Dravid silences his critics

Rahul Dravid has reminded his critics why he remains instrumental to India: with his 32nd Test century he has put India firmly in charge of the first test against the West Indies in Jamaica. Dravid had came under pressure after his barren South African Tour with rumurs circulating that his position within the India test team might no longer be ensured.

But Dravid did what he does best – reply to his critics with the bat: as wickets were tumbling at the other end, the Wall produced another masterclass on a challenging Sabina Park track with a lot of turn and unpredictable bounce. Dravid was at his unyielding best – patient and gritty in grinding down the opposition.  His approach of slow and steady cricket left West Indies a mammoth total of 326 to chase.

The West Indies got their improbable chase of to a positive start reaching 58 without loss after 10 overs, but it was not long before the Windies fell victim to a mini-collapse caused by inexperience and poor shot selection: Barath went fishing for a wide outswinger from Kumar, Sarwan's horror match continued when he poked at a wide delivery from Sharma and Simmons played all around a fullish delivery from Sharma that held its line perfectly.

At stumps on day 3 West Indies were 131/3 with Chanderpaul and Bravo at the crease. India are now favourites to wrap up the Test Match.

Sangakkara secures draw for Sri Lanka

England have won the Npower Test series against Sri Lanka, as the third and final test at the Rose Bowl ended in a draw. The tourists though end on a high as their stand-in captain Kumar Sangakarra scored his maiden Test century in England ensuring a draw for his team.

After Sri Lanka had resumed on 112-3 on the final day, 81 behind, Sangakkara (119) shared 65 with nightwatchman Rangana Herath (35). The visitors also showed impressive resilience in the person of Thilan Samaraweera, who guided them with  unbeaten  87 to tea. As rain began to fall, England had no choice but to settle for a draw.

Meanwhile, at Sabina Park the West Indies were 34-1 at stumps on day 1 after having bowled out India for 246. The tourists were in trouble at 85-6, but an impressive seventh wicket stand  between Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina for 146 runs ensured India got a defendable first innings total. In reply Simmons fell cheaply for 3 to Ishant Sharma. 

James Anderson returns for England

James Anderson has been recalled by England for the third and final test against Sri Lanka, which starts this Thursday at the Rose Bowl. The England seamer picked up a side strain injury in the first Test, which England went on to win in dramatic style.

Anderson was due to prove his fitness during Lancashire's Twenty20 match against Worcestershire at New Road on Sunday but the game was  abandoned without a ball bowled because of  persistent rain. His England return means that Stuart Broad, Steve Finn or Chris Tremlett will be dropped.

India veto use of DRS

India's forthcoming tour of England will take place without the use of the Decision Review System (DRS). The BCCI has decided to veto the use of technology after concerns from senior India players. MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar are among those players who oppose the DRS system. The news comes as a blow to England, who have become quite astute in the use of the review system.

India are ranked the number one Test team and begin their four-match series against England at Lord's on 21 July. That match is scheduled to be the 2,000th Test in the history of the sport and the 100th between England and India.

England and Sri Lanka draw at Lords

No suprises at Lords on the final day of the 2nd Test match between England and Sri Lanka. England set the tourists a total of 343 in 58 overs to win, but Tharanga Paranavitana (44) showed courage and kept the English at bay. The  Sri Lankans battled their way to 127-3 before the teams decided to settle for a draw.

England thus take a 1-0 series lead to the Rose Bowl where the teams will meet for the third and final test  later this month. It has been confirmed in the mean time that Tillakaratne Dilshan, the Sri Lankan captain, has been ruled out for the third test because of a broken thumb. 

More to follow this saturday during World Scorpio!