Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Darekar passes first test

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Akshay Darekar claimed 6-67 in the second innings on a somewhat helpful wicket and passed his first high level international test. His economy rate has been below 3 in both innings and he bowled 20 overs in both innings. He may have to double that in some test matches if he were to play test cricket. His physical endurance is still something of an unknown. It's too soon to claim that he is Bedi's second coming, but it's a promising sign.

Shami Ahmed has continued his good form from the first match. He must now be looked at as a serious prospect for India. Much like Praveen Kumar perhaps, he may be the one with the X factor to prise out wickets at critical junctures against the grain of play. Hopefully, Awana gets a game and he too can show us what he is capable of doing.

Ashok Dinda must be a shoo-in for the T20 World Cup later this year. His bowling has progressed in leaps and bounds. His figures are simply too stingy to ignore. 8 maidens in 18 overs in the first innings, followed by just 22 runs in 13 overs in the second. India's bowling riches are staggering at this point. It's the batting that suddenly looks vulnerable.

Rahane and Mukund continue to disappoint. Rahane, who was knocking on the doors of ODI and test cricket has to be disappointed with his inability to get going. Pujara has done enough to be the first claimant to any vacant test slots. Rohit Sharma's 94 in the first innings of the first test, though, is not enough to cement his claims. Temperament is critical in test cricket and Sharma hasn't yet demonstrated that.

However, the way the match is poised right now, offers both Manoj Tiwary and Rohit Sharma the perfect opportunity to come good and lay claim to be the ones to write the story of India's test future. Pujara came good in the last match when faced with a similar situation. It's upto both Manoj Tiwary and Rohit Sharma to do what their captain pulled off. This requires heart and skill. While skill is something that both players clearly possess, it remains to be seen if they have the stomach for gritting it out under pressure and coming good.

Tomorrow is the day when we'll know if Rohit Sharma belongs.

Sharma and Tiwary joined the procession as India A crashed to 94 all out. Not good news at all.

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