Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Okay, so I am on my way to get the prediction made in my last blog completely wrong. I would have thought before tea that a draw should not be too difficult a result for India to achieve on a slow paced Nagpur wicket. What I had not anticipated was Steyn's immaculate spell of reverse swing bowling after tea, the spell in which his figures read 5 wickets for 3 runs in 22 balls with 2 maidens. What more can a captain really ask for from his numero uno fast bowler?

The day started badly with an in-form Gautam Gambhir falling to Morkel without adding to his overnight score. Morkel's around-the-wicket line came back to trouble him in the evening, when he misjudged one to see his off stump kissed by the cherry. Sidharth Monga's bulletin on the 3rd day's play on Cricinfo said about Gambhir: "When it's not your day, it's probably not your evening either". After equalling Sir Viv Richards' record of scoring a fifty in 11 successive Tests, Gambhir could manage only 13 runs in this Test. As a matter of fact, he managed to score just 1 run today getting out twice to Morkel. Has Morkel found a new Andrew Strauss?

The other man to get out twice during the day, Virendra Sehwag, showed maturity for 212 minutes before throwing it all away. However, more than his first innings dismissal, I think that it's his second innings cheap dismissal that will have a bigger impact on the result of the match.

Dale Steyn. The blogs are buzzing about his achievement today. He got 8 wickets today (7 in the 1st innings and Sehwag in the 2nd). Five of those were specialist batsmen (if you count Saha as one). And what's worse for India, he is likely to get more tomorrow and finish with a 10-wicket haul for the match.

Yes, there are people (including Viru) praying for a repeat of Kolkata 2001. Some are even thinking of invoking the rain Gods. But the mood that he was in today, I doubt Steyn would have any of that distracting him tomorrow.

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