India in pole position, says Sunil Gavaskar

Jones and Gavaskar also seemed in jovial and naughty mood at the prospects of Shane Watson returning for Delhi Test and that too as captain, in case Michael Clarke is not fit.

Updated: March 17, 2013 21:11 IST
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India did not bat exceedingly well on Day 4 of the Mohali Test and could only manage 499 all-out when even 600 was looking a possibility after Day 3. With a lead of 91 though, the hosts did bowl with aplomb with Bhuvneshwar Kumar being the pick of the bowlers, taking all three Australian wickets to fall in their second innings.

NDTV expert Sunil Gavaskar felt that India being dismissed in a hurry did work in the favour of the home side. He also sounded a warning for the struggling Australian batsmen, especially with Michael Clarke's injury.

"Getting out early certainly did work in India's favour. There are times when teams are thinking of declaration and find themselves dismissed. It actually saves a lot of time and that's what happened with India. For all you know, India might have batted on and not got those 3 wickets eventually. India have a handy lead and the ball is turning. Also, Ravichandran Ashwin did not get a lot of wickets in the first innings and is due in the second one now," remarked Gavaskar with a twinkle in his eyes.

Even Dean Jones was not particularly upbeat about Australia's chances in the Test match but was hopeful that the final day would be a cracker.

"Australia will have to bat at least first 70 overs and make close to around 200-220 runs or it will be curtains for them. It is going to be a great day's play tomorrow. India are very good with T20 cricket too, so they can chase targets. The game is set up for two results - an Indian win or a draw."

Both Deano and Sunny were unequivocal in their support for the struggling Phil Hughes, who, despite a fidgety innings, remained not-out and reached his first fifty of the series.

"I'm really happy for Phil Hughes, whose career is almost chopped away if he does not perform here. I hope he gets a century here," said Deano.

"I thought that he was a bit lucky as he took his chances. At least though, he wanted to go down fighting. In fact, while he was batting to Ashwin, one thought that not being in form worked in his favour. Had he been in form, he might have edged one. For Australia's sake, he needs to get a hundred," quipped Sunny.

When Sunny was asked whether Team India's transition phase was over, he sounded positive about the near future. The former Indian skipper though has some sane advice for the struggling batsman in Ravindra Jadeja.

"It is looking good for India. Somebody or the other will be needed always as no team is 'complete' ever. A quality all-rounder for India, coming in at 7-8 will be wonderful. Jadeja has to start contributing as a batsman now. Team is getting there but we will have to be a little patient," said Sunny.

Gavaskar was also hopeful that the door was not yet shut on Sehwag and Gambhir.

"For South Africa we will need four opening batsman and Viru, Gauti will be in frame. It is still not curtains for the pair.

Jones and Gavaskar also seemed in jovial and naughty mood at the prospects of Shane Watson returning for Delhi Test and that too as captain, in case Michael Clarke is not fit.

"He will bat no doubt tomorrow," said Deano.

"Clarke's back spasm can go overnight but in case he is not fit for Delhi and Watson comes back, it will be quite a situation," said Gavaskar.

Even Shikhar Dhawan's moustache was the topic of discussion and both the NDTV experts had their individual takes on it.

"Have a look at my 80's looks and you will find my moustache much scarier than Dhawan's," said Gavaskar.

"More Australian batsmen used to have them but I never liked to keep a moustache," said Jones.

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