Third Test: WI vs. India

The third Test as it stands today is probably headed for a draw or a washout. But you never know, the Indians are fully capable of gifting the Windies a victory with two rounds of batting failures. Barring this, the next two days are likely to be boring as ever. VVS and Yuvraj have plenty to play for. VVS 28 from 97 balls is ample proof of the pressure he finds himself in.

After a poor show at the start Bhajji did well to wrap up the tail. Perhaps this ability of his might have proved useful in the first and second Tests? Kumble’s form is alarming. 40+ overs and not a single wicket to show for it (discounting umpire Brian Jerling’s dislike for lbw decisions)!

Unfortunately, for India when the batting strikes the bowling fails and vice-versa. India had the spin trio in the 70s but poor batting to backup (barring Vishy and Gavaskar), in the 80s it was Kapil Dev fighting a lone battle, the 90s saw the emergence of Sachin and later Dravid and Kumble, the 2000s unfortunately has been a see saw between batting and bowling failures. The most glaring deficiency appears to be a complete lack of consistent strike bowler. At present, if Kumble fails, India’s bowling is completely worthless. Though Munaf certainly appears to be a quality bowler.

SL has Murali, England has Flintoff, Aus has Warne and McGrath, NZ has Bond, Pak has Shoaib and Asif, all capable of running through the opposition with 5+ wickets. India on the other hand relies almost entirely on the aging and fast fading Kumble. Perhaps its time Chappell and co made a serious attempt to fix this. Wonder why Piyush Chawla was dumped after just one Test? Giving him an overseas tour while Kumble was still around might certainly have helped him and India’s fortunes if not now, at least in future.

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