India v West Indies, 2nd Test, Kolkata, 4th day November 17, 2011

The variant that backfired

S Aga
ESPNcricinfo looks at the Plays of the Day for the fourth day between India and West Indies
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The let-off
Darren Bravo had made just 54 when he played one down the ground and set off. With Shivnarine Chanderpaul showing no sign of responding, he was three-fourths of the way down the pitch by the time Gautam Gambhir reached the ball. He opted for the flamboyant pick-up-and-throw in one motion. But Ricky Ponting he isn't, and an appalling throw had MS Dhoni moving yards to his left to collect it. Bravo had plenty of time to scuttle back.

The play-on
West Indies' chances of saving the game rested heavily on Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul. They had added 108 before Umesh Yadav broke through on a pitch that had become increasingly placid. It wasn't nearly the best ball he bowled but it was just short of a length and close enough to the batsman to induce an attempted push through cover. The ball took the inside edge and disturbed the stumps. It was India's sole success of the morning.

The variant that backfired
At one stage, R Ashwin tried a Stuart MacGill-style round-arm delivery. Bravo was waiting, and he fairly thwacked it back for a straight six. Afterwards, he showed Chanderpaul just what the bowler had tried to do.

The obligatory DRS moment
Bravo was on 119 when Pragyan Ojha got him to inside edge onto the thigh pad. Short leg took the catch, and India's appeal was spontaneous. The umpire Bruce Oxenford was uninterested, though, and with no DRS being used, India had to get on with it.

The Umesh-I-hit moment
Darren Sammy was in no mood to hang around with an innings defeat to be avoided. He had smashed three sixes by the time Yadav jagged one back at 141 kph. This time, the flamboyant swipe connected only with air and the bails went flying.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Saksham197 on November 18, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    @daalien..Thats what i just said. Hes been preparing better than what he had done for england. Follow his fitness program, you will see he has been making steady progress to get correctly match fit. He will also be playing in the Ranji trophy before going to Australia. And it is not an "automatic ticket" as you mention. Zaheer has not been bowling poorly and he is our main pace bowler. He hasnt lost the ability to take wickets, unlike Harbhajan. He definitely deserves to be in the team after recovering from the injury. And the Ranji Trophy will be good to prove his match-fitness. Agreed he is not a very agile fielder considering todays standards, but his experience is definitely needed in helpful conditions of Australia. India does need him to lead the lesser experienced bowlers in the attack. And, its not a compromise we are making. Its not that Zaheer has been bowling badly. He has been bowling as consistently as ever, and righfully deserves his place.

  • Arunvilla on November 18, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    I am extremely happy with the way umesh has rose up to the occasion...and also happy that yuvi is not in the team...play aaron and umesh next match

  • daalien on November 17, 2011, 22:30 GMT

    saksham, et al. Zak admitted after he got injured (not before) that he was not match-ready. And his preparation for the Aussie tour is fairly similar to that pre-England; practice at the academy. Is he planning to play any Ranji games at all (atleast Pujara is getting 2 games in) or is he getting an automatic ticket? It is a fact that he is one of the slowest fielders in our team. What makes you think he is not going to get injured in the first innings of the first test in Australia considering his preparation is identical to that for England?

  • zico123 on November 17, 2011, 20:59 GMT

    India should play Rahane at no. 3 by resting Dravid or lasman and Kohli or Rohit at no. 6, should play Varun Aaron by resting Ishant in 3rd test match against WI

  • on November 17, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    @pappadu I dont think you got the right Bravo.

  • FrankMeister on November 17, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    @pappadu LOL Dwayne Bravo is Ashwin's team mate not Darren Bravo - they're both brothers...

  • PrinceOfSalem on November 17, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    @pappadu.. i don't think Darren Bravi is Aswin's team-mate wth Chennai in IPL. It is his half-brother Dwayne Bravo who was his team-mate in the first 3 IPLs.

  • cricketmad on November 17, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    @pappadu-- Wrong Bravo!! Darren Bravo doesnt play for CSK. His brother Dwayne is Ashwin's team mate at CSK.

