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India face the champions test

Champions are known to find ways out of tough situations and the one facing India is a real tough one indeed. The next few days should show us what the champions are made of. Sunil Gavaskar writes.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2009 02:19 IST

Will it be a wake-up call or is that a signal that India are on their way out? The loss to West Indies is certainly nothing to be ashamed about for it was like the West Indian team of old. The furious pace at which both Jerome Taylor and Fidel Edwards bowled was reminiscent of the 1970s and 80s, when the West Indian quicks had the world's best batsmen hopping and jumping in the crease. They haven't bowled so quick even in Test matches.

The first ball itself was a snorter which Gautam Gambhir managed to just pop up safely and that was the signal that the West Indies were going to come at India. Indian batsmen are so used to getting on the front foot that when someone of real pace bangs the ball in short they are slow to transfer the balance on the back foot. They also seldom play the pull or the hook shot which means that the short deliveries will invariably be dot balls. Three wickets down for barely 30 on the board was not the start that India is used to and though Yuvraj played a wonderful counter-attacking innings the overs were being consumed fast till Yusuf Pathan joined him.

Pathan senior adjusted well and he too joined the counter attack. It was this duo that took India past 100.

The Indians certainly believed that they would be able to put pressure on the West Indies but maybe they missed a trick in not giving the ball to Harbhajan straight away. The offie would have been high after his batting display. Besides, the West Indians struggle against the flighted delivery. Though Gayle didn’t fire, Dwayne Bravo did and took the game away from the Indians.

This means that India have to win the remaining games and with the last being against South Africa, it appears as if their task is cut out. Champions are known to find ways out of tough situations and the one facing India is a real tough one indeed. The next few days should show us what the champions are made of.

First Published: Jun 14, 2009 02:14 IST