Friday, October 15

T2 D2

This is what you watch Test cricket for. Persevering efforts, turning points that just miss being so, moments that etch themselves in memory, intensity that saps, strategy that intrigues, questions that have many answers. Chennai was a cauldron today of not just simmering heat and humidity, but all these little ingredients, and then some.

Pathan and Sehwag manage, hearteningly, to blunt the morning attack and greet Warne with confidence. The great bowler finally owns his world record and looks much the relieved man for it. Dravid, all focus and concentration, stops on his way to the wicket to congratulate the opposition bowler- it is a nice sporting moment. He then plays a numerically small but significantly large part in a crucial partnership. Sehwag is engaged, more than once, in smiling banter with both the spinners- yes, Lehmann spins the ball too. Kasprowicz toils manfully and almost completely lucklessly before getting another wicket that is absolutely vital- the Wall himself.

Meanwhile Sehwag has made this day all his own. Despite 534 being so fantastic, it is 155 that is the more worthy number today. Laxman contrives, again, to look very very ordinary as he remains rooted to his beloved crease. The Australians continue their un-Australian behaviour as they drop a slew of catches. Viru plays out 4 dot balls of a Warne over with such concerted care that even Warne looks puzzled. Not one to disappoint, he smacks the next one through cover for a couple and heaves the last to a diving, and dare I say relieved, Michael Clarke in the deep.It is his first Test catch, after a couple of drops. Sehwag looks devastated as he walks off, much like the proverbial candy has been snatched from him. Warne foxes Kaif repeatedly before the 3 year comeback boy starts to look a little comfortable, in the company of that chap who looks like he really does still eat candy.

At 291/6 India are a moderate 56 runs ahead. A lead of 80 is a very likely, a lead of 100 is possible too, a lead of 150 is wishful thinking. Australia have fought back again, yet India haven't crumbled either. It is an intense, tight struggle for the upper hand.

Like I said, if you like Test cricket, you would have loved today.

Warne on the response from his opponents and team-mates
Rahul Dravid came in and shook my hand even before he'd faced a ball. I thought that was a great moment, and it said a lot about the spirit in which this series is being played. Sehwag shook my hand too, and Kumble and Yuvraj (Singh) came in to the room later. Also John Wright. I'd like to thank all those guys. My team-mates? Well, you could see that they were really happy for me

Sehwag on Warne's bowling today
Well, he took wickets, but I don't think he bowled quite that well.


Anonymous said...

Throw Yuvraj out,send Parhtiv at the top of the order,bring Agarkar in place of Zaheer & play an extra spinner.

shakester said...

That would mean 5 bowlers 5 batsmen and a keeper. I dont believe we have the strength in batting right now to do that, though I wish we did. Even the Aussies with Gilchrist dont play an extra spinner, and they could do with one.
I suspect if Yuvi has been asked to open , he will be given a couple of chances more. I think if that is the thinking (right or wrong), then he should probably get a decent run, to be fair to him. Anyhow I think Nagpur will be far more of a batting wicket, and Ganguly has always been reluctant to go with 3 spinners...His faith in Zaheer will see him back the left armer again, would be my guess.