day will tell what comes first 7 wickets or 195 runs.