In my preview of the first test at Ahmedabad, I had predicted an innings win for India. New Zealand proved me wrong and at one stage, when India were 15/5 in the second innings, it looked as though India might actually hand the match to the Kiwis.
But as far as I am concerned, the first test was an aberration. For India a 400-plus score is the norm; for New Zealand, it’s the exception and that has been done away with in the first test. Now both teams can get down to playing their normal games.
In fact, the chances of a Kiwi rout are enhanced at Hyderabad by a wicket that’s likely to favour the bowlers a little more and that’s where their superior batting line-up will make the difference for India.
It will be interesting to see whether the selectors continue to pander to Gambhir or select the in-form Vijay. In fact, when Ian Chappel looked at the playing eleven for Ahmedabad, he wanted to know why Pujara was not there at number three. But that’s the difference between the Aussie attitude to cricket and India’s. Gambhir’s supporters in the board know that on Indian wickets he is bound to come good in at least one innings, and then they can turn at the critics and say, we told you so.
Sehwag will want to atone for his failure in the second innings at Ahmedabad with a big hundred in Hyderabad. Gambhir will want to hang on in the playing eleven for as long as possible. Dravid will want to continue to be the wall. Sachin will be licking his lips in anticipation of his 50th test ton. Laxman will want a hundred in his first home test. Raina will want to make the selectors forget his mediocre showing at Ahmedabad. All four Indian bowlers will relish the prospect of a little more help from the wicket. So india have plenty to look forward to.
So where do the Kiwis fit in? Is their brittle batting safer batting first or second? will Martin get any more wickets this series? Will Vettori have to do both the team’s batting and bowling to keep the match from becoming a complete farce? These are questions that must have been asked several times in the Kiwi dressing room in recent years and they will be asked again, very possibly at Hyderabad.
But look at the bright side. If the game ends in four days, the Kiwis might get to see the Char Minar. But wait, isn’t ‘char’ the Hindi word for four? Looks like a case of Nostradamus-itis.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.