For those who can’t get the telecast on TV, follow these links to watch live cricket online –
I’ve got to admit the quality is quite good – on broadband, it is as good as watching it on TV. If you find any other links, please post them as well 🙂
Could India have done better if Dravid stood in the slips? Did he try to attack too much?? Or Was his captaincy brilliant? Is Sreesanth having trouble bowling downhill??
I think we’ve dwelled into these things enough 🙂 Personally, I would just like the West Indian* team to come out on a positive note and try to wrap up the England innings around the 350 mark. The first hurdle is removing Sidebottom – we don’t want him to occupy the crease for one hour (or more) and frustrating the bowlers. The new ball is now available and both Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth would want to make good use of it and make amends for yesterday. India is very much in the game after the late strikes yesterday and would be eager to get out there and take the remaining wickets. And good luck to them.
From England’s point of view Pietersen is still around with both Bell and Prior to follow. Both Pietersen and Prior can also score quickly and take the match away from India.
The first session of play will be very interesting today and could turn the match either way. But weather may have the last say as thunderstorms are predicted… 😦
(*The reference to West Indies was a dig at the Cricinfo guys, who have trouble distinguishing between East and West. At the time of writing this post, they still have not corrected this article. Maybe the writer just decided to rehash an article he wrote earlier on this summer :))
We get cricket coverage in India via Star Cricket, a new channel from the Star group. I like listening to Ian Chappell’s commentary as he usually makes some excellent points. Here are some interesting examples.
- Dravid’s captaincy – Chappell felt that Dravid was unnecessarily pressurising his opening bowlers with he 7-2 field and preventing the bowlers from bowling slightly more straighter to allow the ball to swing.
- Dravid at mid on – Dravid has been one of India’s best slip fielders and he even got his 150th catch standing at first slip. But for most of the 1st and the 2nd sessions he was standing at mid on. Chappell felt that 1st slip was the best place for a captain to stand, next to the wicket keeper. He himself stood there and always got good tips from Rod Marsh. Continuous talking to the bowler especially when he was not bowling well was not helping things. Imagine some talking to Dravid as he was getting beaten outside the off stump? Bowlers also need to concentrate after every ball!
- Fielding coach – A fielding coach cannot teach a Test cricketer to field. A cricketer should learn about fielding between the ages of 9 – 16 and these are the things that help him in the long run.
- Putting pressure – Strauss had got to 49 and was given an easy single by Dravid standing at a deepish mid on. A 50 is an important landmark for a struggling batsman. An opposing captain cannot afford to relax and give him the chance to get his confidence back.
After a frenetic-paced start, England had moved to a sedate 268 for 4. Cricinfo declared that “honours were even” on Day-1 although the start line of the report by Andrew McGlashan gives one the impression that he may have been watching the wrong match! He writes, “England spent the early part of the season feasting on plenty of help-yourself offerings from West Indies“!
At the close of play — when bad light stopped play — both teams ended the day perhaps on par. At lunch, England had moved to 116 for 1 off 28 overs. The fact that they only scored a further 152 runs in the remaining 52.3 overs that were bowled in the day perhaps implies that India pulled things back a bit through tight bowling. In reality, it was a bit of tight bowling and a bit of over-cautiousness on the part of England.
Sreesanth got better as the day progressed. He was not really helped by his fielders. The main culprit was, of course, Dinesh Karthik with that sitter of a let-off of Strauss, just prior to the lunch break. R. P. Singh impressed all day. He bowled to a plan. He bowled a good lenght and got the ball to move all day. Anil Kumble was… well… Anil Kumble. The biggest disappointment was Zaheer Khan. He did not shoulder the responsibility of senior pace bowler well. He went to sleep on the wheel through either excitement or ineptitude or both. He had just got up on the wrong side of the bed. On top of his woeful and directionless bowling, his fielding wasn’t crash-hot either. Overall, for him, this was a day to forget.
India need a few quick wickets — especially that of the dangerous Kevin Pietersen — early on Day-2 to pull things back. Pietersen did not seem to be totally on top of Kumble and it may be the wily fox that provides India the early breakthrough. If India lets Pietersen get away, this could be a long road back…
I’d give Session-1 to England. Session-2 was, I’d think, even with Session 3 going to India. So, a session-by-session tally would read 1-1 at this stage.
Dravid’s captaincy was strong and good. Ravi Shastri, in his report, indicates that Dravid perhaps over-attacked too much too soon. Perhaps, but he gambled initially and wasn’t helped by his bowlers who started the day terribly. One of them — Zaheer Khan — stayed in that mould right through the day! He switched Sreesanth’s end around and removed Zaheer Khan, who was really bowling terrible stuff. R. P. Singh came in to the attack and bowled some sensible stuff. He didn’t panic in my view. He was merely being pragmatic.
Posted in Cricket, Pietersen, Strauss
Tagged Dinesh Karthik, Dravid, England, India, Kumble, RP Singh, Sreesanth, Test cricket, Zaheer