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Dravid's Goliath act: Advantage India?

Dravid's Goliath act: Advantage India?

Interesting tales that Test cricket leaves behind. The latest must be the arrangement that the Indian Board made with the ICC on UDRS. The fact that there cannot be any review of the LBW decisions must have made Harbhajan Singh and the Indian team ruing their luck. The graciousness of Rahul Dravid even today on the field and the hunger of the Indian bowlers of not letting the momentum slip into oblivion became evident as England ended day 2 at 24/1 after a dramatic last session saw India folding up by 288.

Interesting tales that Test cricket leaves behind. The latest must be the arrangement that the Indian Board made with the ICC on UDRS. The fact that there cannot be any review of the LBW decisions must have made Harbhajan Singh and the Indian team ruing their luck. The graciousness of Rahul Dravid even today on the field and the hunger of the Indian bowlers of not letting the momentum slip into oblivion became evident as England ended day 2 at 24/1 after a dramatic last session saw India folding up by 288.

Harbhajan was the second of Chris Broad's an otherwise brilliant hat-trick but clearly there was an edge off Bhajji's bat before it thumped on his pad. But since there could not be any review, Bhajji couldn't force a review and hence was forced to leave the ground as the umpire ruled in favour of the bowler. Before this umpiring debacle, India was at the receiving end of a hostile English bowling attack spearheaded by Broad who triggered the downfall as he forced Yuvaraj to offer an edge to Prior behind the stump to be followed by skipper MS Dhoni offering a tame catch to Anderson.

Until then, Yuvaraj was striking majestically and in perfect harmony to another almost spotless century by the master craftsman Rahul Dravid. They say, Scotch gets better with age. Dravid epitomises it. His patience is enviable, quiet unfluttered by the surroundings and the situations around him. If he feels that the situation demands him to stay at the wicket for the whole day, he will. That summarises Dravid's Goliath act on this day. The 128 run stand with Yuvaraj (62) laid the platform for India to build a 67 runs lead over England - though eventually it would look like a miniscule lead. But the fact remains that India could have been in real trouble had it not been for his near flawless 117, his 33rd Test century. The more the critics trash him for his slow batting, the more matured innings he delivers. And each at a time when India needs the most. Mr Dependable has been the difference between the two sides till now and if India can leverage on his innings to win this Test, it would be a fitting tribute to him.

Speaking of winning this Test, the path would be a treacherous one for India. Because India would have to bat last and if England manages a lead of more than 250, the pressure on the mind would be more telling than on the scoreboard perhaps. Especially with a shaky opener in Abhinav Mukund and a not so sturdy middle order, it would all depend again on the grand old men of Indian cricket - Sachin, Laxman and Dravid - to steer the ship to safer waters. But much before that situation arrives in time, its the Ishant Sharmas, Praveen Kumars, Sreeshanths and Harbhajans who hold the key for India. For their bowling would decide India's fate on the third day, though India may be well off to be informed that Jonathan Trott, a potentially dangerous bat, may not be batting at all in this innings due to an injured shoulder. So is it virtually 24/2 now for England?

Its advantage India surely at the moment, but the way the fortunes are changing in this Test match, Dhoni has to hold his ship steady through the rough waters tomorrow to sail through safely. The bowling changes, the fielding placements and relentless attacking mode of cricket can shatter the confidence of the English team.

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Dhavalyours on 06 Aug 2011, 04:07 AM
Laxman has to play good
shashi-kumar2 on 05 Aug 2011, 07:52 PM
Dravid is superb in middle order and what about openers?
shashi-kumar2 on 05 Aug 2011, 07:51 PM
Dravid has to get good support from non-striker's end only gambhir or sachin can do it
krishnasa1 on 05 Aug 2011, 03:52 AM
dravi and sehwag waiting for big partnership
krishnasa1 on 05 Aug 2011, 03:52 AM
but india lost inspite of that...tats the sad part
mulgur on 04 Aug 2011, 07:47 AM
Dravid is the only batsman doing job for India. Dhoni is the least!!
abhi-n on 04 Aug 2011, 04:17 AM
RAhul need to make big scores
krishnasa1 on 04 Aug 2011, 03:43 AM
I think Rahul is doing his job to score some runs for his team. The 2 centuries that he scored came in the difficult time but its because of other batters his century is not counted in the winning note as India lost both the tests. He also has to contribute in the fourth innings of the match as we saw our batting line up collapsed in both the matches.
Chinnua on 03 Aug 2011, 09:38 PM
He is giving his best. These are only two centuries we have lost. I would say poor batting is the reason for it.
shriram-jagadeesan on 03 Aug 2011, 05:29 PM
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