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Wasim Jaffer's exquisite touch on the leg side was the highlight of his maiden century
March 5, 2006
When Matthew Hoggard nailed Virender Sehwag for the fifth time in Tests - more than any other bowler - early in the day, it was the worst possible start for India. However, all hopes that Andrew Flintoff had of a famous England win were shut out by the 167-run second-wicket stand between Wasim Jaffer and Rahul Dravid. From Dravid a rock-like performance was expected, but India's biggest gain from the match was easily Wasim Jaffer.
As the wagon-wheel shows, Jaffer was prolific on the leg side - 63 of his runs, and eight of his 12 fours, came in that region. Some of it was due to the line England's bowlers bowled: 52 of the 198 balls to Jaffer reached him on middle stump or further leg side, off which Jaffer plundered 54. When Flintoff and co. study the stats of the game, that's one aspect they'll surely keep in mind when they bowl to Jaffer next at Mohali.
England had the better of the match till the last session, but the newfound spirit in the Indian side was evident in the manner in which they mounted an incredible challenge in the final session. The team has shown its willingness to be flexible with its batting line-up in the ODIs; here, they extrapolated that strategy to the Test arena as well - it was the first time Sachin Tendulkar batted at No.6 in a Test since January 1992, against Australia at Adelaide.
In the process of saving the game for India, Dravid reached another landmark, that of 1000 runs against England. Dravid is the tenth Indian to reach this landmark against England, and the joint-fastest along with Sachin Tendulkar - both needed 15 innings. Dravid has now played 10 Tests against England, for a tally of 1022 at an average of 73.
S Rajesh is stats editor, and Kanishkaa is editorial assistant of Cricinfo. For some of the stats they were helped by Arun Gopalakrishnan.Feeds: S Rajesh
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