Day 3, Adelaide: Kohli’s ton: A ray of hope for India’s batting future

Posted: January 26, 2012 by The CouchExpert in Cricket, India in Australia 2011-12
Tags: , , ,

Goutham Chakravarthi

It was another day of disappointment for the Indians. But no so much when compared the disappointments of their team selection and body language. As sun beat down the City of Churches, Peter Siddle, in an inspired spell of wholehearted fast bowling, ensured India didn’t have a prayer.

Hitherto a bowler who liked to bang it half way in to the pitch, a strong message was sent to him when he was not picked for the Tests in Sri Lanka after he failed to bowl the lengths his coach recommended. A trier and a captain’s delight, he has come back strongly with a performance that will do him proud. On a hot day and on a very fine batting surface, he eked the life out of Indians and deservedly given a rapturous applause whence he took his fifth wicket.

Kohli and Siddle shared the day's honours. © Getty Images

”The situation of the game, how much time was left in the game, there wasn’t too much need to talk about it,” said Siddle in the press conference at the end of the day’s play on the decision to enforce the follow on. If any one earned a rest, he did that today. His captain will need his energy and effort when they bowl again. And with the wicket offering to crumble at the end of third day’s play and with two hot days predicted, the decision might well have been straight forward. Siddle added, ”The Adelaide Oval wicket is one that you don’t really want to be batting on last so we didn’t have to think too much about that. It’s just a matter of getting out there now and batting a bit of time out of the game but still scoring some runs to obviously try to bat them out of the game. We’re in a good position.” The heat did get to the umpires in the last session where they at leas made three mistakes.

Nathan Lyon impressed with steady bowling and looked threatening with the dip, turn and bounce he extracted. He accounted for Laxman, a supreme player of spin even on his worst day, with one that gripped and bounced. His ability to hold his own and offer control at one end was mighty impressive and looks to have finally nailed the spinner’s slot that has been a bit of a lottery ever since Warne retired. He can expect to bowl a lot more over the next two days.

The best thing to have come out of this Test for India so far has been the fight shown by Kohli and Saha today. Two spirited youngsters kept an honest attack out for session and half. They defended well and played some sparkling strokes. Beyond everything else, they fought with everything they had.

Saha has carried the reputation of being the best glovesman in the country for quite some time now and is more than a capable batsman. He might not be a regular in the Test team yet, but he seems a good bet to invest on. Like perhaps that India have not dumped Kohli after a few failures, they will do well to invest in Saha and give him a long rope.

It is very evident from this series that the best days of many of India’s greats are behind them. Some might still come good if given an extended run, but will be juvenile of the selectors not to build on the promise shown by youngsters in Kohli, Saha and Umesh Yadav in this series. Perhaps it is time they tried out at least one new opening batsman and shunned one of the older middle-order batsmen. Virat Kohli should be pushed to number three and two experienced middle-order players can follow him opening up a slot at 6 for another young batsman. India should look to the future. A golden era has ended, but doesn’t mean the next generation cannot be as successful as its predecessor.

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