Posted by: nestaquin | October 11, 2008

Border Gavasker Trophy: First Test Day Three Preview

India have much to lose and little to gain on the third day at Bangalore. Trailing by 362 runs, the best they can hope for when the bails are removed at stumps is to be close to the Australian first innings total with wickets in hand.

It will be difficult yet it is a distinct possibility, however, the Indian batsmen will have to use all their experience, patience and knowledge of local conditions to gain any semblance of control by the beginning of day four.

Last evening, Sehwag and Gambhir batted and blunted the Australian pace attack with relative ease, with only Mitchell Johnson regularly causing the batsmen into a few false shots. Sehwag looked uncomfortable against the left-armer but his mastery at the other end was supreme. He looks set for a large score and the earlier Australia remove him and bring the obdurate Dravid to the crease the more likely they are to gain an advantage.

Australia’s best chance is for a couple of bowlers to get the ball swinging, traditionally early, and then reverse when the ball is scuffed. Zaheer Khan had the ball shaping around yesterday afternoon and that will have the Australians hopeful that they can imitate the mysterious movement with the older ball.

Brett Lee was wayward and ineffectual yesterday afternoon and he will need to improve as Australia will require all of their bowlers near the peak of their powers to crash through the famous Indian middle-order on a pitch that is becoming slower by the hour.

They can expect a few to keep low like the deliveries that removed Watson and Clarke and therefore will be forced to bowl at the stumps. While this is a sound tactic it does expose the bowlers to leaking more runs especially with the Indian’s being expert at working the ball with supple wrists through the leg side.

It also puts extra pressure on the umpires as there will be more shouts for LBW and we can only hope they get most decisions correct. It’s unfortunate that the review system trialled in Sri Lanka has been postponed because it added an extra dimension to the game, tactically and from a subscribing spectator’s point of view.

Sadly, after the sacking of the humble and respected Steve Bucknor, there is always the gnawing suspicion in the cloisters of the mind that officials may be intimidated umpiring in Tests whenever India are involved.

The onus is fair and squarely on the home team to chase down Australia’s total and save the match. If they bat really well at a brisk run-rate they may even have an outside chance of putting pressure on the visitors in the second innings.

Australia, on the other hand, will be attempting to restrict the hosts to around 350 and with a first innings lead, putting the match well beyond India’s reach while trying to knock them over on the final day.

In summary, when all is said and done, it is likely that it will be Virender Sehwag’s contribution, be it frivolous or formidable, that decides India’s ultimate fate.

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Responses

  1. Frivilous!

    Two hundreds needed from the three batsmen left.

  2. Suffice to say the frivolity is fizzing in the Nesta household.

    You beauty!! Dravid’s finally edged one that carried. No Laxman. Even better.

    My fuller thought at lunch.

  3. India is going to win this game


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