|Dhoni is on the money in tests too.|
|by Gulu Ezekiel|
|Dec 09, 2005|
Hopefully this is the last time Chennai's ardent
cricket lovers will have to sit through the ordeal of
a rain-ruined international match.
The absurdity of
hosting cricket at Chepauk in the months from October
to December has really hit Indian cricket hard.
First the ODI against South Africa was washed out
without a ball being bowled last month and now a
five-day Test match reduced to less than one-and-half
A pathetic state of affairs indeed especially as
the India/South Africa was deadlocked 2-2. With
Chepauk traditionally favouring spinners, there is
every indication that India could have clinched the
series if the weather had not intervened.
Given that so little cricket was possible in the first
Test, it really goes to the credit of the Sri Lankans
that they were able to take away the few positives
that could be gained. This is especially so
considering they have just returned to India after
receiving a 6-1 hammering in last month's ODI series
and are also without their most seasoned campaigner,
former captain Sanath Jayasuriya.
Fortunately the Chennai crowd is not as parochial as
their counterparts in Kolkata and did not make a hue
and cry over the exclusion of wicket-keeper Dinesh
Kaarthik. The same indeed could be said for Hyderabad
and Bangalore where there were no protests over the
dropping of favourite sons VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble
for the ODI series. It is a credit to all of them.
In fact, what little the home team gained from this
truncated Test match came from debutant Mahendra Singh
Dhoni who batted without nerves in his first Test and
also pouched a catch.
Apart from a flashy little gem from Virender Sehwag,
the way the Indian batting crawled on the final day
was quite unbelievable. How could a classy
strokeplayer like Laxman scratch around for 64 balls
for a meagre 5? Tendulkar too looked a shadow of
As for Ganguly, his supporters will have been
disappointed as he was once again predictably found
wanting against pace. In typical fashion, he was also
culpable in Laxman's run out and his two overs as an
'all-rounder' yielded 16 runs. Kotla is obviously his
last chance in Test cricket.
The Lankans have never won a Test match on Indian soil
in nearly a quarter of a century of trying. They have
proved their dismal one-day form is behind them and
that they are no pushovers.
On the face of it, news of Dravid's and Sehwag's visits to the doctor ahead of the second test does not bode well for the Indian team. But things are not as dismal as they look. The in-form batsman Yuvraj could provide the boost that Team India needs after the lack-lustre Chennai performance.
Test matches between
India and Sri Lanka have rarely produced cricket worth
writing home about. But hopefully this time around, we
should see some exciting stuff both in New Delhi and
Certainly the Indian team could do with a tough
workout before they embark on a trying tour of