Friday 31 August 2012

Mini-Session Analysis, Second Test, Ind NZ, Bangalore, 2012

Here is the mini-session analysis for the second test between India and New Zealand at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India.

A mini-session is (normally) half a session, either between the start of the session and the drinks break or the drinks break and the end of the session. Occasionally a long session will have 3 mini-sessions where it will be broken up with 2 drinks breaks.

1-1aNew Zealand 45/1 off 15New Zealand
1-1bNew Zealand 63/2 off 14draw
1-2aNew Zealand 88/1 off 13.2New Zealand
1-2bNew Zealand 44/1 off 16.4India
1-3aNew Zealand 64/1 off 16New Zealand
1-3bNew Zealand 24/0 off 6.3New Zealand
2-1aNew Zealand 33/4 off 8.4India
2-1bIndia 63/2 off 21New Zealand
2-2aIndia 61/2 off 12draw
2-2bIndia 44/0 off 14India
2-3aIndia 57/1 off 11India
2-3bIndia 58/0 off 20India
3-1aIndia 52/4 off 13New Zealand
3-1bIndia 18/1 off 5.5New Zealand
New Zealand 29/0 off 5
3-2aNew Zealand 40/3 off 13India
3-2bNew Zealand 67/1 off 17New Zealand
3-3aNew Zealand 45/1 off 14New Zealand
3-3bNew Zealand 64/4 off 20India
4-1aNew Zealand 16/1 off 4.2India
India 67/0 off 11
4-1bIndia 21/2 off 9New Zealand
4-2aIndia 59/0 off 12.5India
4-3aIndia 27/3 off 12.1New Zealand
4-3bIndia 39/0 off 11India
4-3cIndia 49/0 off 7.2India

Latest update here. India win the match, after the mini-session count is tied 11-11

Tea, Day 1: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 2-1

An absorbing day of cricket. Punch and counter punch; featuring one of the best captain's innings you are likely to see. Taylor came out in the media before the match and said that New Zealand's batsmen needed to be more positive, and attack the bowling. He then went out and demonstrated what he meant.

He came in after the umpires again decided that the benefit of the doubt should go to the home side twice. The ball may have just clipped the off stump for McCullum's lbw, and may have flicked the bails for Williamson, but both of them were at best tight decisions, and have continued the trend of close calls going the way of India in this series.

Taylor could have responded to the team being under pressure by shutting up shop. He could have tried to get his eye in. Instead he started to swing the bat. His 18 boundaries have covered almost all the points of the clock, with only 12 o'clock and 5 o'clock missing out so far.

Taylor needs 11 more runs to become the fastest New Zealand batsman to score 3000 runs in terms of matches (one behind Martin Crowe in terms of innings). New Zealand have to a chance to get over 300, and allow their bowlers something to bowl at.

Final drinks, Day 1: New Zealand leads the mini-session count 3-1

The third hour that New Zealand have scored at more than a run a minute. To be over 300 before the end of the day would be something that the New Zealand team could hardly have dreamed of after the debacle at Hyderabad.

The Indian bowing has been exactly what the modern game tends to provide. Defensive bowling to attacking fields or attacking bowling to defensive fields. There had been a bit too much leg-side filth, trying to bore the batsmen out for my liking, but to be fair it seems to have worked against Guptill and Taylor.

The new ball will be interesting. I'd expect the spinners will get a bowl with it, rather than the quicks, but the extra bounce might be quite dangerous.

Stumps, Day 1: New Zealand leads the mini-session count 4-1

It's New Zealand's day here. 3 players in particular really took it to the Indians, first Guptill, then Taylor and finally van Wyk. Ojha was the lone bright light for India. He looks like he is the sort of bowler who is good against quality batsmen, similar to Trent Boult for New Zealand. Often the rule is that you take the ball away from the batsmen, but bring it into the bowlers. Ashwin started to look more dangerous once Taylor was out. While he didn't manage to get Bracewell out, he did manage to make him look troubled a couple of times.

