Thursday, August 2, 2007
The secret man of the match
The fact that India got to 481 for a match-winning 283-run lead in the first innings of the Trent Bridge Test without a single century shows the application of all the batsmen. Only Dravid failed to get to a 50. The way the batsmen put their heads down to ensure that India derived maximum advantage from dismissing England for 198 after winning the toss on a sticky wicket is to be appreciated without qualification. But now, after savouring the victory, it's worth considering how much the presence of Yuvraj Singh in the balcony concentrated the minds of the Indian batsmen out in the middle. He's a strapping young fellow, in the prime of his batting form, fresh from two match-winning one-day knocks, and an inspiring fielder and close-in catcher to boot. To have such a presence on the bench is surely a great motivator for each of the batsmen whose contributions have come under close scrutiny because of the poor performance of the team over the past three years. So, after 'Zak and the bean struck' (Hindustan Times headline), I think Yuvraj Singh was the man of the match.