Ra­hane, Pant put In­dia on even keel

IN CON­TROL They add 146 for the un­bro­ken fifth wicket stand af­ter Umesh’s six­wicket haul pegs Windies to 311

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - HTSPORTSMAX - Ni­lankur Das ni­lankur.das@htlive.com



Jav­a­gal Sri­nath Jav­a­gal Sri­nath Venkatesh Prasad Venkatesh Prasad door for the highly ef­fi­cient medium-pacer Mo­ham­mad Ab­bas to barn­storm the lower or­der with re­lent­lessly ac­cu­rate swing bowl­ing.

This ef­fec­tive com­bi­na­tion set Pak­istan -- who are as at home in the desert as Lawrence of Ara­bia — on the path to what should have been yet an­other ‘home turf’ vic­tory.

Nev­er­the­less, the in­ex­pe­ri­enced Aus­tralians shouldn’t feel too down­cast be­cause far bet­ter Baggy Green line-ups have been de­stroyed by off-spin, al­beit by tweak­ers with a much more 1999-00 il­lus­tri­ous CV. In my mem­ory, this malaise started with Eng­land’s Jim Laker in 1956 and gath­ered pace at the be­gin­ning of the new cen­tury with Harb­ha­jan Singh and then Ravi Ash­win, along with oc­ca­sional mis­fires against Mu­ralitha­ran (in Sri Lanka), Pak­istan’s Saqlain Mush­taq and Graeme Swann of Eng­land.

In the con­tro­versy laden 1956 sea­son, Laker plun­dered a strong Aus­tralian line-up that in­cluded the 1948 In­vin­ci­ble team mem­bers, Neil Har­vey and Keith Miller, to the tune of 46


Ajinkya Ra­hane (left) and Rishabh Pant (right) saved the blushes af­ter In­dia lost four wick­ets with 162 on board on Day 2 of the sec­ond Test against West Indies in Hy­der­abad on Satur­day.


Us­man Khawaja’s 141 forced a draw against Pak­istan in the Dubai Test de­spite debu­tant off­spin­ner Bi­lal Asif’s first­in­nings haul.

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