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Lawson, a law unto himself

West Indies were deserving winners of the TVS Cup one-day series after producing some explosive batting that proved the team would be no run-overs during the World Cup.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2002 23:59 IST

West Indies were deserving winners of the TVS Cup one-day series after producing some explosive batting that proved the team would be no run-overs during the World Cup. West Indies won by 135 runs to take the high scoring series 4-3. The series was dominated by batsmen apart from one match at Jodhpur where bowlers had the upper hand.

In the last match today at Vizag, bowlers too had their say. It was the newcomer Jermaine Lawson who was instrumental in the rout of India which could not even play out the full quote of overs getting out in just over 36 overs. Lawson showed no effect of his long trans-continental flight.

The yorker which he produced to dismiss Dinesh Mongia was the best, the batsman literally falling to his knees.

Lawson took four wickets, all of them by completely foxing the top four Indian batsmen by pace and control. Lawson was flown in at the instance of chairman of selector Sir Vivian Richards who was rightly seen celebrating his wickets with high-fives.

Marlon Samuels of course, taking off from where Chris Gayle stopped, hammered the weak Indian bowling in the last ten overs mainly. His century, 108 from 74, and yet another big score of 88 by Ramnaresh Sarawan settled the issue and set up the 315 score. India would have loved to so yet another chase of a plus 300 score but Lawson scuttled all such hopes with his fiery deliveries which generated more heat than the weather which is normally around 35 degrees in Vizag and 45 degrees in summer.

The Windies have now a handful of young players to take with them to the World Cup. The calm and collected Carl Hooper, has really inspired the team to great heights and that too after losing the Test series. Though he did not come up too many big scores in the series, his slow teasing turners have bothered the Indian batmen no end. For a captain to carry a team from decline to triumph is an honourable task, which Hooper has accomplished well.

Rahul Dravid would have loved to have four wins in the all the four matches he has led India in. That hope was badly blemished today. He nor any of the eight strong batsmen that his team had could stand up to the pressure, once Virender Sehwag got out.

The very sight of Sehwag inspired West Indies bowlers and all their pacemen seemed to have many tricks to trap him. Sehwag can be caught off his pull, his lofted drives and even his various slashes outside the off stump. He was dropped once before he was caught by Hooper in the slips. Sehwag has a lot of thinking to do before he sets foot in South Africa for the second time in his career. Just being an impulsive stroke player is no excuse.

The defeat leaves the Indian selectors with a few problems for the New Zealand tour. It is quite likely that two youngsters, from the same region, who have put in stellar performers in the Ranji Trophy will find their way into the team for New Zealand: wicket-keeper MSK Prasad and 17-year old batsman Rayadu who has followed up on his brilliant batting for Indian juniors to score a double century and a century in the same match for Hyderabad. But who needs more batsmen?

Bowling is where the problem lies for India. The return of Zaheer Khan of course will be a plus point but the inconsistency of both Ajit Agarkar and Ashish Nehra and Srinath’s decline continue to cause much concern. Some of these problems would have been discussed by Brijesh Patel and Rahul
Dravid when they sat together in the pavilion today.

The team leaves for New Zealand after less than two weeks rest. The loss in the series will be rankling John Wright’s mind. For if you cant win a series at home, you are unlikely to win in South Africa. It is imperative that a couple of new bowlers should be tried out in New Zealand.

First Published: Nov 24, 2002 23:51 IST