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India on revival route

The visitors would have reached a stronger position had Sehwag not thrown away another good start.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2006 12:38 IST

Fans in the West Indies come to the ground to party. It becomes a bonus when their team does well and the Indians denied them this extra fun in the first two sessions on the third day of the first Test after being rather generous with it earlier.

The visitors had their back well and truly on the wall after conceding a first-innings lead of 130 and the recovery operation got off to a steady start with the openers looking determined to deny the hosts any more headway.

They would have reached a stronger position had Virender Sehwag not thrown away another good start, after having spent well over an hour at the wicket. Like in the first innings, he got out to one outside off, edging it while going for an expansive drive.

Sehwag was judicious with his shot selection until before that and had survived a testing time when Fidel Edwards kept bowling at his ribcage with a leg slip and conventional short-leg in place. Having weathered that, the batsman would surely curse himself for the way he got out.

India had got a decent start nonetheless with the openers erasing more than half of the deficit and Wasim Jaffer was playing just like a player in that position should, showing good judgement of where the off stump is.

He wasn't afraid to punish the loose ones, which was important because India had to quickly wipe out the lead they conceded.

Brian Lara must have been pleased with his team's effort with the bat. In recent times, he had been the only one to do something of note with a degree of consistency, but here the West Indies posted a healthy total without any significant contribution from him.

India had a chance of keeping the home team's lead within manageable limits, before Dwayne Bravo rose to the occasion. His half-century wasn't as powerful as Gayle or as pretty as Sarwan, but included some quality shots - particularly those along the ground through the mid-wicket, midon region.

Rahul Dravid's boys were frustrated again by Denesh Ramdin and Dave Mohammed, who put on 49 for the seventh wicket. Not big in terms of sheer runs, but this partnership might turn out to be crucial in the bigger context.

The visitors appeared two bowlers short and this wasn't because they had four regulars and the part-time spin of Sehwag to rely on.

Anil Kumble and Munaf Patel accounted for more than half of the overs India bowled and this explains how effective or ineffective S Sreesanth and Vikram Rajvir Singh were.

Sreesanth struggled to hit the right length, bowling either too full or too short, and went for easy runs, which a team scoring 241 could hardly afford. In the side for being quick, Singh didn't frighten the batsmen and bowled on either side of the wicket initially before redeeming himself somewhat with two late wickets.

First Published: Jun 05, 2006 10:27 IST