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Sourav Ganguly - Through the off-side

The explosive opener's knock on the fourth day has opened the doors for a famous Indian victory

Monday, December 15, 2021
Sehwag gives India a realistic chance

The clichéd 'glorious uncertainties' of Test cricket came to the fore at the end of the fourth day's play in Chennai, with India in a position of strength, from where victory is possible. Sehwag's blistering knock of 83 has firmly tilted the scales in India's favour, and England is now on the back foot after dominating most of the Test match.

Test cricket has the ability to change by the session, and just a good hours batting from Sehwag and Gambhir reduced India's target to a gettable one, with 9 wickets and 90 overs still to play.

The beauty of Virender Sehwag's batting is in its unorthodoxy, and his attacking style of play in all forms of the game, puts the opposition under a lot of pressure. His immense ability in himself also contributes to his unique style of batting.

England's approach in the second session of play today was hard to understand, as they had two set batsman at the crease in Collingwood and Strauss, and still maintained a run rate of under 3 runs per over. It's extremely hard for a new batsman to get in on this track, which is why the set batsmen must look to attack once they have the measure of the track and the conditions. This was evident in the fact that every England batsman struggled apart from Strauss and Collingwood. However, it's no mean achievement to score hundreds in both innings of a Test, and Strauss thoroughly deserves the record.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni had kept some very defensive fields, making quick scoring all the more difficult, and the SG Test ball is hard to get off the square in any case.

Sehwag's knock has put India in with a realistic chance of achieving the target, and sensible batting on the fifth day should see them through. India should just bat normally, and exercise a degree of caution against Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann who will look to use the bowlers' footmarks.

Australia was over aggressive chasing a similar target at Nagpur recently, and lost too many wickets when they needed to build partnerships. The Indian batsmen should just play their natural game, and not get too bogged down. To reiterate, it's crucial that a set batsman plays till the end, as it will be difficult for a new man to play himself in on a fifth day pitch. One must remember that things change pretty quickly on the fifth day in India as well.

Good Luck, India!