First up, its GREAT to be watching live test match cricket involving
India after what seems like eternity. By the time I was done with signing up
for the coverage and getting to the live feed, India was off and running at
The wicket, unusually for Motera, and pleasantly so, has played true
for the first session of play. Plenty of carry through to the keeper from
the two tall NZ opening bowlers both of whom were plenty guilty of digging
the ball in short far too often. The wicket has some bounce but the lack
of disconcerting pace has meant that the short one isnt going to be too
effective as the stock delivery.
Sehwag played another cameo which served as a reminder(if any was needed)
that he isnt cut out for the opening slot. A slash over thirdman(just
eluding Merv McMillan) and a few other streaky shots in the general
direction of gully interspersed with a gorgeous punch off the backfoot
past the bowler and a dismissive pull off Oram(which really drove home the
lack of pace off the wicket) were the highlights(and lowlights) of
Sehwag's innings. Unlucky to given out lbw off Toffee with the ball
clearly missing leg. That's missing leg was my instinctive reaction when
the appeal was made and replays seem to confirm this. Overall, the sooner
Ramesh returns to the XI, the better.
Compared to Sehwag, Chopra was a breath of fresh air. No airy fairy waves
and seemed quite content to ride out the first session. Full marks on the
temperament front but is not quite there technically yet. Footwork,
especially off the front foot, is indecisive at best. Reminds me so much
of SS Das that I was half expecting him to drag one from outside off on to
his stumps. Played and missed at one outside off and saw a
regulation edge dropped by the keeper after lunch.Swayed out of the way of
the short ones quite comfortably(the lack of pace on this track means
though that one cant draw too many conclusions based on this). Didnt see too
many forcing shots off the back foot which doesnt augur well for Australia.
Still, based on this one knock, I'd say he's done enough to get on that plane.
Dravid came in at the fall of Sehwag's wicket and the quality of
batsmanship went up by a factor of 100(perhaps more). Compact in defense
and superb when putting the bad ones away. Has played the shot of the match so
far with a punch off the back foot off Vettori. Speaking of Vettori, its
a pleasure to watch this man bowl. Such a fluid action and he's got some
loop going in his initial overs. Has found some slow turn already and
thoroughly deserved Chopra's wicket.
Did I mention its GREAT to be watching live test match cricket again?
Ragu[Tendulkar making another "nervy" looking start to a test match
innings and Vettori getting his arm ball going as I finish up here]
1 is equal to 2 for sufficiently large values of 1