Saturday, October 16

T2 D3

17:17, IST
What a tense struggle this is turning out to be. I missed all of the second session and half of last, but this is not going to be a canter. Kaif and Patel batted splendidly in the morning. The boy is batting real well, and that is retaining his place in the team because he is keeping like a schoolboy. (er...he is one, but thats another matter). In keeping with the catwalk rules in this series, he walked while Shephard dithered about the appeal (Dean Jones has suddenly decided this is agreat show of sportsmanship). At any rate, Kumble took his place in the stoutly resistant line.
Post lunch was a huge disappointment, with Kaif dehydrating and cramping so badly he could not make it on the field. I wonder how he sprinted off the field after the first session, though. I missed the whole session, but Kaif's appearance and subsequent dismissal on the field was quite a dramatic one, it seems.

Gilchrist coming up the order was perfect, and he almost did manage to sweep the game away from us. But out at 49, he had done a good but not overwhelming job. Patel really looks like he doesnt read the ball well enough sometimes behind the stumps; he dropped Gilly, and then Kumble decided he needed to do things on his own and promptly bowled him a couple of balls later. That wicket will leave India feeling possibly more buoyed than the Aussies overnight, but the difficulty of a 4th innings looms.

Martyn, Lehmann and Clarke to play, Warne to hoick around and possibly an (easier) first session to bat. Another absorbing day in prospect.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Havent seen any of the three sessions, I feel scarcely qualified to comment on any of the cricket, except what I glean from some of my favourites sites and blogs (this one included)... Some moneygrubbing capitalists have cornered this market in the UK in a way that would do OPEC proud, and I absolutely *refuse* to pay several thousand indian rupees to watch this series on "pay per view" -- what a ridiculously american concept, some of colleagues have suggested. While I have nothing against the concept, I do have an inborn revulsion to paying for a sport that corporates practically fall over themselves to beam to my television set in India .

So I bought the cheaper wisden radio version instead, though the quality of the commentary has made me wonder if there's a better way out.. .. I have had to do something similar previously -- most recently, for India in Aus, but before that, it was the "historic" tour of South Africa in 1993 that comes to mind. Grainy images from the television series Bodyline rush to mind, where a bunch of Aussies and Poms are following _that_ tour on their radiosets, trying to visualise everything. If the commentators were Agnew and Benaud.

The upside? not having to check the score every 40 sec (approx the time it takes for the average delivery to be bowled) at the workplace...So I can plug into the commentary and pretend its just music. Not sure how much it helps my productivity, though...

Its been heartwarming to read about the tranformation of the Aus team...long have I admired their play, not as much their methods ... the mental disintegration, the Sarwan-McGrath encounters, the questioning of Thorpe's wife's whereabouts, when he was in the middle of his acrimonious divorce... but under Ponting (to an extent) and Gilly (certainly), there's been a sea change. In fact, I read Trevor Marshallsea write that the man hasnt been sledging, even. Shocking.

And the tendency to walk can only make things better still... If we have overpaid, underworked geriatric nincompoops like Steve Bucknor on the field, its only a matter of time before some element of self-regulation gets introduced in the game. Besides, Amit Varma on Wisden makes a compelling case for technology in umpiring decisions..

Even otherwise, its the less spoken of things -- Dravid (and promptly thereafter, Sehwag) walking up to Warne to congratule him on his crowning.. The crowd chanting Warne's name, when it was clear the only way he'd get to the record was by getting one of their batsmen back in the hut...And Warne's good natured imitation of SRT. The importance of a leader in all this, I think, cannot be underestimated, and full marks to Gilchrist, one of my favourite Aus cricketers.

I think the match is still too tight to call, and the Aus press is taking a leaf out of our teambeaters in calling it in India's favour, as far as they are... I think chasing anything more than 150 is quite challenging, more than 200 will require a serious effort. Lets see..Either way, I'll be there, on my trusty headphones and my excel spreadsheet, pretending to be creating shareholder value...