Cricinfo: West Indies v India 2006
CricinfoWest Indies v India v 2006



4th Test: Day 3 - West Indies v India at Jamaica, 30 Jun-4 Jul 2006 [ Scorecard ]
Top Performer of the match: The dynamo called Dravid

After the final Test was done and dusted, Rahul Dravid collected all the prizes. And for a truly colossal performance, he deserved every single accolade. Going into the final Test in Jamaica, Dravid had already piled up 347 runs in five innings at an average of 86.75 with one century and two fifties. His other two scores were 49 and 22, by no means failures. But he had saved two outstanding performances for last.

As all the Indian batsmen floundered on the first day, Dravid gave another discourse in attrition and technique. Where others were beaten by movement, low bounce, high bounce, and pace, Dravid carefully defended off front and back foot, watchfully shouldered arms outside off stump, and sent the loose ball packing to the fence. It was by no means the most entertaining stuff - Dravid played out 175 dot balls - but in hindsight, every run in his first-innings 81 was worth its red-ink mention in the scoresheet. It inched India towards 200 - a "fighting" total Dravid called it - and gave the bowlers something to bowl at.

Sixteen wickets fell on the second day. West Indies were bowled out for a meagre 103 and India lost six second-innings wickets but Dravid still remained standing, batting imperiously on 62. He remained unfazed and made it seem that all the demons were concentrated at the other batsman.s end.

He allowed himself a little more freedom in the second-innings, as India had a 97-run buffer and Dravid knew exactly how much that was worth. He unleashed crisp straight drives and crunching pulls as the lead ticked along past the 200 mark. He was done in on the third morning by one that kept so treacherously low that Brain Lara.s celebrations were curbed at seeing what the pitch was doing.

Kumble may have taken six second-innings wickets and Harbhajan five in the first essay, but Dravid was the factor that separated the two sides. Apart from Ramnaresh Sarwan and Denesh Ramdin who batted with control on the third day - the pitch, it must be said, looked to have eased out by then - no other batsmen looked remotely competent. India have won a historic series in the Caribbean after 35 years, and they have Dravid - Man of the Match and Man of the Series - to thank for it.

4th Test: [ Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Performer of the match ]


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