Thursday, October 07, 2004

Second Day's Play

Damn! India reached 150 ! Glen Mcgrath has exceeded my expectations.With the kind of start Glenn Mcgrath gave the visitors,the Indians should have been sent packing.The way he got Chopra and Dravid showed that he was geared up for the battle and has been planning for this series for some time now.The confidence of a 450+ score was what was driving the visitors and the Indians were under pressure right from the word go.

In the morning,Gilchrist went about taking the game away from the Indians in his typical fashion - scoring at a fast clip and was threatening to overtake the debutant centuy maker Clarke.Irfan Pathan's bowling,though restrictive was not exactly penetrating - reason being he was bowling an inch short.He has been prone to bowl at this just short of good length and I wonder how much has Bruce Reid got to do with it.Aussie bowlers have traditionally relied on some movement and more on bounce and the lenth they bowl is perfectly suited to the hard bouncy Aussie wickets.But,Irfan Pathan has got more movement off the pitch and is more in the Wasim Akram mould.That's the reason why his deliveries have been consistently beating the bat but not resulting in the nick.He has to pitch it up (just an inch more).Too many ODIs could also be a reason for this length.This is not too big a concern for worry and some experience and talks with greats like Wasim should take care of this.

The way the Aussie tail capitulated in the face of some average spin bowling must have worried the team management.The absence of Brett Lee must have been felt.Warne is not a bunny with the bat and he has to do better with the bat.after a good display by most of the batsmen,such meek batting would be overlooked but this is what did them in,in the Kolkata Test in 2001.

Selection woes
The success of Katich and Clarke means that it's going to be difficult to drop either of them when it is time to accomodate Ponting.Lehmann and Martyn will have to do better in the next innings.They are class players,especially against spin and should not take too long to get going.

Adam Gilchrist made a mistake in under bowling Kasprowicz.His bowling is suited to the Indian conditions and can keep toiling to no end.He should have replaced Gillespie earlier and the bowling should have been shared between Mcgrath,Warne and Kasprowicz.

Already,there is speculation if we have the guts to enforce the follow-on?
I don't think we should be considering enforcing it unless if we manage to bowl out the Indians for less than 175.The reason is not because we have had a nightmarish experience last time round.But the simple cricketing logic that a lead of 275 is not big enough - not on such a flat track.There are some factors which would be in favour of enforcing it - we haven't bowled for long,lot of cricket left to be played in the match and the fact that we are not too tired and are bowling well.
But,a lead of 275 is just not enough for the strong Indian line-up.there is no reason why we should let them come back into this match and get the psychological edge.Even if they don't win the match,if they avoid defeat from here,it will be a shot in their arm - which we need to avoid - both the teams are rhythm teams and have shown in the past that they can turn the course of the series based on confidence derived out of one innings.

POA for the Third day's play : Bowl them out as soon as possible and play out the third day.


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