  • on November 17, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    Give Ishant's dodgy ankle some rest before the Aussie tour. Bring Varun AAron in his place. Good opportunity to try him out, especially in tandem with Umesah Yadav -- on the same pitch, at the same opposition, in the same conditions. Will be foolish to miss that opportunity. Was about to suggest dropping Yuvi, who was poor in batting and was a joke in fielding. Dujon put it aptly -- his diving to stop a ball was nothing more than a delayed lying down. He is still showing good performance in the shorter form; so keep him there.( Nice to hear that he had been replaced with Rohit for Mumbai test) In Yuvi's place we should try a youngster who has good potential / talent to face pace bowling confidently

  • Nampally on November 17, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    Congats to Bravo for a brilliant century forming the sheet anchor of the WI. It was also a fine attempt by Samuel & Chander to carry WI to a respectable total. Unfortunately the team failed in the first innings which eliminated any chance of being in the game. It augers well for the young team which has a potential for a bright future. WI has a good crop of fast & spin bowlers and now the batting has put up a fine show. Congrats. to Dhoni & the Indian team on winning the rubber with 2 straight wins. It was good to see 3 centuries from the Indian side which set the stage for this win.Ojha & Ashwin confirmed unequivocally that India need to play with at least 2 spinners not the solo spinner + part time spinners, after Kumble retired.These 2 showed that they can operate in tandem, bowl economically & take wickets. Between them they got 10 wkts. in this test + 16 in the first test.Yadev has booked his berth for Aussie tour.Aaron,Ishant & ZAK(if fit) -the other3? 5 Fit Young bowlers - Eh!.

  • Saksham197 on November 18, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    @daalien..Thats what i just said. Hes been preparing better than what he had done for england. Follow his fitness program, you will see he has been making steady progress to get correctly match fit. He will also be playing in the Ranji trophy before going to Australia. And it is not an "automatic ticket" as you mention. Zaheer has not been bowling poorly and he is our main pace bowler. He hasnt lost the ability to take wickets, unlike Harbhajan. He definitely deserves to be in the team after recovering from the injury. And the Ranji Trophy will be good to prove his match-fitness. Agreed he is not a very agile fielder considering todays standards, but his experience is definitely needed in helpful conditions of Australia. India does need him to lead the lesser experienced bowlers in the attack. And, its not a compromise we are making. Its not that Zaheer has been bowling badly. He has been bowling as consistently as ever, and righfully deserves his place.

  • Arunvilla on November 18, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    I am extremely happy with the way umesh has rose up to the occasion...and also happy that yuvi is not in the team...play aaron and umesh next match

  • daalien on November 17, 2011, 22:30 GMT

    saksham, et al. Zak admitted after he got injured (not before) that he was not match-ready. And his preparation for the Aussie tour is fairly similar to that pre-England; practice at the academy. Is he planning to play any Ranji games at all (atleast Pujara is getting 2 games in) or is he getting an automatic ticket? It is a fact that he is one of the slowest fielders in our team. What makes you think he is not going to get injured in the first innings of the first test in Australia considering his preparation is identical to that for England?

  • zico123 on November 17, 2011, 20:59 GMT

    India should play Rahane at no. 3 by resting Dravid or lasman and Kohli or Rohit at no. 6, should play Varun Aaron by resting Ishant in 3rd test match against WI

  • on November 17, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    @pappadu I dont think you got the right Bravo.

  • FrankMeister on November 17, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    @pappadu LOL Dwayne Bravo is Ashwin's team mate not Darren Bravo - they're both brothers...

  • PrinceOfSalem on November 17, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    @pappadu.. i don't think Darren Bravi is Aswin's team-mate wth Chennai in IPL. It is his half-brother Dwayne Bravo who was his team-mate in the first 3 IPLs.

  • cricketmad on November 17, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    @pappadu-- Wrong Bravo!! Darren Bravo doesnt play for CSK. His brother Dwayne is Ashwin's team mate at CSK.

  • on November 17, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    Give Ishant's dodgy ankle some rest before the Aussie tour. Bring Varun AAron in his place. Good opportunity to try him out, especially in tandem with Umesah Yadav -- on the same pitch, at the same opposition, in the same conditions. Will be foolish to miss that opportunity. Was about to suggest dropping Yuvi, who was poor in batting and was a joke in fielding. Dujon put it aptly -- his diving to stop a ball was nothing more than a delayed lying down. He is still showing good performance in the shorter form; so keep him there.( Nice to hear that he had been replaced with Rohit for Mumbai test) In Yuvi's place we should try a youngster who has good potential / talent to face pace bowling confidently

