24 June 2011

Sabina Park, Days 3 & 4

A good test match, robbed of cracker status by the West Indian collapse in the first session on Day 4. Though history is important and it didn’t favour West Indian victory, I thought they had given themselves a half decent chance with their batting (not to mention some poor bowling from India) on Day 3. 63 runs is not all that much anyway.

Dravid really was the difference between the sides, and he underlined his class with a beautiful knock on a difficult wicket. He scored 16% of the total runs in the match, 30% of India’s, and 44% of India’s second innings total. In my opinion the elegance of his strokeplay, whether in defense or attack, is unparalleled, and he has always been my favourite batsman to watch. What keeps him head and shoulders above most other batsmen though, is his temperament. Yesterday’s innings was a lesson in patience and good judgment.

Bhajji needs to flight the ball more, and use his fuller quick ones for LBWs, especially against the left-handers. He does this regularly in India, so I don’t know why didn’t here. PK had an impressive debut. The Windies bowled well, and their batting let them down with accustomed familiarity.

My man of the match goes to Charles Joseph, the groundsman at Sabina (since 1962!). Like 2006, it was an ideal test wicket, assisting seam and spin, and providing a stage for proper batsmanship. Weather permitting, a track like this will always produce a result and test cricket needs more of it. Don’t like Jamaica. I love her.

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