Posts Tagged ‘3rd Test’

India v/s Australia 3rd Test Preview

October 28, 2008

Dear Readers,

For the interesting match facts and figures between India and Australia for 3rd Test, click below:


– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar


Sri Lanka win Test Series

August 11, 2008

Drip by drip, Sri Lanka made their way to a comprehensive series win, their first over India since 2001. On what turned out to be the final day of the series, Sri Lanka did not attack overtly, and kept their composure at crucial junctures – when Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman had a long partnership, and also when India struck with two early wickets after Sri Lanka came out in pursuit of 122.

A bowler short, a batsman limping, the No. 11 in no shape to bat, and only 14 runs ahead with half the team gone, India started the day as no-hopers, but they managed to give Sri Lanka a few nervous moments. Dravid and Laxman – who was nursing an ankle injury – provided resistance for about 90 minutes. Harbhajan Singh played a cameo to take the lead beyond 100, and then took a wicket in his first over.

Sri Lanka seemed in no hurry. They waited patiently, bowled in the right areas, and got the last five Indian wickets without much damage. It was Ajantha Mendis who broke the resistance, dismissing Dravid half an hour before lunch. And when Harbhajan, who hit five boundaries in his 26, looked to take India towards a sizeable lead, Chaminda Vaas, that epitome of discipline, struck in the first over he bowled after his three with the first new ball.

When India struck early, reducing them to 22 for 2, Sri Lanka didn’t look to hit out, and waited instead for Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan to tire. Harbhajan, who opened the bowling in Ishant Sharma’s absence, bowled Michael Vandort with an arm-ball; and Zaheer got Kumar Sangakkara soon after on the check-drive. Malinda Warnapura and Mahela Jayawardene weathered the storm, survived lbw shouts, and were content to add only 23 in 10.3 overs before tea.

The two went on to frustrate the Indian bowlers after tea, too. They never looked harried, kept rotating the strike, and by the time the Indians had frustrated themselves into exhausting their reviews, started to have some fun with sweeps – both orthodox and reverse. Soon the only point of interest was whether Jayawardene would get to a half-century as Warnapura had done earlier. Jayawardene was 46 and Sri Lanka three short of the win when he square-cut Sourav Ganguly for a four to end the match.

That India had a semblance of a chance when they began bowling was thanks to the partnership between Laxman and Dravid. Coming out of their bad patches, they took the first steps towards what briefly seemed to be an incredible comeback, before they were stopped. Nonetheless it was the best partnership between two of the Fab Four in this series. The two looked comfortable reading the spinners, nudging and flicking for singles at ease, and rotating the strike, capitalising on the fields set. Laxman, who had Gautam Gambhir running for him, was visibly in pain, limping away to square leg when he got singles.

Dravid and Laxman lasted as long as they did thanks in no small measure to Sri Lanka’s strategy: for much of the time, they didn’t employ conspicuously attacking fields, and gave away singles for free as they tried to prevent boundaries. As a result, despite the time consumed, India’s lead never reached threatening proportions.

The day started with Dravid closing in on his first half-century of the series, which he brought up with a punched boundary off Mendis. He then settled down again, looking determined as he played the most confident innings by an Indian middle-order batsman in the series. Laxman at the other end received plenty of favours from Sri Lanka. When he was on 35, he edged Muttiah Muralitharan, but there was no slip. The field at that time had no slip and no silly point, and had a short mid-on, a short midwicket, a short square leg, and a backward square leg. In Murali’s next over, Laxman was dropped by Thilan Samaraweera at short mid-on. After he got to his second half-century of the series, he was dropped by Malinda Warnapura at forward short leg.

In between those drops and missed chances, he hit Dammika Prasad for two delightful boundaries, but those were about the only quick runs India got from Sri Lanka, who stuck to their plan of not letting India run away with the game, testing their patience and resolve, knowing the wicket-taking delivery would come.

Come it did, courtesy Mendis, who, bowling from round the stumps, drew Dravid forward and got the ball to move enough to take the edge. Then Murali, who had started from over the stumps, came back round, and got Kumble lbw with an accurate offbreak. Mendis ended with 26 wickets, the best for a debutant in a three-match series, and Murali with 21.

Sri Lanka have now won 13 of their last 16 series at home, and have not lost to India at home since 1993. The way Mendis and Murali bowled through the series bodes well for the continuation of Sri Lanka’s near-invincibility at home. It could signal the beginning of the end for the most feared middle order in world cricket.

– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar Jaggi

India v/s Sri Lanka 3rd Test Day 4

August 11, 2008
India in Sri Lanka Test Series – 3rd Test
Sri Lanka v India
2008 season
Played at P Saravanamuttu Stadium, Colombo, on 8,9,10,11 August 2008 (5-day match)

Result Sri Lanka won by 8 wickets

India 1st innings R M B 4s 6s SR
G Gambhir lbw b Mendis 72 196 128 10 0 56.25
V Sehwag c wicketkeeperHAPW Jayawardene b Prasad 21 36 21 4 0 100.00
R Dravid lbw b Prasad 10 52 29 0 0 34.48
SR Tendulkar lbw b Prasad 6 18 12 0 0 50.00
SC Ganguly c DPMD Jayawardene b Muralitharan 35 68 57 4 1 61.40
VVS Laxman st wicketkeeperHAPW Jayawardene b Mendis 25 56 44 1 0 56.81
wicketkeeper PA Patel lbw b Mendis 13 48 42 1 0 30.95
captain A Kumble b Mendis 1 10 6 0 0 16.66
Harbhajan Singh c Vandort b Muralitharan 3 11 8 0 0 37.50
I Sharma not out 17 77 61 0 0 27.86
Z Khan st wicketkeeperHAPW Jayawardene b Mendis 32 68 73 3 1 43.83
Extras (b 1, lb 8, nb 5) 14
Total (all out; 80 overs; 325 mins) 249 (3.11 runs per over)
Fall of wickets1-51 (Sehwag, 7.2 ov), 2-92 (Dravid, 18.3 ov), 3-102 (Tendulkar, 22.1 ov), 4-151 (Ganguly, 39.5 ov), 5-155 (Gambhir, 42.1 ov), 6-190 (Laxman, 54.3 ov), 7-195 (Patel, 56.1 ov), 8-196 (Kumble, 56.3 ov), 9-198 (Harbhajan Singh, 59.4 ov), 10-249 (Khan, 79.6 ov)
Bowling O M R W Econ
WPUJC Vaas 12 1 44 0 3.66
KTGD Prasad 17 0 82 3 4.82 (1nb)
BAW Mendis 28 4 56 5 2.00
M Muralitharan 23 3 58 2 2.52
Sri Lanka 1st innings R M B 4s 6s SR
MG Vandort lbw b Khan 14 77 50 1 0 28.00
BSM Warnapura b Sharma 8 27 22 0 0 36.36
WPUJC Vaas c Sehwag b Harbhajan Singh 47 169 111 9 0 42.34
KC Sangakkara c wicketkeeperPatel b Kumble 144 424 288 14 0 50.00
captain DPMD Jayawardene lbw b Harbhajan Singh 2 10 6 0 0 33.33
TT Samaraweera c wicketkeeperPatel b Khan 35 113 84 3 0 41.66
TM Dilshan lbw b Kumble 23 65 45 3 0 51.11
wicketkeeper HAPW Jayawardene c Harbhajan Singh b Khan 49 163 116 5 0 42.24
KTGD Prasad st wicketkeeperPatel b Harbhajan Singh 36 89 56 5 0 64.28
BAW Mendis lbw b Kumble 17 43 28 2 0 60.71
M Muralitharan not out 0 3 1 0 0 0.00
Extras (b 4, lb 14, w 2, nb 1) 21
Total (all out; 134.2 overs; 585 mins) 396 (2.94 runs per over)
Fall of wickets1-14 (Warnapura, 5.6 ov), 2-42 (Vandort, 16.5 ov), 3-137 (Vaas, 47.3 ov), 4-141 (DPMD Jayawardene, 49.1 ov), 5-201 (Samaraweera, 73.6 ov), 6-244 (Dilshan, 88.3 ov), 7-324 (Sangakkara, 113.5 ov), 8-367 (HAPW Jayawardene, 125.5 ov), 9-396 (Prasad, 133.5 ov), 10-396 (Mendis, 134.2 ov)
Bowling O M R W Econ
Z Khan 32 5 105 3 3.28 (1nb)
I Sharma 15.3 3 33 1 2.12
Harbhajan Singh 40.3 8 104 3 2.56 (2w)
A Kumble 41.2 4 123 3 2.97
V Sehwag 2 0 2 0 1.00
SC Ganguly 3 0 11 0 3.66
India 2nd innings R M B 4s 6s SR
G Gambhir b Prasad 26 55 43 3 0 60.46
V Sehwag c Samaraweera b Prasad 34 48 29 7 0 117.24
R Dravid c DPMD Jayawardene b Mendis 68 226 166 6 0 40.96
SC Ganguly lbw b Muralitharan 18 64 50 1 1 36.00
wicketkeeper PA Patel lbw b Mendis 1 3 2 0 0 50.00
SR Tendulkar lbw b Mendis 14 26 22 1 0 63.63
VVS Laxman not out 61 193 157 3 0 38.85
captain A Kumble lbw b Muralitharan 9 21 15 1 0 60.00
Harbhajan Singh lbw b Vaas 26 32 32 5 0 81.25
Z Khan run out (Samaraweera) 0 8 7 0 0 0.00
I Sharma c Warnapura b Muralitharan 0 5 5 0 0 0.00
Extras (b 5, lb 3, w 2, nb 1) 11
Total (all out; 87.5 overs; 345 mins) 268 (3.05 runs per over)
Fall of wickets1-62 (Sehwag, 10.4 ov), 2-65 (Gambhir, 12.2 ov), 3-108 (Ganguly, 27.4 ov), 4-109 (Patel, 28.1 ov), 5-131 (Tendulkar, 34.5 ov), 6-216 (Dravid, 70.1 ov), 7-229 (Kumble, 75.5 ov), 8-266 (Harbhajan Singh, 84.6 ov), 9-268 (Khan, 86.4 ov), 10-268 (Sharma, 87.5 ov)
Bowling O M R W Econ
WPUJC Vaas 5 0 20 1 4.00
KTGD Prasad 11 0 60 2 5.45 (1nb, 2w)
M Muralitharan 37.5 4 99 3 2.61
BAW Mendis 34 7 81 3 2.38
Sri Lanka 2nd innings (target: 122 runs) R M B 4s 6s SR
MG Vandort b Harbhajan Singh 8 8 7 2 0 114.28
BSM Warnapura not out 54 135 99 5 0 54.54
KC Sangakkara c Gambhir b Khan 4 23 8 0 0 50.00
captain DPMD Jayawardene not out 50 103 85 3 0 58.82
Extras (b 4, lb 3) 7
Total (2 wickets; 33.1 overs; 135 mins) 123 (3.70 runs per over)
Did not bat TT Samaraweera, TM Dilshan, wicketkeeperHAPW Jayawardene, WPUJC Vaas, KTGD Prasad, BAW Mendis, M Muralitharan
Fall of wickets1-11 (Vandort, 1.4 ov), 2-22 (Sangakkara, 6.3 ov)
Bowling O M R W Econ
Z Khan 6 1 22 1 3.66
Harbhajan Singh 14 2 44 1 3.14
A Kumble 10 2 34 0 3.40
V Sehwag 3 0 12 0 4.00
SC Ganguly 0.1 0 4 0 24.00

