October 29, 2010

Australia in India 2010

'Two mistakes and India would have lost the Test'

Siddhartha Talya

VVS Laxman revisits his match-winning innings in the first Test against Australia in Mohali in an interview in Sportstar.

At 124 for eight India was staring at defeat. What was your honest impression then?

Yes, two mistakes and we would have lost the Test. But, I must reassert that more than my innings, Ishant's knock was very important and valuable in the final analysis. As a batsman I was supposed to bat well, but being a bowler and on a heavy dose of injections to alleviate the pain in the leg, I think Ishant did a fantastic job. He showed great character and temperament under intense pressure.

Writing in the Sportstar, S Ram Mahesh says that tours of South Africa, England, Australia and West Indies beckon, and how India handles its young batsmen during this period, and how they grow under the mentorship of Dravid, Tendulkar, and Laxman, will determine if India remains a main-event contender.

Heartening as it may be, it's nonetheless surprising that young Indian batsmen have, in the recent past, shown the stomach for Test cricket. Surprising for a variety of reasons. The development of batsmen chases the development of bowlers just as reaction follows creation — bowling, which remains cricket's only act of formation, dictates the batting that counters it, and there has been nothing by way of empirical evidence to suggest India's bowling, domestically, has improved in the 2000s, the period of incubation for the current batting generation

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Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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