Dravid, Sharandeep do India proud in first Test

Published: Monday, April 15, 2002, 7:43 [IST]
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Rain at the Bourda robbed more than two hours of play thereby killing whatever little interest that was left in the first of the five-Test series being played between West Indies and India. India at the end of day four was comfortably placed at 395 for seven with Rahul Dravid not out on 144 and Sharandeep on 39.

Day four revealed two things. One, that India is not all of Tendulkar and second, this West Indies side sure is the weakest side fielded. Not only talent wise but even in the mind this team seems very weak. Having fought hard enough firstly, to come back into the game and secondly, to have India close to following on - 275 for seven, this team lacked self belief to finish off the innings. Having said that, credit must be handed out to the Indian batsmen who in spite of losing Tendulkar, stuck it out to take India to safety.

Dravid is one lad who, it seems, in spite of his wholehearted efforts towards the Indian cause has to time and again walk into the crease needing to prove his worth to the squad. This is one more occasion where the lad has risen to the occasion and delivered bountifully. Dravid's knock at Bourda was not only a life-saver for India but it once again asserted why he is such a success abroad and such an essential member of this Indian squad. First, he is willing to wait and wait and wait, second, technically he has negligible chinks in his armour.

These are two qualities that are of prime importance when you travel abroad. After losing three quick wickets in the morning, India was in danger of folding up but Dravid in the company of Sharandeep, who played an equally admirable knock, steered India to safety. The pair not only helped India avoid the follow on but also is taking India closer to the West Indies total.

Sharandeep, for his part, has shown plenty of pluck, which is an essential ingredient for any international player worth his salt. However, he needs to translate the same tenacity into his bowling performance too. With just one day left in this match, it now has only academic interest left in it.

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