Vantage point

Sunday, July 02, 2006

An Instructional Video

Rahul Dravid's batting in the Jamaica test can be recorded and serve as an instructional video for batting lessons. Except for the first session on the first day, when he batted way slower than even the situation demanded, he has been flawless. A perfect example of playing the ball on its merit. He gave every good ball its due respect, got into perfect position, and never looked like getting out. And when a loose ball came along, not once did it go unpunished. There were divinely timed drives in the V when it was overpitched, ruthlessly despatched pulls when it was short, and mathematically placed cuts when it was wide. An innings which underscored the supremacy of technique even in this day and age.

It is innings like these that infuriate me even more when he is on a flat pitch and does not take it up a notch. He sets his own limits and he sets them way short of his capabilities.

India may still win this match. On a pitch this deadly, I think 225 is already a winning score. but pushing it up to 300-plus will really make it impossible. Hope India do it today. It is in Jamaica that the team has well and truly missed Sachin Tendulkar. An innings here similar to the one he played against the Australians on an even worse pitch and a vastly better bowling attack, would have hammered all possible nails into the Windies coffin.

Yuvraj Singh's mode of dismissal was extremely disappointing. The man is bizarre. Why did he play that typical swish outside the off stump? Most others, even Dhoni, did not throw it away, and it was the pitch that got them out. With Kaif it was an error in technique, with the gap between bat and pad. But Yuvraj's harakiri was inexplicable. A mistake is much more criminal than an error.