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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

INDIANS REMAIN TIGERS HOME

India cricket captain M.S. Dhoni and Virat Kohli
















A 57-minute interruption due to an irritant drizzle, a mini middle-order collapse, darkening skies and floodlights burning furiously this was a scene far removed from what is generally perceived to be dull, Test match cricket. For the many faithful who turned up religiously over the past four days, it was adrenaline stuff as Mahendra Singh Dhoni (48 n.o.) not only became India’s most successful captain ever with 14 home Test wins while his trusted soldier Virat Kohli once again stood like a rock for the team which pocketed the series 2-0 following a five-wicket victory.

For the second time in three days, first innings centurion and man of the match Kohli (51 n.o.) showed how much he has come along as a reliable middle order player with a no-frills, no-nonsense approach when faced with a potentially tricky target set by New Zealand on a fantastic pitch at the Chinnaswamy in the second Test on Monday.

With the visitors’ folding up for 248, courtesy a dubious decision by umpire Ian Gould to send back last batsman Jeetan Patel, the Indians were left to chase 261 in the 83 overs remaining for the day without taking into account the fifth day’s play. For the first time in 12 innings, the opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir put on a half-century partnership but their quick departure showed why Test cricket can be won or lost in a session.

The 77-run stand was their best in six Tests and though the beginning was good there was lot of ground to be covered especially after Sehwag, following a blistering start, threw it all away jumping out to Patel and be comprehensively bowled. Gambhir played just one bad stroke and paid for it, cutting Trent Boult to Ross Taylor at slips while being rooted in the crease.

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