Sunday, October 17

T2 D4

20:20, IST
You can never settle down here. India and Australia have just not let any predictions or judgements hold ground for too long. Large parts of the Indian media growled and gushed about their team being in the ascendancy. It didn't sound true, and Martyn and Gillespie made sure it wasn't. For nearly two sessions, any Indian would have swung between hope, frustration, despair and despondency- all in the face of cricket that was resolute, irritating and even boring, but never irrelevant.

I sat through the entire first 2 sessions and felt all of the above. I tried to fathom what the batsmen were doing different, what we could do different, what we could do, period. But my non expert eye couldn't see anything except some seriously determined, and sensible batting from the Aussies. Of course, I also did see that Irfan could not bowl properly because of his side strain. That meant we couldn't fully exploit the reverse swing, or the new ball- despite Zaheer's valiant efforts. Martyn played lots and lots on the backfoot, and the zip having subsided in the pitch, Kumble looked less deadly. I also thought that Ganguly could have stifled them a bit more by using the same slightly defensive field he had contrived earlier. Not like they were creaming us for runs, but Martyn was comfortable enough to easily hide Gillespie from Bhajji. I think that was really crucial. Even though Gillespie's defense looked rock solid, Bhajji never got sustained time to work him over.

Parthiv. I can't start on his lapses, they were way too many in this innings to count. He really has a guardian angel if he finds himself in the team for the next 2 tests. A guardian angel who too cannot keep wickets for nuts, but hey- a guardian that can keep him in the team. Don't get me wrong- I like the guy, and his batting is really valuable-especially given the run the rest of the lineup is going through right now- but his keeping is becoming a genuine liability. Like Manjrekar pointed out, it is a great demoraliser for other keepers watching the match- knowing, very obviously, that they can do a better job behind the stumps- yet they are on the couch at home.

I did not see a ball of the last session. On the whole, Asutralia made 220 runs today- a 'mere' 220. By the end, (following the score via trusty SMS) I was hoping we did not have to bat today. What do you know we managed to not only keep our wickets in the three overs, but score 19 runs. I need to check the replay, for I was told Sehwag's reaction after the last ball (boundary) was worth watching. He is said to have ripped off his gloves and looked generally very aggressive and 'in the mood'. If he can maintain his wicket and the mood tomorrow.... no, I won't say it.

There is a bit about the "Hoo-haa" from the Chennai crowd, in this piece on Wisden. The Hoo-Haa chatn is soemthing I have heard for many years now, and no I have never been to the MA Chidambaram stadium. I have ben hearing it since college, and it is usually "Astala- kalikala...Hoo Haa, Hoo Haa!"...or something like that. No idea what its origins are but it sounds great and is really high on energy.

I caught the last part of the replay. Yuvi hit one boundary, and he somehow managed to get that semi-nick exactly between 3rd slip and gully. Sheesh. Sehwag is a madman. First ball for 4 to squareish third man. Last ball of the day (to be survived/blocked/left alone) -straight back past McGrath for a clean off-driven boundary finishing the day. I did not see anything too dramatic in his reactions, but he looked pretty charged up, and all geared up to come back in the morning. Just hope that holds him in good stead.

1 comment:

kappax from Oz said...

ur blogs are excellant...
I love ur attitude & ur reading of the game( similar to me, but not as good :) )

I post on a few MB's but have begun putting up a blog to record my thoughts better... u can find them here...

India's gonna take the chennai test.. yep surely.. & its gonna be easy peasy...