Saturday, March 18, 2006

India vs England: T3D1

Highlights from Day One:

  • Rahul Dravid - his 100th Test match, though only his 99th for India. He was appointed Indian Captain until the 2007 World Cup. Not a bad day, and for some reason he chose to celebrate it by bowling first upon winning the toss. Of course, it's very easy to second guess. If a captain bats first, and his team collapses, we say the batsmen failed. If a captain bowls first, and fails to take wickets, we say he made the wrong decision. Wonderful being an armchair media critic, isn't it?
  • Owais Shah - I have to write about him, because as a former hero-worshipper of Mark Ramprakash, I have followed that mercurial talent's heir apparent for a decade. I think Shah's natural ability can be summed up in the first three deliveries he faced from Harbhajan Singh. The first, he came down the track and drove sweetly to mid-off. Bhajji was having none of this, and next ball, tried to fire one in wide off off stump, hoping that Shah would dance down the track again. He didn't - instead rocking back and cutting beautifully past point. Next ball, Harbhajan overstepped in frustration.
  • Sachin Tendulkar - As reported by Mike Atherton in the Daily Telegraph, even Vinod Kambli thinks that Sachin is a little bit slower these days. His performance in the field yesterday was certainly poor - but then so was everyone elses. In a conversation with Nasser Hussain, he said that he believes that he is batting well, but just making one mistake every innings. Unfortunately, that's all it takes.
  • Dhoni - Yes, he pulled off that smart stumping the other day, but his keeping, as I've said before, really needs to step up a gear. Parthiv Patel was jettisoned for not much more, and is now a much improved keeper, and a far more likely Test match batsman. Dying your hair black (how funny is that for an Indian cricketer?) isn't enough to retain your place in the side.
Hard to see India winning this game from here. In fact, it's already hard to see India saving it, unless they can rip through the English batting in the first session tomorrow morning.

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