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Sight Screen

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It's not in the pitch(-worma)

Virendra Sehwag, on the end of yesterday's play, said that they were expecting the pitch to be slow and low as the game progressed, hence he was looking to play his shots early on, with a harder ball. I wonder if that was the 'mindset' with which the Indian batsmen approached their innings. As Siddhartha points out in his day's report at cricinfo, it was more in their minds than the pitch
The difference in run-rates today - India crawled along at a little over 1.5 runs an over while Sri Lanka motored at close to 4 - may lead one to believe that the pitch was changed midway through the day, but the Indian batsmen did themselves no favours by retreating further into their shells when the choke was applied. The pitch wasn't keeping as low as last evening and it was left to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, on Test debut, to breathe some life into the innings and save them from ignominy.
Knowing the SLankan gameplan and resources, it is quite obvious that they would look to apply the choke on our strokemakers and force them into a defensive shell. And as the last season indicated, that is not a situation in which we play our best cricket.

I hope this was an aberration in our approach, and also that we've had a nice early look at their plan. As Greg Chappell also indicated in his post match comments (on a side note, I wonder if the English fad of sending the coach out at the end of a tough day catching on :-) he felt that the batsmen made it tougher on themselves, more than the conditions. That should be some assurance that we've learnt our lessons and would look to move on. And even from the viewers point of view, its difficult to imagine anyone enjoying our free flowing strokemakers making 20 odd runs in 100 odd balls. Unless its really helping our cause, winning us matches (or even getting us a draw, as it famously didn't, at Bangalore).

Finally....the this-is-no-nonsense-cricket quote from Chappell
On what he made of Sourav Ganguly making few runs, and no impact with the ball

I wouldn't [make much of it]. What can I say? We made 167 runs.


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