It's a truism that the next morning is going to be vital. However If New Zealand manage to bat through the first 4 or 5 overs without losing a wicket, they could potentially go on to score 400, and really make the Indian team work in the second innings. There is not likely to be a complete reversal of Hyderabad, but it's amazing what scoreboard pressure does to players.

Inning change over, Day 2: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 4-2

A combination of good bowling, poor shots and some really bad luck saw New Zealand only add 33 runs for the loss of 4 wickets at the start of the day. India are certainly back in this game, but New Zealand still have the runs on the board, as the cliche goes.

The Indian response will be interesting.

Lunch, Day 2: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 5-2

Another session, another tough decision against New Zealand. Sehwag looked to be out off the first ball from the second over. There may have been some doubt on height, but after seven decisions that had more doubt than that being given out in the last three innings, it was surprising to see the umpires finally giving the benefit of the doubt to the batsman.

The bad news for New Zealand is that Sehwag is not one to often squander a start against them. He has 7 centuries against New Zealand in international cricket. Once he is in he is a difficult man to stop. At the other end is Tendulkar. While he is hardly looking in vintage form, (4 off 41, no runs off his last 26 balls) the longer he bats, the closer he is to recovering his touch.

New Zealand need at least two more wickets before the clouds burn off. As the pitch is wearing quickly, they can't afford to give India a first innings lead.

Final drinks, Day 2: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 5-4

On the first day we saw a fantastic counter-attack from Taylor, assisted by Flynn and van Wyk. Today it was Kohli, assisted by Raina and Dhoni. The game is quite even going into the last hour. We really have an absorbing test match on our hands here.

Stumps, Day 2: The mini-session count is tied 5-5

The game is now probably slightly in India's favour. New Zealand can not afford to allow India a lead, as the New Zealand lineup is not as suited to playing on a wearing pitch.

It's been a great partnership from Kohli and Dhoni, but batting will be more difficult in the morning with (probably) some cloud cover and a new ball. Again the first hour will be really important.

Tea, Day 3: New Zealand leads the mini-session count 8-6

This game is still very evenly poised. Both teams are yet to really grab the game by the scruff of the neck. New Zealand are probably still 150 runs from a score that's likely to win, but even chasing 200 will be difficult on this pitch for India.

The star of the day has been Tim Southee. His 7/64 is one of the best ever returns for a New Zealand bowler. He really took the spotlight off Virat Kohli's fantastic hundred. Kohli has scored 450 runs in his last 5 tests, at an average over 50.

Stumps, Day 3: New Zealand leads the mini-session count 9-7

R Ashwin has managed to get India back into the game. The second one side looks like they are winning, the other one strikes back. This is test match cricket at its' most absorbing.

Going into day 4, there is almost certainly going to be a result (unless there is some terrible weather or a phenomenal rear guard effort by Patel and Boult tomorrow.) We may even have the exciting prospect of a day 5 with a very small number of runs needed, and only a couple of wickets in hand.

First drinks, Day 4: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 9-8

A very aggressive start from India, after another horrible decision to end New Zealand's innings.

Sehwag and Gambhir have looked like they are playing an ODI match. If they keep this up, the game will escape New Zealand very quickly.

Lunch, Day 4: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 10-8

The roller-coaster lurches again. This test is starting to feel like the Hobart one. Tendulkar looks all at sea against Boult, but if anyone can battle through a bad patch, it's him. There is still a lot of work for New Zealand to do, but the momentum is back with them at the moment.

Rain break, post lunch, Day 4: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 10-9

India have taken hold of this match. It will take either some very poor cricket from India, some very good cricket from New Zealand or a combination of both for India to lose this now.

Brendon McCullum's missed stumping may prove to be very costly.

Final drinks, Day 4: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 11-10

It looked like India's game at lunch. Then an hour later it was New Zealand's. Now Dhoni and Kohli have taken back control. Is there another twist?

End of match: The mini-session count was tied 11-11

India won the match, mostly due to the batting of Virat Kohli. The rest of the teams cancelled each other out, but he shone above everyone else. When Dravid described him as India's best batsman in all three formats, he was not exaggerating to make a point. Kohli has turned potential into delivery. There is a long time to go, but at the moment he is truly a wonderful batsman.

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