West Indies v India, 3rd Test, Dominica, 2nd day July 7, 2011

Baugh shows character in battle with Munaf

Carlton Baugh's battle with Munaf Patel stood out as the contest of the day. Baugh played a rumbustious knock to lift West Indies out of a hole, and also managed to ruffle Munaf

Sometime in the afternoon, with the clouds drifting away to reveal the peaks of the nearby hills, this match came alive. It had Carlton Baugh at the centre of the Indian storm. West Indies were in a precarious state, despite a patient hand from Darren Bravo, and were threatening to end on a sub-150 total. It was then that Baugh seized control.

Baugh is an interesting batsman. Often it appears that his skills don't match his desire. You can sense the ambition he possesses. He had to wait long for the West Indies selectors to get disillusioned with Denesh Ramdin to get his second chance and he has shown that he is hungry to grab the opportunity. "I feel confident at the moment and am looking forward to being in the team for a long time," Baugh said.

His character came to the fore during the ODIs against India, when he batted the team through a couple of tough situations, but it was in fading light on the fifth evening of the second Test that he really starred. His character shone through the bad light. West Indies were in danger of losing the match but Baugh took control with his aggression.

As he did today. He began with a slog-swept six off Harbhajan Singh but it was his battle with Munaf Patel that stood out as the contest of the day, one packed with Baugh's adrenalin, Munaf's desire, and MS Dhoni's intervention. It started right after lunch with a surprise yorker from Munaf. Baugh just about pushed his bat inside the line as the ball rushed past the off stump. A couple of deliveries later, Munaf produced a leg cutter that teased the outside edge. A dismissal looked just around the corner. It was then that Baugh seemed to have decided that offence was the way to go.

"I was just being positive against him. Munaf Patel is a good bowler and he can at times be unplayable," he said later. "But when you are on the go, you have a go at pretty much everybody. I play my game regardless of what has happened before. I don't want to be a negative player and try to push and pull. It has worked for me."

He flashed Ishant Sharma past gully before going for an on-the-up drive off Munaf in the 58th over. The ball flew again to gully and past the left of Virat Kohli. Munaf stared, Dhoni shuffled. Kohli was moved to his left. Next ball Baugh edged another drive, this time to Kohli's right. Munaf wanted more changes. Dhoni moved midwicket to cover and transferred Suresh Raina from cover to a second gully. Munaf hurled another full delivery outside off but Baugh shouldered arms. More stares from Munaf.

Baugh responded by lacing the next delivery - another full one outside off - through extra cover. Munaf wasn't pleased and in fact didn't collect the throw neatly; he just slapped it away. Anger or frustration? Take your pick. Baugh seized the opportunity to take an extra run to complete four runs. Munaf responded with a peach of a legcutter that went past the edge and a screaming bouncer that flew past the chest.

At the end of the over, Dhoni ran after Munaf, who kept walking. Dhoni said something. You wondered what the discussion could have been about. The next Munaf over offered some hints. Baugh drove one hard to covers and expertly cut the next delivery past backward point. Dhoni had had enough. He signalled Munaf to bowl straighter and moved the second gully back to midwicket. The next delivery was in line with the stumps and Baugh stabbed it for a single.

Munaf was taken off the attack and Baugh got to his fifty with a whippy flick through midwicket off Ishant Sharma. The crowd gave him a generous applause and he acknowledged the cheers with a raised bat.

""If a shot is there to be played I go through with it. I am not a person who does not do that. But I don't go hunting for it if it is not there," he said later.

Six overs later, Munaf returned from the other end and produced an uppish drive from Baugh off his second delivery. Kohli dived to his left at covers but couldn't hold on to a tough chance. A couple of overs later, with his partners deserting him, Baugh tried to hit Harbhajan for a boundary but ended up becoming his 400th Test wicket. ""He came to me after the game was called off and asked me to sign the ball with 400 on it," Baugh said.

Until that moment, Baugh had played a rumbustious knock to lift West Indies out of a hole. And had also managed to ruffle Munaf.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Michael on July 8, 2011, 16:33 GMT

    Way to go Carlton Baugh !Very well said Dujon about his detractors.,two of whom yu know very well.That knock has now push most of them further back into the woodwork.Of course people like ranpath and riverlime would always come up with silly and ridiculus comments,like how yu don't appeal enough,players producing 1 or 2 good scores etc..and all that rubbish about setting up oneself for a long run in the team.What has Barath done since that century ?Didn't Pollard make 2 big scores against bowling not up to Intl standards in the WC,thus ensuring him a play in the series against Pak.and India?and what were his scores ?What is Baraths' av.since his debut century,and what is Pollards av.against the test playing nations ?Yu don't make broad based statements and then single out one player.Barath and Pollard among others belong to that group moreso than Baugh.Before yu and riverlime retreat to the comforts of the woodwork as far as Ramdin is concerned,remember it is from Baugh-Thomas-Walton.

  • Muthuvel on July 8, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    Munaf seems to be back to his mid 85 kmh avg speed again, this is good. so ind now has 3 bowlers who can swing and reverse it both ways at fast medium, not bad for the so called worst bowling lineup in the world imo, and along with Ishant they seem good.

  • sherman on July 8, 2011, 14:14 GMT

    @shan Non You got it right! When Baugh is aggresive he makes runs. More recently he seemed preoccupied about keeping his place that he started playing tentatively. Let's hope his confidence is back!

  • Steve on July 8, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    Baugh showed what a bit of aggressive intent can do to tame the opposition. Of course, Ind bowling 3 pacers and Harbhajan a tad off color helped his cause a lot as well. If he pushed and prodded about, WI wouldn't have crossed even 160-170. I hope WI stay aggressive for the rest of match which is their only chance of leveling the series anyway.

  • Dummy4 on July 8, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    All I'm reading about here is an encounter where the edge of the bat was dominated by the ball; and one or two shots from the middle. I think that it was more a matter of bad luck on Munaff's part, rather than some kind of 'good character' from Baugh. In other words, this encounter is a clear manifsetation of the continuous shining of Baugh's lucky stars why he is still in the team.

  • Alex on July 8, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    Main oroblem for west indies is Sammy. He neither bat or bowl. He unbalances the team from word go. West indies really need playing captain. They need 150kmp fast bowlers. can't have sammy and ramphaul at same time.

  • Tahir on July 8, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    Bravo, Baugh given a message to english batting that Indian bowling lineup that is just missing ZAAK can be hit. Ishant, though produced wickets in the series but english batting is certainly better than west indies and he will have to prove himself again.

  • Dummy4 on July 8, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    At the moment, Baugh is the best wicket keeper for the Windies ...

  • Dummy4 on July 8, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    Hard luck Munaf .. u ll definatelt get ur chance aginst dis guy n surely u ll get him ... n also da article itself says .. Carlton Baugh survived Munaf

  • RYAN on July 8, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    This is the problem with the modern Wi team. Once a player can produce one or two decent scores in a series it immediately "sets" him up for a long run in the team. We have seen in time and time over the last ten or 15 years where a player who is failing repeatedly would come good ( doesn't have to be a ton, a couple 50+ will do ) and his place is assured for the next couple series at least. mark my words this same Baugh will NOT maintain this "brilliant" form for long.

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