  • Nampally on November 17, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    Congats to Bravo for a brilliant century forming the sheet anchor of the WI. It was also a fine attempt by Samuel & Chander to carry WI to a respectable total. Unfortunately the team failed in the first innings which eliminated any chance of being in the game. It augers well for the young team which has a potential for a bright future. WI has a good crop of fast & spin bowlers and now the batting has put up a fine show. Congrats. to Dhoni & the Indian team on winning the rubber with 2 straight wins. It was good to see 3 centuries from the Indian side which set the stage for this win.Ojha & Ashwin confirmed unequivocally that India need to play with at least 2 spinners not the solo spinner + part time spinners, after Kumble retired.These 2 showed that they can operate in tandem, bowl economically & take wickets. Between them they got 10 wkts. in this test + 16 in the first test.Yadev has booked his berth for Aussie tour.Aaron,Ishant & ZAK(if fit) -the other3? 5 Fit Young bowlers - Eh!.

  • pappadu on November 17, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Bravo picking Ashwin's variation is probably a negative of IPL. remember they are team-mates; he must have watched him so much in the nets.

  • Saksham197 on November 17, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    @daalien..You're mistaken. Zaheer himself did admit that he was not fully match fit before the england tour. This time he has been preparing to play in the Mumbai Ranji Trophy match in order to get match-fit for Australia. Dont worry. Zaheer has always been a consistent performer and is still the best bowler by far to lead the Indian attack. His sincerity at the moment can in no way be questioned. And, if you are doing so, it shows you haven't actually followed his fitness and comeback program. Rest assured, Zaheer will be totally fit to lead the Indian attack in Australia. And theres no doubt we need our best pace bowler in Australian conditions. As for bhajji, we all know he hasnt been able to perform even in Ranji trophy, which definitely signal bad times for him. I would like to see Varun Aaron Umesh Yadav and Praveen Kumar in Australia, to be led by Zaheer. Ashwin and Ojha will definitely prove to be better than any spinners Australia are likely to unleash.

  • on November 17, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    Comments about Ashwin's pre and post marraige records are demeaning and only display peoples ignorance of the depth of the game. Ashwin is a wonderful find and he has a long career ahead in the international arena!

  • on November 17, 2011, 15:41 GMT

    @daalien....with bhajji i can understand but hw could you say zak is playing carelessy or taking his place granted he is main bwler responsible for india's jump in rankings....our young guns destroyed haplessss wi nd you r saying zak is nt gud enough...

  • on November 17, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    @Day.Before.Tomorrow But Harbhajan is doing nothing spectacular in Tests. His tweak, drift and bounce are not to be seen. Ojha has been really consistent in Ranji and County cricket. As for Yadav, he shows a lot of promise. But he should play alongside India's Most Valuable Player : Zaheer Khan

  • daalien on November 17, 2011, 14:30 GMT

    Hi D.B.T., Unless you are a Bhajji fan, I don't see how you can say Ashwin has been exposed since he took 4 wickets, which is 3 more than what Bhajji has taken in the first three matches in Ranji trophy. AND Zak had a tummy at Lords (i was there and saw it), so I would take young guns like Ashwin and Umesh any day over Bhajji and Zak who have taken their places for granted and have got lazy and complacent.

  • on November 17, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    No one cares what I say, but as India already won the series, its very good opportunity to replace Yuvraj, Aswin and Ishanth with Kohli, Rahul Sharma and Varun Aaron. Its fair to give them at least one chance to prove what they can be, at least after the series own.

  • Percy_Fender on November 17, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    Firstly,at the moment, Harbhajan Singh is not good enough to play for India because his confidence level in regard to his skills is suspect.Ashwin is an intospective type of bowler much in the Kumble mould. That means he will not rest on his first Test laurels.His limited success in the Eden Test is certainly not because he bowled poorly after his marriage.He bowled quite beautifully most of the time but the fields set were not what they should have been. I am sure Dhoni will quickly learn what the ideal field are for Ashwin. He has too many variations which is very good.But he should know his fields in the longer version of the game. Ojha is a classical left arm spinner who could be one of the best from India.Yadav's performance in the two Tests has given much hope justifiably. What is great in my opinion is that he can bowl over 145 kmph without any effort. That means he will not be prone to the physically unfit Zaheer.Aaron is cast in the same mould. So good times for India I think

  • on November 17, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    @Haleos resting in tests? which team's players do that may I know?

  • on November 17, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    nice nice nice... i want to see Umesh, Ishant and Varun bowling along with ashwin in Australia....

