Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Viru carries Indian hopes in comeback match

Now this is interesting. We are not going into the right and wrong of exchanging one Punjab Pipegun for Delhi Dynamite and the other for Baroda Bomber. Let’s just say India have put up an interesting combination. At this particular point of time they have perhaps given themselves their best chance to turn it around. They will also need to bat first here - only Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly amongst the Indian batsmen have, in recent memory, looked likely to script an innings of note on the last two days of a Test match. टस जीतो और बल्ला घुमाओ। (That was 'win the toss and swing the bat' in Hindi, for the interested)

If Virender Sehwag fails, it was going to happen anyway with one of the openers. But if his 100 in the previous innings has brought back some of the good things that he used to unconsciously do right in his glory days then we may expect a good match here. For this is the only surface in the series where Australia are most likely to find their ultra-successful plan B (strangulation) removed from the equation.

Both teams need wickets to restrict the opposition here – which is not necessarily bad for an Indian team fielding Viru at the top and an extra half-batsman at the bottom. Of course we are merely speculating on the 20% chance India have in the game. I’m afraid all of it hinges on them batting first and young Indian fast bowlers adjusting their lengths well in the face of seduction by the legendary Perth bounce to go astray.

It's crazy, the kind of effect this man Virender Sehwag has on people's expectations. Now I was calling his selection a mistake and now I am writing a post with this heading.