India v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Kolkata, 1st day March 17, 2005

The off-side God

On the Ball with S Rajesh and Arun Gopalakrishnan

Sachin Tendulkar hogged the limelight after getting to 10,000 Test runs on the first day at Kolkata, but the classy performance of the day came from Rahul Dravid, who made 110 exquisite runs before falling in the last over of the day.

Most of Pakistan's bowlers had mentioned before the series that Dravid would be their main threat, and he showed why: throughout his 222-ball knock, he hardly gave Pakistan a sniff - his in-control percentage was an excellent 85.59. He scored at a fair clip against most bowlers, but was most circumspect against Abdul Razzaq, who bowled an excellent spell late in the day, getting appreciable reverse swing. However, while Dravid was careful against Razzaq, his technique was good enough to withstand that test - his in-control percentage against Razzaq was 90.24.

The feature of Dravid's innings was his cover-driving - he scored 33 of his 110 runs in that region, including six superb fours. His second-most prolific region was between mid-on and midwicket, through which he got three fours, including the one which got him his hundred.

Learning lessons from Sehwag
Did Pakistan learn their lesson after being hammered by Virender Sehwag in the first Test? The stats suggest that they did, at least to an extent. Unlike at Mohali, when the seamers offered him width and bowled a fair number of good-length deliveries, here they kept the length much shorter, and gave him less width. It worked to an extent too - off the 37 short balls, Sehwag only scored 19. At the end of the day, though, he still had the runs against his name.