Toss India, who chose to bat first
Series Sri Lanka won the 3-match series 2-1

Test debut KTGD Prasad (Sri Lanka)
Player of the match KC Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)
Player of the series BAW Mendis (Sri Lanka)

– About Cricket –
Sandesh Kumar Jaggi

India’s Fielding; never learning from past mistakes

August 10, 2008

Robin Singh, India’s fielding coach, sent a report to the BCCI assessing the players’ fielding skills after a five one-day international series against Pakistan in November last year. It praised a couple players’ throwing arms, spoke of others’ poor agility, and lamented the concentration and commitment of a few, but there was almost one strand tying Robin’s observations together: the need to improve anticipation and technique.

After another poor day in the field, you have to wonder what has happened since November 2007. At the SSC, where India lost by an innings and 239 runs, Mahela Jayawardene was dropped by wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik on 55 and 93 and Thilan Samaraweera was dropped by Gautam Gambhir at short leg on 53. Matters weren’t much better in Galle, where Karthik and Gambhir were the culprits again.

Today India refused to learn from their mistakes. Close-in fielders repeatedly reacted too late or too early, flat-footed rookies and veterans tripped over balls and failed to reach down in time, Harbhajan Singh kicked a ball away in frustration only to allow a single, and Parthiv Patel missed a stumping.

Sri Lanka meanwhile struck the first blow with a sharp catch off Virender Sehwag by Thilan Samaraweera at gully; then they hammered in the final nail when Sachin Tendulkar, perhaps wary of three lurking close catchers, padded up to Ajantha Mendis late in the day. It was in stark contrast with India’s attempt to apply pressure.

