Job only half done…


At the end of the first days’ play in the 1st Test between India and Bangladesh, India sits pretty. The batsmen have done their job, one may feel. But, given the incongruous team selection (despite Vish’s comments to the contrary) I feel that Bangladesh is still very much in the game. As Mortaza commented at the end of the days’ play, a few early wickets — even one early wicket, in my view — will expose India’s tail (which would make Hanuman proud!).

I am happy to be proved wrong, but I still do not rate Dhoni as a Test batsman. He hasn’t done anything special to convice me of his standing as a genuine ‘keeper-batsman in Tests — which is the main reason why I am miffed at the Yuvraj-Laxman combine warming the benches in this Test! Dhoni is not quite in the Gilchrist-Sangakkara-Boucher mode in Tests, in my view. And now we have Matt Prior joining the ranks of genuine ‘keeper-batsmen!

So, in my view, the job that Ganguly and Tendulkar have commenced is only half done. India need at least another 100 from this pair. The combine batted sensibly to first gauge the wicket, blunt the attack and then cut loose for a while. They certainly moved into 1st gear, as I had predicted. However, the difference between past occassions (notably the 3rd Test against South Africa) and yesterday was that the two batsman did not stay in 1st gear! While the quality of the Bangladesh bowling and the pitch certainly had a role to play, Ganguly and tendulkar certainly seemed to be batting to a plan.

And it worked.

However, their job is only half complete. They need to work on this foundation, bat out the first hour and score runs at pace to cement this foundation. A distaster scenario would see India lose a few quick early wickets. This could see India all out for 350 or so. I know this is sheer pessimism but surely we’ve all been there, done that!

— Mohan

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7 responses to “Job only half done…

  1. I fully agree with you that Dhoni is still not Test-batsman material. The SA tour being a clear case in point.

    Going by the weather forecast, we will be lucky to get 300 overs in total for this Test. Dravid and company would have seriously considered this (plus the placid wicket of course) and have opted for a five bowler attack and hence a batsman had to be sacrificed. For this particular match, it is probably a wise decision. Only time will tell. I am pretty sure if the wicket was not a feather bed and the weather not as bad, India would have played a bowler less.

    Going back to Dhoni, his performance in the first ODI saved Dravid’s skin and further embarrassment for the team (remember if India were to lose the 1st ODI the series would have been tied). This is probably a reward for his effort. How much ever unprofessional it may sound, this is how Indian cricket is run.

    With five bowlers plus Dhoni, two among Laxman, Yuvraj or Karthik had to face the axe. Yuvraj in my opinion is still not Test material and defenitely not the one for the opening slot. The choice would have narrowed down to Laxman or Karthik.

    There is no doubt that in terms of shear skill, Laxman is way ahead of Karthik. However for the reasons I have mentioned in my comments to the earlier post (regarding Laxman’s failure to adapt to the changing game) and the fact that Karthik is the new blue-eyed boy would have tilted it in his favour. Also, one cannot ignore the success Karthik had in SA.

    In my view, if the 2nd day’s play is severely curtailed, India should declare at 400-420 (assuming they are not all out)

    -Vish

  2. I don’t think we should under estimate Ramesh Powar as a batsman. Agreed, he is not the ideal No 7. But his record is not too bad either.

    With nearly 2650 first class runs at an avg of around 32 with (4 centuries) and a bowling strike rate of 58 with 270 wickets under his belt…. he is no spring chicken.

    In my book, he makes an ideal no 8.

    -Vish

  3. Pingback: Is Dhoni overrated? « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  4. Interesting point about Dhoni in test matches. He has to build an innings – not hit the ball around.

    It is important to remember players like Gilchrist are very rare. I am impressed with Sangakara, with his Wicket Keeping – standing up to Vaas and keeping for Murali is always tough.

    Why was Ganguly chosen ahead of Laxman ?

    Ganguly now has a century against Bangladesh. Now he is all set for the england tour 🙂 Let us what he can do there.

    One has to remember – Jason Gillespie, as a night watchman, scored a double century 203 not out against Bangladesh in Bangladesh, with all the heat conditions . Now Jason Gillespie is not even in the side 🙂

  5. Srikanth Mangalam

    Keep going, Mohan. You should be happy to be proven wrong so far!! just kidding….

  6. Why do you think that Karthik is the new blue-eyed boy? I has accepted every challenges thrown at him till now, is an admirable fielder even though he is originally a keeper, has done India proud on both the occasions where he was asked to open.

    So he is doing all the tough work and you’re calling him a blue eyed boy? Wierd!

  7. gnbmdr,

    Do you know who was the top run scorer in SA?If you had known, you wouldn’t have asked the question why Ganguly over Laxman.
    And you’re forgetting the three left arm spinners the Bangladeshis have. Who can play left arm spin as well as Ganguly?

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