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March 13, 2006
After a completely lacklustre bowling performance at Nagpur, the Indians were far more incisive at Mohali, largely due to a more responsive pitch, but also because the bowling attack included a certain Munaf Patel. Showing no signs of debutant nerves, he bowled at a lively pace throughout, maintained excellent control, and most importantly, reverse-swung the old ball superbly. The extra yards of pace he generated also meant that his short deliveries didn't sit up and ask to be punished - 71 such deliveries went for just 12 runs. Patel's 7 for 97 is the best performance by an Indian fast bowler on debut, beating Abid Ali's 7 for 116 against Australia at Adelaide.
The other bowler who starred in India's win was a more expected name - Anil Kumble took nine in the match, taking his overall tally in home wins to 201. Only Glenn McGrath (228 from 48), Shane Warne (227 from 44) and Muttiah Muralitharan (211 from 26) have taken more wickets in wins on home soil. It was hardly surprising that Kumble ended with a rich haul of wickets - as the graphic below shows, among the top bowlers on view, Kumble troubled the batsmen the most.
After the Indian bowlers had done their job, Virender Sehwag took on the mantle of getting to the victory target in a hurry, in the process scoring only his third half-century in the second innings. Sehwag now averages 25.04 in the second innings, up from 22 before this innings. Only 16.91% of Sehwag's total runs have been scored in the second innings.
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