McCullum keeps India at bay with classy double: Second Test drawn

New Zealand cricket captain Daniel Vettori, af...

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The second Test match at Hyderabad ended as a damp squib as well.

There were many who considered the tourists easy meat coming into the Test series. The New Zealand batsmen obviously had other thoughts.

Except for the first innings here when they collapsed after a healthy start, they have made the Indian bowlers labour hard for their wickets. They have not let the home side buy their wickets cheap.

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Cricketing Bits: MFN UK, Ranji , Hyderabad Test and Gary Kirsten

Manoj Tiwary at Adelaide Oval

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The UK has acquired most favoured nation status among asylum seekers —at least among cricketing ones. Pakistani cricketer and wicket-keeper Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has sought safety there following threats from match-fixers. The 24 year old hit the winning run in the fourth one-dayer against the Proteas in the five match series in Dubai.

Haider alleged that he was approached to fix the fourth and fifth ODIs. Pakistani cricket continues to shrivel under the shadow of the recent spot-fixing scandal.

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Notoriously bad starters!

A muliview of the city of Kolkata, West Bengal

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With the 2nd day of the India-South Africa 2nd Test Match in Calcutta drawing to a close, a few thoughts on how India are notoriously bad starters in a Test Series.

Over the past 3 years, India have won just 3 of the 1st Test matches in a bilateral series.

This considering that India has played 12 Test Series in the past 3 years.

The 3 First Test Matches India have won have been the following:

England in India Test Series – 1st Test

India v England

India won by 6 wickets

India in New Zealand Test Series – 1st Test

New Zealand v India

India won by 10 wickets

India in Bangladesh Test Series – 1st Test

Bangladesh v India

India won by 113 runs

Even amongst these 3 matches, India conceded the 1st innings lead against England and scored just 243 vs Bangladesh with Bangladesh replying with 242. The only Test Match where India seems to have been on fire right from the start was the Test Match against New Zealand at Hamilton where India scored a huge 520 in reply to New Zealand’s 279.

It seems to be India’s bane that by the time India wake up in a series, they are lucky if they have salvaged a draw in the 1st Test of the series. This seems to have been the case in the last 2 series as well. India were lucky to win against Bangladesh; a stronger team would have punished India’s batting ineptitude in the 1st innings.

South Africa proved that India have still to learn the art of being ‘ready to go’ right at the beginning of the series and won handily at Nagpur to go 1 up in the series without even a semblance of a fight from India’s top cricketing team – we are ranked No. 1.

Use the link below to check India’s performance in Tests over the last 3 years, both away and at home.

http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/team/6.html?class=1;spanmin1=15+Feb+2007;spanval1=span;template=results;type=team;view=innings

With luck we should be able to retain our No. 1 ranking by drawing the current series, riding on centuries by Sehwag and Tendulkar.

But why , oh why , are we such poor starters?

A good beginning is a job half-done. And that definitely holds true for the India cricket XI.

Have a great day!

Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.

William Faulkner

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