Anil Kumble began the day with three short legs in, one behind the wicket and two in front. In the third over of the day Gambhir stood up too early instead of crouching in anticipation and saw the ball fly past. Then Karthik reacted too soon and couldn’t dive to reach a catch in time. India cannot expect to win consistently unless half chances are regularly converted.

Throughout the first session, Prasanna Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara worked singles past three short legs, especially between the first of the forward short legs and backward short leg fielder. And when Kumble called his fielders in to try and prevent the single off the last ball of the 98th over, they were slow to react. Four balls later Pragyan Ojha, one of three substitutes, made a mess of a stop at backward point and allowed three, much to Kumble’s fury.

India also missed two run-out chances: Sangakkara turned down a single to sell Prasanna down the river, but Rohit Sharma returned a wayward throw to Parthiv. Run-outs don’t come easier than that. In the 129th over Mendis pushed the ball towards Sourav Ganguly at mid-on, Parthiv screamed for the return to the non-striker’s end, but Ganguly missed the stumps with Dammika Prasad out of the frame. Rohit later mis-fielded and allowed two runs and received a nasty glare from Kumble. To cap it off, Parthiv missed a regulation stumping down the leg side off Kumble.

To makes things worse the fielders weren’t helped by their bowlers. With six men on the off side, Harbhajan bowled far too many deliveries on the pads. And kicking the ball, only to concede an overthrow, is unacceptable behaviour. Zaheer Khan did the same during a one-day match in England last summer after a catch had gone down off Matt Prior. At mid-off Kumble could only shake his head.

For the most part of this series Sri Lanka have been disciplined, sharp and athletic; Tillakaratne Dilshan and Prasanna have epitomised this. Dilshan has been outstanding, diving around at forward short leg, leg slip, backward square leg. Even late in the day, three wickets down, he wasn’t complacent, flinging a hand out to stop a single off the pads. In comparison Gambhir and Karthik, who repeatedly stood up near the bat instead of crouching low, allowed easy singles.

Karthik and Parthiv have fumbled regulation takes. Rated India’s best wicketkeeper and one of the better in-fielders, Karthik’s display this series has been substandard. Parthiv has improved marginally since 2004.

Sri Lanka’s infielders dove around and cut off singles while India’s struggled. While Mendis and Chaminda Vaas, newbie and old hand alike, returned throws into the wicketkeeper’s gloves, Ojha and Ganguly had a hard time getting it in on one bounce from the outfield. There was no discipline or ruthlessness from India, who seemed wilted to the extent that they hardly ever touched the stumps.

Reflexes and anticipation are key elements of a good close-in fielder and India haven’t had one since Aakash Chopra’s vigil at the position. Memories of Chopra’s batting may not evoke a smile, but his fielding was top notch. Among his better ones are, his catch off Anil Kumble’s bowling to get Adam Gilchrist in Mumbai in 2001, his brilliant one-handed effort to get Abdul Razzaq at Multan in 2004, when Pakistan trailed by 162 runs, and his catch at forward short leg off a Justin Langer pull in the Australian series of 2003-04, which was unfortunately a no-ball.

Chopra created half-chances, and in Tests that counts for a lot. India soon need to find another such fielder, for they have struggled to create half-chances and take the ones that were there to held. Instead of reports, the BCCI should asses the ground realities.

– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar Jaggi

India’s injury woes

August 10, 2008

India took the field on the third day of the Colombo Test against Sri Lanka without Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Ishant Sharma who are nursing injuries which were sustained on the second day.

An MRI scan revealed a swelling in Tendulkar’s left elbow which he jarred while attempting a catch in the 47th over of Sri Lanka’s innings. His hand was immediately wrapped in an icepack and his elbow movements are not comfortable at present. Laxman was still unable to bear full weight on his left ankle which he sprained before the second day’s play while doing a fielding exercise. He did not take the field and underwent an MRI at a local hospital. Both Laxman and Tendulkar were expected to bat in India’s second innings.

India’s bowling attack took a hit when Ishant limped off the field after falling to the ground while bowling his 16th over. A muscle in Ishant’s right buttock was the source of his discomfort and he was unable to continue bowling. He has a right glutues muscle contusion confirmed by an MRI and is unable to bear weight on that side.

Parthiv Patel also copped a blow on the nose from an edge off Sangakkara’s bat and suffered a minor cut. He was kept under observation overnight but was passed fit to keep on the third day.

– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar Jaggi