Ball One – Jesse Ryder is an exciting bat with a wonderful eye and lovely balance across the crease, but is he a second change bowler? Sehwag didn’t think so, as he despatched Ryder’s first two deliveries for four. But Jesse has the priceless quality of making something happen, and his Kiwiesque dibbly dobblers soon induced a lazy shot from Gambhir who was bowled off the inside edge. In this series, Jesse can expect a lot of bowling – and his fielders can expect a lot of chasing.
Ball Two – At lunch, the session has been irrefutably India’s: or, more precisely, Sehwag’s. Probably due to their own poor touch, both Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid have not been able to time the ball with any consistency and scored slowly. Of course, one doesn’t notice that with the man at the other end scoring at a run a ball. Sehwag, as he has been so often since his return to Test cricket, is the difference between the teams.
Ball Three – India vs Australia – Two Tests: India vs New Zealand – Three Tests. There are reasons for the discrepancy, but it is curious.
Ball Four – Of his 22 hundreds, 14 of Sehwag’s are 150 or more, a truly astonishing conversion rate and a testament to his quick scoring and willingness to cash-in. Flat-track bullies are ten a penny, but Sehwag bullies on every pitch against good attacks, as well as attacks as ordinary as New Zealand’s.
Ball Five – No Test century should be sniffed at, but Rahul Dravid will not look back at his effort today with great satisfaction. Never really fluent, he let an toothless attack bowl a lot of dot balls before eventually getting through to three figures. He has, of course, been a great servant to India, indeed the game, but will have to stand aside soon in favour of the new generation led by Pujara and Vijay. It seems churlish to claim that a ton has brought that decision forward, but that’s almost certainly true of today’s scratchy knock.
Ball Six – You have to feel for New Zealand’s bowlers. They have striven in the sun all day and been rewarded late on with the prize wickets of Sehwag and Dravid… only to walk out tomorrow and be confronted with Tendulkar and Laxman!.
The Tooting Trumpet can often be found commentating at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.