a paltry 123. Left-arm spinner Matthew Hart took a career-best five
for 22. However, the match was rained out after N.Z. had been at bat
for nine overs (25 for 1). The match was ruled as incomplete and
the teams will split the points. Note that the Kiwis had been in India
for only 2 days prior to this match, and surely deserve praise for
such a sterling effort.
However, things are begining to look bleak indeed for the Windies.
All the fears of an inexperienced and fragile batting line-up appear
to be justified. Lara (32) is holding up his end, but seems to have
no support. Especially ominous was the fact that they were tormented
by a spinner who certainly cannot be more fearsome than those they will
face in the tests against India. The losses of Richardson and Haynes
loom large at this time.
I expect a low scoring series in India, with results in at least two
of the Test matches. The toss of the coin will be crucial, as India
will hope to attack the Windies batsmen in the fourth innings, on a
pitch which will be prepared to crack on the 4th/5th day.
Somewhat paradoxically, the Windies best hope for a win may well lie
in India batting first. It is likely that the only help the pich will
give the pace-men will be in the first session of the match. It will
be an interesting decision if Walsh wins the toss. A good gauge of his
confidence in his team will be if he chooses to bat (which will be a
defensive choice, IMHO). If he chooses to send India in (which Clive
LLoyd did on many an occasion) he will be showing a lot of confidence
in both his batsmen and bowlers.
As such, the first two session of the first test will prove to be a
litmus test of the series as a whole. My own opinion is that Walsh,
if offered the choice, will play it safe and choose to bat.
The Indian team also has their problems, with their batting looking
almost as fragile as the Windies. Also, their bowling is no stronger,
although it may be better suited for the current conditions. All in all,
I think this will prove to be a closely-matched series. It is hard to
bet against India, as I see them winning at least one test. Still, you
an never write off the Windies, particularly when the odd are against
them. Some young man will probably come through and make his name, in
this series. I will, therefore, go out on a limb and predict a tied
The weather seems certain to play its part and will be responsible for
one match ending in a tame draw. I hope that this will be a series
played in the best spirit of the game, and envy those who have the
chance to attend any of the matches. I can almost see it now.. the smell
of the freshly cut grass mingling with the spices of the foods. The
chatter as the crowd waits patiently for the match to begin. Then, the
expectant hush as Walsh paces out his run-up, and then strides in,
delivers, .. a short ball, the batsmen goes back and ..
Well, we'll just have to wait and see what happens, but whatever it is,
rest assured it will be thrilling!