West Indies v India, 3rd Test, St Kitts, 2nd day June 23, 2006

Sarwan gets his groove back

Ramnaresh Sarwan's 116 wasn't his best hundred, but it was a welcome return to form for a classy batsman

After being in terrific form in the one-day series, Ramnaresh Sarwan had struggled in the first two Tests - after scoring 58 in the first innings in Antigua, he managed two runs in his next three innings. His 116 in St Kitts - his ninth Test hundred - was therefore a welcome return to form. It wasn't all smooth sailing, though. When he came in to bat, he was in plenty of bother against the Indian bowlers, with Anil Kumble proving to be particularly difficult to tackle. Had it not been for some extremely conservative umpiring from Brian Jerling, Sarwan could have been out lbw more than once before he reached 20, as his tendency to thrust his front foot towards the ball brought forth plenty of full-throated appeals. He survived those close calls, though, and was far more assured on the second day.

As the graphic below indicates, Sarwan's in-control factor - the number of deliveries he middled or left alone - leaped from 80% to almost 94% on the second day. As his confidence grew, so did his rate of scoring: on the first day he only scored 55 runs per 100 balls; on the second, it increased by 21, thanks in no small measure to that one over off Munaf Patel in which he slammed 24. His control factor against Kumble improved dramatically too - from 71% to 95%.

Meanwhile, Daren Ganga's century lacked flair, but it was a far more solid effort from the start, as his in-control factor over the two days suggests. The step-up in his strike rate was even more dramatic - from 34 it went up to 66 - and together the two of them put West Indies in a commanding position at close on the second day.

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo.