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3rd Test ends in draw, India wins series

Posted by on July 11, 2011 0 Comment

Dominant teams play to win and are ruthless when they have the adversary down. India did not display the heart of the World No. 1 in Tests at the Windsor Park here on Sunday.

India required 86 more runs in 15 overs with seven wickets remaining on the fifth day in the third Digicel Test when both captains agreed to a draw.

The chase of 180 runs in 47 overs was gettable; even on a sluggish surface where stroke-making was harder than survival, even in a Test match where the restrictions on the bowlers and the fielders of the ODI cricket do not apply.

It was surprising why India did not, at least, attempt to wrap up the series 2-0 when it had big hitters Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh left.

With Rahul Dravid (34 not off 89 balls) at one end, India could have tried to increase the tempo from the other and get closer to the target. If the side had lost a couple of more wickets in the process, it could have shut shop and played for a draw.

This said, Dravid could have been more enterprising in this innings. The top side in the world has to back itself against getting bowled out within 47 overs.

You can never tell what can happen in cricket. If India had got to within 30 runs victory, the West Indies attack could have well wilted.

Only opener Murali Vijay (45) displayed some intent with a few immaculate cover-drives, a couple of fierce cuts and the on-the-walk whip over mid-wicket. Vijay succumbed attempting to accelerate; he miscued a leg-side heave off Rampaul.

When the left-handed Suresh Raina walked in, it appeared the Indian ploy was to disrupt the negative round-the-wicket that Devendra Bishoo was adopting against the right-hander.

But then, batsmen with so much experience against spin could have responded with the sweep or the reverse sweep, danced to the pitch off the ball and played inside-out strokes over covers.

In the event, Raina did not last long. His miscued drive was smartly held by bowler Rampaul.

Recovering from illness, Rampaul showed commitment. And the mercurial Fidel Edwards got a few deliveries to reverse.

The match concluded before the start of the first of the 15 mandatory overs. The packed stadium cheered the West Indians.

The sun shone bright and the light appeared to bounce off the green mountain peaks standing sentinel over the arena. The setting was perfect but the end was tame.

The West Indies neither had the time nor the runs on board to push for an unlikely series-leveller.

Kept on the field for long periods and frustrated by Shivnarine Chanderpaul and the tail, the Indians failed to close out a match they should have won. For a major part of the game, the West Indies bowling operated with just three specialist bowlers.

When the Indian chase got underway here, Darren Sammy, after attacking initially, switched to single-saving fields.

He comprehended that, on this surface, it would be hard for the batsmen to get under the ball to over the top or pierce a strong inner cordon.

Bishoo put a brake on the scoring rate. The West Indies had drawn a game they could have lost a long time back.

Despite a 1-0 series loss, the West Indians lapped the ground. For the host, a draw in the third Test was as sweet as a victory. This was also an indicator of how much the West Indian cricket has declined.

There was a time when the opposition would have been relieved to draw a Test in the West Indies.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul was named the Man-of-the-Match. And Ishant Sharma was adjudged the Player of the Series. Hindu

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