I dont normally get to watch long spells of Test Cricket but this time I did, and I really enjoyed watching it. I should accept Test Cricket has its own charm, if you are really a connosieur of cricket. Few things which caught my attention are:
There is no opening for openers anymore!!
Opening batsman M Vijay has made a very good debut in Test Cricket. He played a very solid knock of 33 runs in an opening partnership of 98 runs with Virender Sehwag. Vijay, thanks to Gambhir, has announced his arrival on the big stage. But it is not without any controversies. Our great selector(!!??) Dilip Vengsarkar opened the pandora's box by saying that Wasim Jaffer should have been considered ahead of M Vijay. Vijay Dahiya, former Indian Wicket Keeper and current Delhi coach wanted his state player Akash Chopra to be given a chance. Probably, state connection is thicker than cricketing skills. I happened to see the last 15 test innings scores of Akash Chopra and Wasim Jaffer and purely from a cricketing perspective, I dont think they merit a place. Vijay has answered these people with a good innings and I hope he comes even better in the second innings. The poor guy has to sit from the next test when Gautam Gambhir comes back. But I strongly believe that he will be in the squad for the England test series as we will not have Sourav Ganguly in the squad.
Rahul Dravid - why are you spoiling your name?
Rahul Dravid, again failed with the bat without even giving a fight. I saw the way he got out, caught at forward short-leg of off-spinner Jason Krejza. I have not seen Rahul Dravid defend so badly to a rising ball. It shows that his mind is not focussed and he is under tremendous pressure. With Sourav and Anil Kumble leaving after this series, Rahul Dravid would definitely feel lonely in the dressing room. There is not much pressure from the media so far on his poor performance but I have off-late noticed couple of articles in Times of India and The Hindu on his form. Rahul Dravid, you have achieved enough in your career and you are undisputedly the best Indian batsman ever outside India for your consistent performance. Why do you want yourself to inflict so much pain and suffering trying to continue in the team. You are putting pressure on the team as well as on you. You have given the best for the nation and you should retire with pride and honour rather than being dropped from the team. Rahul Dravid, please announce your retirement and save yourself from further mental torture.
Harbhajan Singh, I can no longer stand his bowling:
Harbhajan Singh is a total disaster in bowling. Though he may be taking couple of wickets here and there, but the agony of watching his bowling is so painful to me. He hardly flights the ball, never able to turn the ball, misses the line and length very often and played by the batsmen effortlessly. Still he continues in the playing eleven, which I am not able to understand. Jason Krejza, the debutant in the Australian team, is also an off-spinner who was able to extract turn and bounce from the same Nagpur pitch in which our greatest off-spinner Harbhajan Singh(this is how he wants to be called!!!!!) struggles to make the batsmen play on the front foot!!
Jason Krejza, I am impressed with his bowling:
Ignoring the poor performance of Harbhajan, lets applaud the Australian off-spinner Jason Krejza persistence with flight and spin. In the first 3 overs of his Test career, he was carted for 32 runs but he continued to flight the ball and extracted turn from the pitch on Day 1 of a test match pitch.. Luckily Australia didnt include him in the first 3 tests else we would be having a different scenario now in this series!! This man may go places..
Sunil Gavaskar has no understanding of cricketing tactics?
MS Dhoni displayed his excellent cricketing sense again today by not allowing Australians to score runs in the pre-lunch session. He was deliberate in setting a defensive field which forced Australians to work their way for runs rather than giving them on a platter. Our famed Gavaskar commentating in Neo Cricket was lambasting MS Dhoni for not forcing for wickets in the morning session of 3rd day of the test. He was very forceful saying that Indian are digging their hole by not trying to get wickets. At the end of the day, it turned out that Australians were bowled out some 86 runs short and with two days to go and 10 Indian wickets to get in the second innings. MSD's cricketing sense was also visible during the afternoon session when he delayed taking the new ball for more than 40 overs even after it became due. By continuing to use the old ball, Australians were deprived of boundaries and thereby they were under pressure throughout to accelerate the scoring. Sunil Gavaskar should understand this tactics or else just keep quiet. I guess he has been used to stale ways of captaining a team as all our Indian captains have done in the past, including Mr Sunil Gavaskar. Whatever it is worth, my personal opinion is Sunil Gavaskar is one of the most over-rated commentators currently. Sunil, please make way for others in commentating. Soon, we will be seeing Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly chasing you down!!! ha!! ha!!