Parthiv Patel has been a revelation

Erapalli Prasanna

November 4, 2002

Text size: A | A

After having won the first two Test matches so convincingly, all that remained to be seen was whether India would make it a 3-0 clean sweep of the series. West Indies for the best part of this Test series had struggled in all departments of the game, and there were no way one could see them avoiding a rout when the Test started. But all credit to the to the tourists, they proved a lot of people, me included, wrong by scrapping hard at Eden Gardens.

Parthiv Patel
© CricInfo
The reason why one tends to be so pessimistic while rating the chances of Carl Hooper's men is simple. They do not have the firepower when it comes to fast bowling. And with their batting struggling on most occasions that leaves them in a very helpless situation indeed. Even in Eden Gardens where they performed creditably, one could not help but be shocked by the sight of the likes of Cameron Cuffy trundling in and bowling medium-pace. Take it from me that the West Indies can never regain their lost glory if their fast bowlers continue to perform in this vein.

Moving on to the Test, the one thing that struck me the most was the improvement in the West Indies fielding. A few crucial catches were taken, unlike in Chennai. Their bowlers also did a good job to restrict India to 275/6 on the first day, before failing rather dramatically on the second day. This enabled the Indian tail to wag merrily - Parthiv Patel and Javagal Srinath were allowed the luxury of free hits as India posted a healthy total.

That said the contribution of Sanjay Bangar at the top of the Indian order must not be forgotten. He may not be the most attractive stroke player in the team, but Bangar makes up for all that by doing a tremendous job as an opening batsman. Not only did he top score with 77 but he also carried out the important job of seeing off the new ball. One look at the second innings failure of Bangar at Kolkata and the events that followed proves Bangar's importance to this team.

When the West Indies replied, their batsmen showed commendable application. They were helped to no small extent by the lack of discipline in the Indian bowling. I am not too sure why our spin bowlers occasionally tend to forget the virtue of bowling a good line and length. But they sure did make the task of Wavell Hinds, Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels easier.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul's success was an entirely different matter. He is a tough cookie and relishes playing against India, as evidenced by the fact that five out of his six centuries have come against them. His first hundred in the land of his ancestors must always remain an especially sweet one for him.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul
© CricInfo
Looking back at the Test series, it was a very good one for India. Sehwag and Bangar have emerged as a formidable opening pair. Barring the unlucky Sourav Ganguly, all batsmen got big scores. Even the bowling department did very well; I am impressed with the way Zaheer Khan bowled in the first two games. And the two spinners Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble were just too good for the West Indies batsmen on helpful tracks.

Parthiv Patel has emerged as a stronger cricketer and has cemented his place in this Indian Test team. He has been a revelation behind the stumps - trust me it is not an easy task to keep when the ball is jumping and turning. The kid has developed a great deal since I first saw him at the NCA in Bangalore and I am sure that he will go on to represent India for many more years.

Moving on to the upcoming one-day series, I am sure it will be much more closer than the Test series. Sachin Tendulkar's unfortunate hamstring injury gives India an opportunity to experiment a bit with the middle order. It, for instance, will not be a bad idea to give Parthiv a few games in the course of this one-day series.

Before I sign off, let me, then, congratulate Ganguly and the boys for the Test series win. Hope they will continue their scorching run in the one-day series too.

RSS Feeds: Erapalli Prasanna

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Erapalli PrasannaClose
Related Links
Players/Officials: Parthiv Patel
Series/Tournaments: West Indies tour of India
Teams: India | West Indies
Grounds: Eden Gardens
Tour Results
India v West Indies at Vijayawada - Nov 24, 2002
West Indies won by 135 runs
India v West Indies at Jodhpur - Nov 21, 2002
India won by 3 wickets (with 22 balls remaining)
India v West Indies at Vadodara - Nov 18, 2002
West Indies won by 5 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)
India v West Indies at Ahmedabad - Nov 15, 2002
India won by 5 wickets (with 14 balls remaining)
India v West Indies at Rajkot - Nov 12, 2002
India won by 81 runs (D/L method)
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days