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Nov 17, 2011

India have clinched the Test series

India dismissed the West Indies for 463 in its second innings eight minutes before tea on the fourth day after the visitors resumed the day at 195-3.

India, which had a massive 478-run first innings lead, faced stiff resistance from Bravo (136) and Marlon Samuels (84), before spinners Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin took two crucial wickets each to regain control. It was then left to pace bowler Umesh Yadav to help remove the tail and finish with figures of 4-80.

The West Indies batting lineup showed a new strength in its second innings as its free stroke play changed the tempo of the game even though it was always doomed to lose after being dismissed for only 153 in the first innings.

The West Indies was cruising at 401-4 at one stage before Ojha, Ashwin and Yadav claimed a pair of wickets each to pick up the last six for just 62 runs. Bravo was the pick of the batsman and his aggression seemed to rub on to others. After making 195 against Bangladesh at Mirpur last month, Bravo brought up his second test century in 12 matches.

The 22-year-old left-hander dominated the bowling and reached his century with a four, celebrating by taking off his helmet, pumping his fist in the air and waving his bat toward the dressing room.

Bravo made on 119. His 5th-wicket partnership with Samuels made the Indian bowling look pedestrian as they plundered 132 runs off 158 deliveries before Bravo was out caught to a low catch by Rahul Dravid at slip off left-arm spinner Ojha.

Dravid also took a fine one-handed catch to his right off Ojha to dismiss Carlton Baugh for 3, before offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin trapped Samuels lbw in the next over to end West Indies' hopes of prolonging proceedings.

Captain Darren Sammy made a dashing 32 off 37 balls with one four and three sixes, but the end was always inevitable.

Earlier, Chanderpaul, seen as the visiting side's best hope of putting up a resistance, was dismissed when he seemed to be settled in for another big innings.

Chanderpaul hit six fours off 94 balls before he was dismissed by Yadav with the second new ball. Chanderpaul, resuming on 21, played-on a delivery around the off stump much to the joy of the few thousand spectators at the stadium.

The final test will be held in Mumbai from Tuesday.

Scorecard:

India 1st innings - 631/7 dec.

VVS Laxman - 176*
MS Dhoni - 144

West Indies 1st innings - 153 allout

Ojha - 4/64
Yadav - 3/23


West Indies 2st innings - 463/10

Darren Bravo - 136

Yadav - 4/80

Nov 15, 2011

Ganguly saddened by poor crowd Eden Gardens

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday joined the growing list of cricketers who expressed their concern about poor crowd turnout in the Eden Gardens and said something needs to be done to so that more people come to watch Test cricket.

The second Test between India and West Indies on Monday began with less than a thousand spectator in attendance, a pitiful sight for a historical venue where in the past more than a 100,000 people would come to witness a cricket match.

Shocked to see the poor response for the match, former English captain and now commentator Tony Greig likened Eden Gardens to that of a "morgue", while Indian stalwart Rahul Dravid echoed on the same lines, saying the old "magic" was missing.

"It was sad to see an empty Eden Gardens. Something seriously needs to be done to get the crowd back," said Ganguly, who plays for Bengal in Ranji Trophy, on the sidelines of Tuesday's practice.

With crowd turn out dwindling for Tests, the ICC is currently toying with the idea of having floodlit Test matches but Ganguly felt day-night games cannot be an option.

"In the subcontinent conditions where there is dew towards the evening, I don't think day-night would be an option. But Test format is mother of cricket and we got to find a solution to it," he said indicating proper planning and scheduling of Test cricket.

During the first day's play, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid recreated their old magic of 2001 Test against Australia when they forged a 140-run partnership but Ganguly said the epic 376-run stand in 2001 would remain classical ever.

"It will remain one of the memorable partnerships. But yesterday Dravid played well putting India in a strong position."

Laxman's 281 and Dravid's 180 in an epic 376-run stand helped India rise from the dead for a 171-run win after being asked to follow on by Australia in the Test in 2001.

Asked about the hype centered around Sachin Tendulkar's impending 100th international century which he missed again by getting out at 38 Monday, Ganguly said: "It's just a matter of time."

After the first day's play, West Indies coach Ottis Gibson had said maybe it was the heavy load of fan's expectations which was getting the better of Tendulkar but Ganguly disagreed.

"I don't think pressure is getting on him. He has been there for 22 years and the burden of expectation has always been there. The way he got to the 99, he will get to the 100. It's just a matter of time," he said during Bengal's practice at the Jadavpur ground.

Nov 2, 2011

West Indies in India 2011, Schedule

DateMatch DetailsTime (IST)Place
Nov 06 - 10 India v W.Indies, 1st Test09:30Delhi
Nov 14 - 18 India v W.Indies, 2nd Test09:30Kolkata
Nov 22 - 26 India v W.Indies, 3rd Test09:30Mumbai
Nov 29 - Tue India v W.Indies, 1st ODI14:30Cuttack
Dec 02 - Fri India v W.Indies, 2nd ODI14:30Vizag
Dec 05 - Mon India v W.Indies, 3rd ODI14:30Ahmedabad
Dec 08 - Thu India v W.Indies, 4th ODI14:30Indore
Dec 11 - Sun India v W.Indies, 5th ODI14:30Chennai

Good to have Sachin in the side: MS Dhoni

India Cricket Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni did not have much to say about Sachin Tendulkar's captaincy but said it's good to have a "genius" like him in the side.

MS Dhoni was asked to react on former BCCI secretary J Y Lele's book, in which he wrote that Sachin Tendulkar could not prove himself as a successful skipper as he paid heed to too many advices.

"I have not played under his captaincy. It's always good to have him in the team, he is a genius and comes up with his own ideas. It's good to have him on the field as he is a class batsman," MS Dhoni told reporters at an Army function, where he was bestowed the honorary rank of Lt Colonel in Territorial Army.

Lele wrote in his book that,"Sachin could not exactly prove himself as a successful captain, though as a player he is a legend, the greatest. His biggest problem was that he used to listen to too many people. Basically a very soft, rather shy, cultured gentleman, Sachin formed the habit of respecting elders.

"He thought it was his duty to implement what they suggested. While doing so, he sometimes did not apply his mind. In deserving cases, it proved advantageous, in others, otherwise."

Asked about upcoming West Indies series at home, Dhoni said, "We have got full batting strength and good bowlers in our side, so hopefully we do well in the series."

The West Indies series starts at Delhi on Sunday, November 6.