Sourav maintains his good show in oz series
Thanks to Radhesyam , the curator of dull batting paradise Kotla pitch ;- India's 15-year-old winning streak at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground came to an end as the third Test between the hosts and Australia ended as a dull draw .
After India had scored a mammoth 613 for seven (declared) in the first innings and an under-fire Australia replied with 577, it was just a matter of time to curtain over the match.
Today, after an unbeaten 59 by the Man of the Match, VVS Laxman, and useful contributions from Sachin Tendulkar (47) and Sourav Ganguly (32 not out), India declared their second innings on 208 for five, setting the visitors the target of 245 runs with only 15 overs available.
After repairing the innings from an early disaster and then playing for a draw, Tendulkar and Laxman frustrated the Australians with a 52-run partnership. After the fall of Tendulkar, both Laxman and Ganguly looked like trying to speed things up. The spectators were treated to some beautifully timed cover drives and wristy flicks. Ganguly, not among the first innings' major run-gatherers, stepped out to hit Clarke for the only six of the Indian scond innings. With news of Anil Kumble's retirement coming through, India declared their second innings 25 minutes after tea. It gave the skipper his last chance to bowl at the ground where he had previously been so sensationally successful. Though he opened the bowling attack, Kumble could not add to his tally of 619 wickets as Australia made 31 without loss.
Sourav was, compared to last two tests, little lack lustrous in the first innings as he scored only 5 in 8 balls in a batting track. Numerologist Sanjay Jumani may incidentally be right but cricket pundits tell that after a wait for a marathon five and half hours wait wearing pad, it was not logically possible for him to play a good cricket as his footwork became stifled.
But in the second innings in his contribution of 32* out of 50 balls as he was in his rollicking run with two good boundaries and the huge over boundary.
In previous two tests at Bangalore and Mohali, Sourav was in run as he scored 47,26*, 102 and 27 . After three tests his totally run tally comes to 239 with an average of 59. Amongst fab four, till Mohali test, he was the highest run getter and was fore runner for Man of the series award.
Delhi test has changed the equation as Laxman has come to top with his unbeaten 259* in this test, followed by Tendulkar with 275 runs.
Had Kumble not declared retirement, India might have continued batting and one more half century from Sourav was just a matter of time as he was looking very elegantly poised in the second innings of Delhi test.