The High’s and Low’s of Indian Cricket
On the High Side: From what could have been bad memories of the motera last year when South Africa bowled us out for a meager 76 off 20 overs to what we are now, 385/6 featuring the highest number of runs from Dravid’s bat in a single day, 11000 runs in test cricket – Rahul Dravid returned to international cricket after having been left out of the 7 match one day series against Australia. From being 32 for 4 at one point, India finished the first day of the first test match against Srilanka at 385 for 6, with Mr. Dependable, Mr. Always Perfect, The wall ,remaining not out on 177. Giving him company at the crease was Harbhajan Singh on 2. More about the match later..
On The Lower Side: Sachin’s comment on him being an Indian first before being a Marathi was questioned by Bal Thackrey in a Mumbai daily.
Sachin was immediately asked to apologize or he’d lose support from all the Maharastrians in India. However Stupid that thought is, It’s time we respect and honor these legends. Media has to take more responsibility. Why should journalist’s ask such sensitive questions at all? Spare him the horror! Don’t we already have enough people talking about it? Thankfully Sachin didn’t apologize or say anything against it. A controversy is the last thing he wants. If he can’t be accepted by Marathi people in Maharashtra for a comment that was logically complete and correct, I welcome him to the state of Tamil Nadu where people are respected for what they are, no cast no creed no language or no colour!
Lets not make it even more controversial.. lets just dive in to what happened at the Motera.. Read on..
India won the toss and elected to bat first on wicket that looked good for batting. The Srilankan new ball bowlers exploited the early morning conditions quite well as they left India tormented at 32 for 4. Gautam Gambhir inside edged a straight delivery trying to play the ball softly to sneak a single. Sehwag however played some sparkling cover drives before he recieved a good length in swinging ball, paid the price for offering the pad before the bat and was out LBW to what was a straight forward decision for the umpire. Rahul Dravid on the other end played some solid shots to keep one end going.
20 years and 1 day old in International cricket, the living legend, the god of Indian cricket walked in to bat. First ball was dispatched to the cover boundary with authority. A treat to the eyes of the spectators, the shot was almost perfectly played, Foot to the pitch of the ball and the bat coming through beautifully. All this was however short-lived. Sachin not completely out of the one day mode went after a good length delivery that swung in to knock his off stump off the ground. Stunned with Silence the motera crowd, and the rest of India prayed for recovery. Help wasn’t to come just yet, VVS laxman only 4 balls old inside edged an in swinging delivery on to the leg stump!
Kumara Sangakkara introduced Angelo Mathews ahead of Muralitharan, this probably the only mistake he did through out the day as the duo of Yuvraj Singh and Rahul Dravid took him for runs. Yuvraj knicked a few deliveries, lived dangerously, at the other end was a man who played shots with class written all over it. Yuvraj soon gained confidence and treated the crowd with some sparkling cover drives. Both batsmen mixed caution with aggression as they took India past the 100 run mark at a run rate of over 4 an over.
From being down and out in the first hour, India held the upper hand at lunch. Yuvraj continued dominating the bowlers as he hit Murali for two boundaries over mid on. The experience of Murali finally helped as he beat Yuvraj singh in the flight eventually leading to him bat-padding the ball to short extra cover. Dilshan took a simple catch leaving India at 157 for 5.
Indian captain Dhoni walked in and took a few singles handing the strike to Rahul Dravid who to everyone’s surprise was in boundary hitting mood. Pheraps tired of taking singles Dravid showed his class in every single shot he played. At once Dravid played a shot over extra cover dancing down the track to a top spinner from Murali.
Dhoni found form and scored a much required 110, gave Dravid good company occasionally attacking the bowlers. The duo scored 225 runs together, 10th in which Dravid was involved to take India past 350. Dravid on the other end kept finding the boundary throughout his innings, reaching his fifty in 79 balls, hundred in 158, and 150 in 216. Truly dominating India looked to be in the driver’s seat all through out the day. Dhoni who was on a run hitting spree edged one to keeper P Jayawardene with 3 overs remaining in the day. Dravid patted Dhoni’s back for an innings well-played.
India ended the day at 385 for 6 with Dravid on the verge of yet another match saving 200 on one end and Harbhajan Singh at the other. India would like to score another 100 runs to completely take the loss out of the equation, Dravid on the other hand would want to score as many runs as possible before the patience runs out of the tailenders.
A lot of pressure will be upon Zaheer Khan who makes a comeback after almost 1.5 years who leads an out of form Ishant Sharma. Sangakkara probably spent a sleepless night wondering why he didn’t choose Mendis over the slow left arm bowler Herath. All in all a good day of cricket with Dravid proving why he is an important part of the Indian Cricket Team.