CRICKET: THIRD TEST: Tendulkar and Ganguly Give England a Masterclass ; India 584-4 V England: Hussain Fails with Every Attacking Option as Three of India's Batsmen Record Impressive Centuries and Pick Their Shots with Ease
Fraser, Angus, The Independent (London, England)
WHICHEVER WAY you look at this Test match England are in trouble. For the second day in a row in the third Test match here, Nasser Hussain's side have been thoroughly outplayed by India, and to get out of this self- inflicted mess will require a supreme effort and a fair amount of fortune.
Leading the charge for India as they tucked into England's demoralised bowlers were Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, who in a partnership of over 200 made light of perfect seam-bowling conditions. Both scored fabulous centuries and by the end of the day the crowd were in more danger than the batsmen in the poor light as the stands were peppered by some mighty blows.
A combination of resolute batting from England, indifferent bowling by the visitors and inclement weather may carry the home side to safety but if any of these three prerequisites fail to materialise India should expect to level this four-Test series over the next three days.
While England will rue the shortcomings and short bowling of their attack, India can thank another masterful display from their batsmen for the impregnable position they find themselves in. On Thursday Rahul Dravid, whose nickname of "The Wall" comes from the solidity of his defence, underpinned and built India's innings; yesterday Tendulkar lavishly decorated it.
After two failures during the first Test at Lord's questions were asked about the temperament, form and hunger of the little master. Some pointed to the fact that when India appeared to need him most Tendulkar failed to produce a match-winning performance. This view was apparently backed up by a lower batting average in the second innings of Test matches than that in the first.
Even though Tendulkar has everything a sportsman could wish for, this is hogwash, because the first innings of a Test match is the more important. Teams who are not in contention at the end of a first innings seldom win the game and yesterday's century, his 30th in Test cricket, proved that all three of his supposed shortcomings are mythical. His innings, which like so many was full of crisp, clean clips and cuts as well as powerful drives, was the equal of Dravid's both in style and value to the side.
If a shot stood out it was the one that took him to 50. Initially he looked to leave a shortish ball from Alex Tudor but at the last moment he changed his mind and pulled him in the style of a right- handed Brian Lara, with his left leg bent and in the air, through mid-wicket for four.
Together he and Dravid put on 150 with relative ease against an England attack running short of ideas. Banging the ball in halfway down they at times seemed more intent on stretching Alec Stewart behind the stumps than the defensive techniques of the Indian batsmen.
After a poor day at the office on Thursday, and a 55-minute …
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Publication information: Article title: CRICKET: THIRD TEST: Tendulkar and Ganguly Give England a Masterclass ; India 584-4 V England: Hussain Fails with Every Attacking Option as Three of India's Batsmen Record Impressive Centuries and Pick Their Shots with Ease. Contributors: Fraser, Angus - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: August 24, 2002. Page number: 5. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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