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Some fuss, some fun and a bit of a worry

Shoaib, Md Asif and Rana Naved-ul Hasan were all lustily greeted by the huge crowd gathered inside the Sawai Man Singh stadium.

india Updated: Oct 12, 2006 13:19 IST
C Shekhar Luthra
C Shekhar Luthra

There was confusion galore on the sidelines of the Bangladesh-Windies game here at the Sawai Man Singh stadium. It had nothing to do with the cricket though.

It revolved around the media corps who wanted to split time between the match and the Indian team’s practice game at a local school and the ICC, which was apparently not sure how to manage that huge media turnout.

Perhaps the confusion could have been anticipated and prevented. But this being India, perhaps it could not! Anyway, for the Indian players, many out of form, it was all business as they merged with an RCA XI and made up two teams that played each other. And they got some good out of it.

Sehwag’s unbeaten century against an attack including Pathan, Munaf, Agarkar and Harbhajan was certainly a plus as were, Yuvraj’s half-century, Dravid’s 40 and Tendulkar’s 39 in the 296 for five the “Indians” got to in 50 overs. In reply, Dhoni’s 98 retired and Raina’s 79 retired, along with Pathan’s 42 took the “RCA XI” past the Indians total in the last over of the day.

The result didn’t matter. It was the way they --- other than Kaif, who struggled despite being given two chances to bat ---played that must have lowered the tension in the Indian camp, if only for a bit. The top-order’s erratic performances in the Kuala Lumpur tri-series had coach Greg Chappell apparently asking all the batsmen to concentrate on playing drives in front of the wicket on the day and they did seem to do that.

Still, while Harbhajan and Munaf both did well, it wasn’t all happy. Pathan’s bowling form would remain a bother, especially given the way he was being smashed around by Sehwag in his initial overs -two sixes and a boundary in one over. His 10 overs went for 83. BRIEF SCORES: Indians 296 for five in 50 overs (Sehwag 107 retd, Tendulkar 39, Dravid 40, Yuvraj 54; Munaf Patel 3-43) lost to RCA XI: 299 for three in 49.5 overs (Dhoni 98 retd, Raina 79 retd, Pathan 42; Yuvraj 2-40) by seven wickets.

First Published: Oct 12, 2006 12:10 IST