India will have to play the waiting game
Gautam Ganbhir is on a roll and has now established himself well in the Indian line-up. His two big centuries in the two Tests show how deserving he is for the ICC Test Player of the Year award, writes Anil Kumble.india Updated: Nov 26, 2009 00:41 IST
Gautam Ganbhir is on a roll and has now established himself well in the Indian line-up. His two big centuries in the two Tests show how deserving he is for the ICC Test Player of the Year award. When he started his career, his problems were twin-fold. He had a tendency to reach out to the ball outside the off-stump and at other times fell across the stumps while trying to play on the onside. The former led to many dismissals behind the wicket and the latter invariably caught him plumb in front. Now Gambhir has compacted his game, plays much closer to his body and the results are there for all to see.
The best part about Gambhir is that for an opener, he's a very good player of spin too. This helps immensely when it comes to playing in the sub-continent, where irrespective of whom you play, you tend to face a lot of overs of spin on any given day.
His partner Virender Sehwag is a different batsman. He is an impact player and a match-winner. Sehwag just doesn't score quickly; he actually demolishes the opposition by hitting boundaries off good deliveries. He virtually dismisses the bowlers and sets up the game for you with the pace of his innings.
Sehwag’s presence and success at the top allows people like Gambhir and Rahul Dravid to play their own way.
I am sure that when Dhoni was walking out for the toss, the whole team would have ganged up, imploring him to win the toss. When you have bowled close to or over 200 overs in the previous Test, it is not easy to recover and come hard again so soon. The body needs more rest and it showed in the Lankan approach.
Whenever I bowled in Kanpur, I remember having ended the day with a sore shoulder. The pitch at the Green Park demands that the bowler puts in a lot of effort if he is to get anything off the surface and the extra bit of shoulder that I had to use always left me in pain.
Looking ahead, the pitch will play similarly at least till tea on the third day. Thereafter, it is bound to spin a little more and, while it will not get dangerous, the spinners will enjoy it a little more. For the Indians, it will have to be a waiting game. They must not relax just because they have a total of nearly 650.