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Slowness of track should worry India

There can be an urge to downplay India's feat on the opening day. Runs in excess of 400 do suggest both the lameness of attack as well as a shirtfront of a wicket, writes Ravi Shastri.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2009 23:48 IST

There can be an urge to downplay India's feat on the opening day. Runs in excess of 400 do suggest both the lameness of attack as well as a shirtfront of a wicket. Yet, nothing should come in the way of praising the two Indian openers.

Statistics too offer a light on the matter. This is Gautam Gambhir's seventh century in the last nine Tests — his second in a row. Virender Sehwag didn't hit a four till he had faced his 27th delivery. He hardly chose any other mode of scoring thereafter.

Sehwag and Gambhir's ability, comradarie, the left-right hand combination make them the most dreaded pair of openers in world cricket. Could Sri Lanka have done anything differently? Yes, holding on to a chance by Sehwag for instance. Or avoiding. Setting defensive fields early in the game. So slow is the track that spinners can't get away by bowling to a packed one side of the field. Batsmen have all the time to hit any delivery to any area they want.

The road for India over the next four days is clear. They must look to make 650 runs and invite Sri Lanka to bat in the last half an hour on the second day. India have genuine reasons to be concerned by the slowness of the track. It would help India if medium-pacers can make early inroads. Early wickets are important for we have a track at Green Park where bowlers can lose interest easily. TCM