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News Letter
Mon Oct 21 2002
Issue No: 120

India take series with eight-wicket win at Chennai

For a relaid pitch, the track at the MA Chidambaram stadium played remarkably like its predecessor. Which meant that spin dominated, and after India's spin twins wrecked the West Indian first innings, the hosts had a huge edge. That was consolidated with some solid batting on an uncertain surface, Virender Sehwag making a rapid 61 and Sanjay Bangar and Sachin Tendulkar chipping in with 40s. A lead of 149 in the first innings then rapidly evaporated as the West Indies, after getting India out for 316, played aggressively. Wavell Hinds and Carl Hooper had some big hits in their 61 and 46 respectively, and their 186/4 at the end of the third day seemed strong. But Harbhajan Singh had different ideas. With three wickets in one over, the off-spinner quickly up-ended any thoughts of resistance the West Indian tail may have harboured. Chasing the target of 81 was then merely perfunctory, especially with a bellicose Sehwag at the crease. Harbhajan was declared Man of the Match, and the West Indies must now look to Kolkata and October 30 to salvage some pride.

Ganguly elated, Hooper distraught

Sourav Ganguly praised his side after they clinched the series with an emphatic win in the second Test, which was played at Chennai. "We are playing very well and everybody is contributing," he said following his side's eight-wicket win. India had earlier won the first Test at Mumbai by an innings and 112 runs.

The Indian skipper praised Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath for bowling their heart out on a placid wicket. "I am very happy the way our fast bowlers bowled on a pitch which wasn't particularly helpful to them," Ganguly observed. "Zaheer bowled with a lot of heart and showed the experience he has gained."

He went on to announce that Zaheer would be taking no further part in the rest of the series. "He needs a break after all this non-stop cricket. We are going to have two tough tours ahead and we need him for that," the Indian skipper explained.

His counterpart Carl Hooper, meanwhile, did not mince words while analysing West Indies' woeful performance. "It was hard to find any positives," he admitted. "What is disturbing is the catching. We dropped too many," he added.

Harbhajan Singh, who was named Man of the Match, was happy with his performance. "Now I am a mature bowler, I am more confident," he said. "I feel I can get wickets on any track." The star off-spinner, who had also won the Man of the Match award in India's last Test at this ground against Australia in 2001, observed that the venue was turning out to be his lucky ground.

Agarkar replaces Zaheer Khan in squad for third Test

Mumbai all-rounder Ajit Agarkar shall replace Zaheer Khan in India's 14-man squad for the third Test against the West Indies to be played at the Eden Gardens from October 30 to November 3. Zaheer was rested as his right knee continued to trouble him during the first two Tests. The left-arm quick has already undergone a scan during the Chennai Test. "Zaheer has been advised two weeks rest to undergo active rehabilitation by doctors," Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary SK Nair told mediamen. The rest of the team has been retained. There are, though, some doubts concerning skipper Sourav Ganguly's fitness following a back injury he sustained during an on-field collision with Anil Kumble. The two men ran into each other while attempting a catch in the West Indies second innings at Chennai. He will undergo a MRI scan on Monday to ascertain the extent of the injury.

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Born today in 1979, Sarandeep Singh, turbaned Delhi off-spinner, remains constantly on the fringes of selection, kept out of the Indian team only because of the presence of a more accomplished Sardar, Harbhajan Singh. But his wicket-taking abilities - 141 in 37 first-class matches - make him a youngster of great potential indeed.

Two Tests up, the Indians have now sealed the series with that eight-wicket win at Chennai. But can they complete an unprecedented whitewash over the once-mighty West Indies? Or will the touring Caribbean side step up the fighting qualities on display at Chepauk to snatch a consolation win at the Eden Gardens? Stay with CricInfo for the remainder of the West Indies' tour to India.

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Harbhajan Singh
Man of the Match
© CricInfo

At which ground did Sunil Gavaskar make 236 against the West Indies?

Previous Question

Which West Indian fast bowler has taken the most wickets in India?

Answer:Malcolm Marshall

"It is more disappointing than the last Test. There we batted second, but here we had the chance to make first use of the wicket, but did not," Carl Hooper

"Jermaine Lawson is a special bowler; he needs to be groomed and guided,"Erapalli Prasanna

"Although he may not have been able to perform on some occasions, his gutsy century in the West Indies shows Ajay Ratra's character. He is well-appreciated by cricketing legends like Gavaskar and Shastri," Angela Cheeda

During his knock of 43 in the first innings at Chennai, Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman to make 20,000 runs in international cricket.

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