Sunday, July 02, 2006

Cometh the hour

Tracking the Kingston test from afar might give the impression that the teams have been playing on a minefield. 26 wickets for 425 runs might suggest that. It would be a mistaken conclusion to draw however; the pitch has had something for the bowlers, most notably in the first session of the first day, but other than that its been a combination of some tight bowling and some alarmingly loose batting that has created this situation. India and the West Indies are still in this game, though perhaps India stands to play more mind-games now with its spinners in the second innings. But with a certain BC Lara in the West Indies line-up, they'd do well to not assume that all they have to do is show up.

One man's finest hour (or close to it) looms: Rahul Dravid. He could, in the next day or so, not only become the first Indian captain since Ajit Wadekar to win a series in the West Indies, he could do it on the back of an amazing two-fer of batting endurance, concentration and skill. He's seized the moment in the past, and I wouldn't put it past him to do so again today. What a pity that no one in the top five of the Indian batting order bothered to stick around with him and learn a lesson or two. In that sense, its best that he is partnered with Kumble today as they head out to try and stretch the Indian lead past 250. 300 would be a huge psychological edge but anything past 250 will start to get tricky. This could be an absolute ripper of a test match.


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