  • ultimatewarrior on November 17, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    Ashwin stats before marriage - 9/128 and after marriage - 4/186.....shows marriage's after effects.......LOL

  • on November 17, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    Congrats India well played...Bravo was the man for the day love the way he paced his innings..Sammy need to stop playing like its 20/20..and be more responsible..his # 7 position is to shepherd the lower order batsman..I t good to be positive and another to be reckless..If he does not have the temperament to play Test cricket..he knows what he has to do..Time at the crease is very important and I have never seen Sammy deliberately try to stick around..He can convert those 30s and 40s..It he settle down and be more responsible..

  • on November 17, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    Among all forms of dismissals, for the viewer -- the most enjoyable one is, when the bowler manages to re-arrange the furniture behind the batsman. The rookie Umesh Yadav gave us a few such moments after his debut. Good show.

  • on November 17, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    bhaji is bowling appalingly in domestic circuit also. unless he finds some form ashwin and ojha should continue

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 17, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    Play Umesh in Tests and give cances to Aaron in ODIs...India cannot forgot the experience of ZAK/Ishant/PK/Munaf/Sreeshant/Nehra.

  • SudharsanVM on November 17, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    Bravo dismiised for 136 in his 12th test and has 941 runs in his career. His average is 47.05 after 22 innings with 2 Not outs, whereas lara has same average in 20 innings. What a remarkable acheivement for this LAD.

  • Haleos on November 17, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    out of his 9 wickets Yadav has 6 bowled. Thats gr88 going. We needed someone like this. Hope Varun gets a chance in the last match instead of Ishant. We will see a nice tussle between him and Yadav for the speed guns. Also 2 out of the big 3 can rest so that youngsters can get an oppurtunity but knowing how selfish Indian players can be, it wont happen.

  • DAY.BEFORE.TOMORROW on November 17, 2011, 10:50 GMT

    In the 1st Test Ashwin took 9 wickets and our fans called for the retirement of Bhajii. In the 2nd test his bowling is exposed. Today Umesh has taken 7 wickets in total. Now our fans may ask for the retirement of Zaheer Khan.

  • sankar8000 on November 17, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    Umesh Yadav Impressed! I want to see Varun aaron also in action.....

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  • sankar8000 on November 17, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    Umesh Yadav Impressed! I want to see Varun aaron also in action.....

  • DAY.BEFORE.TOMORROW on November 17, 2011, 10:50 GMT

    In the 1st Test Ashwin took 9 wickets and our fans called for the retirement of Bhajii. In the 2nd test his bowling is exposed. Today Umesh has taken 7 wickets in total. Now our fans may ask for the retirement of Zaheer Khan.

  • Haleos on November 17, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    out of his 9 wickets Yadav has 6 bowled. Thats gr88 going. We needed someone like this. Hope Varun gets a chance in the last match instead of Ishant. We will see a nice tussle between him and Yadav for the speed guns. Also 2 out of the big 3 can rest so that youngsters can get an oppurtunity but knowing how selfish Indian players can be, it wont happen.

  • SudharsanVM on November 17, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    Bravo dismiised for 136 in his 12th test and has 941 runs in his career. His average is 47.05 after 22 innings with 2 Not outs, whereas lara has same average in 20 innings. What a remarkable acheivement for this LAD.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 17, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    Play Umesh in Tests and give cances to Aaron in ODIs...India cannot forgot the experience of ZAK/Ishant/PK/Munaf/Sreeshant/Nehra.

  • on November 17, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    bhaji is bowling appalingly in domestic circuit also. unless he finds some form ashwin and ojha should continue

  • on November 17, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    Among all forms of dismissals, for the viewer -- the most enjoyable one is, when the bowler manages to re-arrange the furniture behind the batsman. The rookie Umesh Yadav gave us a few such moments after his debut. Good show.

  • on November 17, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    Congrats India well played...Bravo was the man for the day love the way he paced his innings..Sammy need to stop playing like its 20/20..and be more responsible..his # 7 position is to shepherd the lower order batsman..I t good to be positive and another to be reckless..If he does not have the temperament to play Test cricket..he knows what he has to do..Time at the crease is very important and I have never seen Sammy deliberately try to stick around..He can convert those 30s and 40s..It he settle down and be more responsible..

  • ultimatewarrior on November 17, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    Ashwin stats before marriage - 9/128 and after marriage - 4/186.....shows marriage's after effects.......LOL

  • on November 17, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    nice nice nice... i want to see Umesh, Ishant and Varun bowling along with ashwin in Australia....