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

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.

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  • Saksham 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.

  • Arun 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 aaron and umesh next match

  • vinay 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?

  • kan 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

  • Dummy4 on November 17, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    @pappadu I dont think you got the right Bravo.

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

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

  • Aravind 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.

  • Raju 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.

  • Dummy4 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

  • Ashok 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!.

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