The Turbanator And Laxman Save The Day!




Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh

Ahmedabad: What today happenned was yet another Indian comeback which unfolded at the Sardar Patel Stadium here on Monday? Once again Team Invincible proved why they are at the no.1 spot. The ‘Very Very Special’ Laxman, at the heart of yet another turnaround and a spunky and fearless Harbhajan Singh rescued India from what could have been an embarrassing defeat on the final day of the first Test.

Laxman’s 91 and a maiden Test century by Harbhajan 115 and the 163-run partnership in 328 balls between the two for the 7th wicket ensured a draw. The determined duo had joined forces when the side was tottering at 65/6.

Considering the fact that India was in deep trouble at 15/5 in its 2nd innings on Sunday, a total of 266 marked a spectacular comeback. Not familiar with winning courtesy the recent whitewash at the hands of the Bangladeshis, this New Zealand side failed to its advantage. The underdogs, however, deserve credit for stretching the Indian top and middle order batsmen.

Laxman was unlucky to miss a ton. His bat got a huge inside edge while negotiating an arm ball from Daniel Vettori but, to his horror, saw umpire’s finger go up. Zaheer too succumbed to a dubious lbw decision from umpire Davis but Harbhajan duly embraced a memorable Test century with on-the-walk down the pitch inside-out 6 over the covers boundary off Vettori. Much like the stroke, Harbhajan’s vibrant celebration reflected his character.

Bhajji’s innings was a decorated one all rounds the wicket. He swept and reverse swept, cut with style, and even walked down the track to thump Martin over his head. He was guided astutely by Laxman. The gifted Laxman’s soft hands and exquisite touch are backed by rare resolve and commitment. He shows great equanimity under pressure, which is hard to break.

Thrice in his last 3 Tests, one at the SSC Stadium in Colombo, then during a 5th day chase against the Aussies at Mohali in a nail biting finish and here today, Laxman has either donned the cloak of a match-winner or a saviour.

He coaxed the ball into the empty spaces or took the pace off the ball for ones and at times twos. Laxman also pierced the field with drives and flicks off both the front and the back foot, took the aerial route or disrupted the line with sweet sweeps. A majestic cover-drive off Vettori showcased his ability.

Very few batsmen bat better with the tailenders in present-day cricket. Laxman can, depending on the situation take the strike or show immense trust in his partner at the opposite end. He is always willing to impart words of caution and advice to the man at the other end as he did to Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha at Mohali and Harbhajan Singh today.

While credit is due to Laxman and Harbhajan, New Zealand’s tactics were rather defensive. After the initial phase, Vettori removed the forward short leg and the silly point for Laxman allowing the batsman to comfortably get on to the front foot and play shots. The field was more of spread out for Bhajji as well. The Kiwis lacked aggression even as they started the day at what could have been a famous victory.

In fact, New Zealand’s best chance came and disappeared in a flash. Vettori failed to hit the stumps when Harbhajan, on 12, was well short of the crease at the non-striker’s end, something Vettori may regret for a while now.

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Devesh Bhuwad

Author:

Hi, I’m Devesh D. Bhuwad from Mumbai. 21 years old, I have completed my BSc from Ruia College, Mumbai and intend to pursue an MBA. Currently I am in search of work as well. Writing was always my hobby since childhood wrote almost on anything but never had the brains to make a blog! And at the same time cricket was my passion. Grew up watching Sachin Tendulkar play, couldn’t be anywhere near to him though! So started writing on Cricket and at the same time other sports like Football, Tennis, Badminton and the very much hyped IPL urged me to write on them as well. And here I am, having found a perfect platform at www.thesportsmirror.com to share my articles to the world as a Freelance Content writer and in a way gain experience of contributing to a newly hosted website rather a venture which I’m sure will definitely help me in the future.

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