Indian have gone 1-0 up at Sabina Park, the field where India sculpted a series victory in the Carribean after 35 years in 2006 has again been a happy hunting ground. Gone are the days when we could only play well in Port of Spain and always be pummelled in Barbados and Jamaica !
At 80 odd for 6, India were in a tricky situation, but than as someone mentioned on twitter, we got to know exactly how Australian fans felt the last decade and a half when someone or the other would always stand up and be counted. It had to happen, Bhajji came in and slogged a few and rattled the Windies, runs then just flowed and at 246, I think the game had slipped from the hands of West Indies !
The ball was turning square and India would be greatly disappointed with the performances of Bhajji & Mishra with the ball, Bhajji was steady to say the least and Mishra would be rather unhappy with his performance, he just wasnt consistent and accurate. Mishra might just miss out in Barbados as Munaf will most likely take his place on the bouncier track that awaits us in Barbados.
Praveen Kumar was a revelation in this test match, I for one used to think he just doesnt have the pace and that after the first 10 overs when the ball will stop swining Praveen Kumar will be a liability but he exceeded all expectations I think. Infact it will be difficult for Dhoni to ignore him in the next Match.
The one message that is clearly going to all Indian players is dont miss matches or your spots could go. Pujara will curse his luck, his injury came at the wrong time and I think the only place vacant has now 4 competitors Raina, Pujara, Virat and Yuvraj all will slug it out for that no.6 position as the other 5 are already taken. Thats what surprised me when Yuvraj skipped the WI tests. He is not an automatic selection in Tests and why he let go of this oppurtunity to cement his place for the England series is beyond me.
On the other hand the Windies just dont seem to help themselves, dropping Dravid at 6 sealed their fate. Dravid is starting to move his front foot well and now with runs under his belt and calmed nerves I think the second wind is all set to begin. Mountain of Runs beckon.. !
India’s performance was scratchy, not upto the mark I’d say, however, a Test after 7 months, without any practice match is an excuse I am tempted to accept. Though, if India would want to build an aura that the Windies team had through the 80’s and early 90’s or the Australians had during the late 90’s and the last decade India would do well to crush oppositions when they are down.
At the moment there are a lot of murmurs still, lots of people although they cannot beat us still keep whispering about our problems on green, lively, bouncy, fast tracks which I think is a whole load of crap. But then India will get their chance to quell these doubts on the trips of England and Australia later this year.
In many ways a bouncy track at Barbados will be great for the Indians and if the West Indies can get in Kemar Roach to accompany Fidel and Rampaul, it will be great preparation for the English trip. The conditions will be entirely different but atleast they get practice against some good quality pace, which apart from Ishant no one in our team can give them unless, ofcourse the bowling machines are that good. I seriously cannot understand how Sammy can be the captain when he doesnt deserve a place in the team. A bloke as quick as Kemar Roach is in the 12th man while Sammy plays ahead of him !!!!!! *BLASPHEMY*
If the WICB really need Sammy, make him the non playing captain !!!!
The case of the Indian skipper is much easier he has few things to worry about, his players fight when pushed into a corner and be it Bhajji with a 80 or Mishra with the plucky lil innings with Rahul, someone or the other puts up their hand and India sails through. Admittedly the Windies tail wagged a bit, but then our spinners were not upto scratch this match. Expect Harbhajan to improve, Vijay & Virat to contribute more in Barbados, Mukund to get rid of his nerves and VVS to show some of his masterclass.. Remember India were without their devastating opening pair, their best batsman, their chief bowler and in Praveen Kumar they fielded a fast bowler that they didnt have in their original plans.
India need to play to potential and the contest will not be as close and as an Indian fan I wont complain if we have a boring one sided victory !
P.s – Chris Tremllet, the English seamer currently considered as the ‘new BIG thing’, some want to complare him to Joel Garner already, wants Lively tracks against the Indians during the 4 Test Matches… !
All I can say to English Groundsmen regarding Tremllet’s wishes is – BRING ON YOUR FASTEST, LIVLIEST, BOUNCIEST AND GREENEST track. We need them more than you to squash all the murmurs !!!!