It's been an enthralling Test match so far

Last Updated: Mon, Sep 03, 2012 05:29 hrs

What a good Test match it is turning out to be. If the seamers had more than the odd moment in the first couple of days and there were two centurions, the spinners came into their own in the second innings, and have given India a chance to win the second Test too.

Of course, it is not going to be easy against the fielding of this New Zealand team and if their new ball bowlers have a bit more luck than they did in the first innings then India will have a real fight on their hands. New Zealand could have turned the screws a bit more tighter if only some of their batsmen had learnt from their errors in the first innings, but they committed the same mistakes and so missed out on a chance to set India a really stiff target.

Now, unless the last wicket hits merrily and adds another 50 odd runs the pressure will be on the Kiwis and not so much on the Indians. A 300 plus score allows the skipper to have more men in the catching positions and not in run saving places. That is why the skippers sweep shot, Franklin's attempt to play the big shot, will be shots they will regret.

If those two had stayed a bit longer then they could have given India real headache. Both were well set too and getting the singles and keeping the score moving along, so it was not as if they were being starved of runs and had to try something to break free.

India too will be disappointed that their overnight pair was not able to add more to their century plus partnership. The second new ball which was taken as soon as it was available was going to cause problems, but not as much as the Indians thought.

Tim Southee bowled superbly, moving the ball away from the right handers and then using the scrambled seam to get rid of both, Kohli and Dhoni. He fully justified his selection instead of the veteran Chris Martin and if he bowls half as well as he has in the first innings, India will have a tough task.

Whenever Ashwin and Ojha have played together it appears that Dhoni has more faith in the left hander than in his Chennai Super Kings teammate, for Ojha, invariably gets the first bite of the cherry and this despite Ashwin picking 12 wickets in the previous game. With the confidence of that performance it makes more sense to give him the ball ahead of the left hander, but Dhoni possibly wanted to attack the right handers with the ball turning away from them.

Ashwin now has picked another fiver in the series, mixing the straight through cleverly with the tossed up off-break and has given India the chance to make a clean sweep of the two Test series. In the morning he had batted sensibly to add valuable runs with Umesh Yadav for the last wicket which narrowed the distance between the two teams and those runs could well turn out to be crucial in the end.

The pitch is still playing well though the odd ball is turning as you would expect on day three of a Test match and as said earlier what an enthralling Test match this has been so far.

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