Saturday, November 20

Feature Presentation!

The Big News for the day, though, is from far away at the Gabba. Glenn McGrath has hooked, pulled and grinned his way to a pugnacious 54 not out. Initial reports suggest that half the Aussie population has already guzzled a few kegs of beer in celebration, while the other half is still reeling under shock. Some, they say, continued sitting at the Gabba after close of play- rooted to their seats in disbelief till ground staff were forced to evict them in the darkness.

I woke to find first the morons at Fourth Umpire welcoming us to a brand new series (Ind v SA), but I quickly flipped to ESPN-Star and was hardly surprised, maybe a little bemused and shaking-the-head-smiling-sighing as I saw the score at 399/5. Clarke just hit a glorious backfoot cover drive and followed it up with a gorgeous copybook straight drive. Martyn had left early, but as is their wont, the Aussies decided to just push the pedal harder. Gilchrist and Clarke- from the highlights package at tea- looked in scintillating form, while the Kiwis had no answers at all.

But the best/worst/craziest/most infuriating/enjoyable (depending on your position in world cricket) part was yet to come. I think the unbeaten last wicket partnership between Pigeon and Dizzy is 93, and Fleming and his boys could do little to thwart them. From whatever I saw, they bowled a lot of consistently short stuff, and I have no idea why. I saw over after over (at the cost of missing some of the Ind-SA stuff) of short pitched stuff. Especially as McGrath showed that the shot that promises to send him into the next league of batters- the pull/hook- is what he is most comfortable at, it made no sense to continue with it. But they did, the Aussies smiled, grinned and then unabashedly laughed as the great bowler reached his first fifty. The delight was writ large on his team mates’ faces, and on all those around the ground who could comprehend what was happening.

(What is happening, in case you missed it, is that Australia are on their way to winning another test)