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Friday, Oct 22, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Mayhem On Day One

The pathetic performance was a result of the Indian batsmen's failure to last on a hard and bouncy track.

Mayhem On Day One
Mayhem On Day One
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The jubilation of the historic win in Port of Spain evaporated in thin air as the Indians put up a contrastingly dismal batting performance to crash to a lowly 102 all out on the opening day of the third Test against the West Indies at the Kensington Oval.

If the win in the second Test was a saga of team effort, yesterday's pathetic performance was a result of the combined failure of all the Indian batsmen save skipper Sourav Ganguly who scored nearly 50 per cent of the runs after West Indies had put the tourists in to bat on a hard and bouncy track.

Ganguly, coming at the fall of Sachin Tendulkar who was out for a second ball duck, was the last man to be dismissed for a well-made 48 when he was caught superbly by Mervyn Dillon at the point boundary.

The catch capped an excellent day for Dillon who finished with four wickets, including that of opener Shiv Sunder Das off the very first ball of the match, and two catches.

West Indies reached 33 for one in reply when the fourth rain intervention forced play to be called off for the day. Chris Gayle was batting on 14 while Ramnaresh Sarwan was yet to open his account after Zaheer Khan had sent back Stuart Williams in his very first over for 18.

India's opening blues continued with their third pair in as many matches also failing to give them a good start. Das, who has struggled badly on this tour, was beaten for pace while his new partner Wasim Jaffer snicked Dillon to wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs to give him the first of his three catches.

Jaffer, who was included in the squad on the strength of his half-century knock in the three-day game against Busta XI, flourished for a while before perishing. He steered Cameron Cuffy for a streaky boundary but then punched two classy off drives off the same bowler for fours.

However, he became victim to a beautiful outswinging ball from Dillon to be dismissed for 12. His 26-run second wicket stand with Rahul Dravid proved to be the highest for the Indian innings.

India were in for a bigger setback immediately after that when Tendulkar got out to a shocking shot, playing well away from his body to give a regulation catch to Jacobs off Pedro Collins. Jacobs and Collins were the two changes made by West Indies from the side that lost the second Test, replacing Junior Murray and Marlon Black respectively.

This was the first time in his 94-Test career that Tendulkar had been out for nought in two successive innings. He failed to score in the second innings at Port of Spain after making a century in the first innings.

When the first rain disruption forced an early lunch break, India were precariously placed at 35 for three with Ganguly and Dravid at the crease. Dravid, who has been in fine form in this series, once again looked in good touch and was batting fluently when a mix-up with Ganguly resulted in his run out. Dravid made only 17.

V.V.S. Laxman once again paid the penalty for the lack of foot movement with a sharply incoming delivery from Cuffy going between his bat and pad to crash into the stumps. Laxman scored just one and half the Indian batting line-up was back in pavilion with only 51 runs on the board.

Ganguly, who in the meanwhile was batting with a lot of confidence, was left at the mercy of the tail-enders. He did the bulk of scoring and after the fall of the Zaheer Khan as the eighth wicket at 86, started to go for the big hits.

He smashed Dillon for a four and a six off successive balls to move to 44 after which tea was taken with India in a rather sorry state at 97 for eight.

Just after the break, Dillon trapped Javagal Srinath leg before wicket for his fourth wicket and when Ganguly fell in a bid to clear the point boundary one run later, India had crashed to their sixth lowest total.

India had been bowled out for 81 in their second innings at this very ground on their previous tour while chasing a modest 120 for victory.

The West Indies innings began on a confident note with Gayle and Williams scoring at a brisk pace. Both batsmen traded in boundaries, being able to pierce an attacking field set by the Indians quite regularly.

India earned their first wicket when Jaffer took a smart catch at second slip to dismiss Williams who edged a fine delivery from Zaheer Khan.

PTI

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