Wednesday, October 29, 2008

India in driver's seat on day 1

Gambir had Australia in a spot of bother on the first day of the third test at Ferozshah Kotla, Delhi today. An unbeaten 149 by Gambhir, a good knock of 68 by Sachin and a quick unbeaten 54 by Laxman have put India in a commanding position at the end of Day 1 of the third test of Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2008. The way Gambir, Sachin and Laxman batted, India looked set for a big first innings total.

Everything went in India's way from the time Kumble won the toss. The day clearly belonged to Gautam Gambhir who scored an excellent century. Brett Lee gave the perfect start to Australia by removing Sehwag in the third over. Sehwag was one run away, when he was out, to become the leading run scorer in 2008 in tests. Dravid was out for a wide delivery from Johnson. India were 27/2 when Dravid was out.

Tedulkar joined Gambhir after Dravid was dismissed. Gambhir started slowly while Sachin played some excellent shots at the other end. He looked dangerous in their 130 run partnership. He played most of the shots on back foot today. He was well set to score a century. But he was dismissed by Johnson just before tea. Gambhir played his natural game after Sachin's dismissal. Gambhir brought up his third century in style by hitting a six when he was on 99. He scored back to back centuries, that too against Australia. He must be happy. Gambhir was absolutely delightful to watch. Laxman too scored quickly in contrast to his natural game. The unfinished fourth-wicket association of 139 between Gambhir and Laxman promises to be a big one.

The Australian pace bowlers were all working on reverse swing in the one week gap between the second and third tests. But none of them could reverse swing the ball in this test match except Brett Lee for some balls. The pitch was very sluggish and only Stuart Clark bowled well with his nagging deliveries. Ponting was once again in trouble for the slow over-rate. He used Simon Katich, Michael Clarke to reduce the slow over-rate. One should wonder what is the role of Cameron White in the playing XI for Australia. He was used for only 4 overs today.

There were a couple of heated moments in the game today.

The first one occured in 51st over. Gambhir hit the ball off Watson for 2 runs. Watson said somethig when Gambhir ran the first run. Gambhir then hit Watson with his shoulder as he went past him for the second run.

The second one occured in 78th over. When Laxman hit a ball off Katich straight to him, Laxman wanted a single. But Katich did not allow Gambhir to run by blocking his way. They exchanged some words there and Billy Bowden intervened and calmed them down.

India is on 296/3 at the end of day 1. India have a great chance of sealing the series 2-0 at Ferozshah Kotla, which is considered a fortress for India.

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