Tuesday, November 2

The final test

20:15, IST
and the news is this:
Warne's out of the mumbai test. Broken thumb. Out for 6-8 weeks, meaning he will miss the tests against the old trans tasman rivals later this month too. It seems highly improbable that the Aussies will go in with 4 pacers on a track likely to take turn, so India can look forward to playing a rookie spinner.
McGrath's flu, too, is not all cured. He may just be ruled out tomorrow morning before the match. Which means Blee could also be in- more pace, more snorters...and more runs, I hope?
* * *

The Mumbai dead rubber starts tomorrow.
Drag yourself out of the depression/ negativism/apathy/disgust/anger/tears (take your pick), and there may yet be some things to look out for.
For while it may be the not so relevant Final Match of the series, it is the Final Test and final chance to salvage something for team India.


New talent is always exciting (at least in theory)- both Gambhir and Karthik have done enough tosuggest they mae have what it takes at this level. AT any rate, there will at least be the excitement of the possibility that they will do well. Phew, thats long drawn out, but still.
Despite Nagpur, SRT remains something to look forward to. There are suggestions that he should instead play some club/domestic cricket before coming back for the SA series. Simply, I don't agree, thank you.
VVS Laxman (may not be somethng to look forward to), but his place is on the line and I dont care about the pressure, he better perform. It will be truly surprising if he fails her and is still picked for the SA series. It is surprising enough that he has retained his place for the series finsiher, but given that it is dead (though we are dying to win it), it is still acceptable. Screwup here, and it surely is curtains for a while, no?

Sehwag is always somethign to look forward to.

The pitch might actually help us (though with Mumabi tracks, you cant be sure- and def not as much as say a Chennai). We may even play 3 spinners!
So Sachin might open the bowling!

Ponting will be back, if you like that sort of thing (the opposition team being strengthened).

But seriously, this is some sort of chance to redeem some sort of pride with some sort of victory. Years later a 2-1 scorecard will read eminently better than 3-0, even if the latter would be a closer reflection of the team performances. A loss here will leave us in even more shredded tatters (if that's possible) going in to the SA series. Till not so long ago, that was one where we were supposed to try and thrash them. Now look.

It is an interesting point that the Indian Test performances over the last few years have not been like the second best team in the world. Instead, the have been fluctuating to match the calibre of the teams we have faced. Be it England, Australia, Pakistan, West Indies or Zimbabwe. Except this time we did not rise to the occasion.

Yet, rising to the rebuilding South Africans' challenge is till some time away. First we have a buoyant, momentum driven, top form and new hungry-for-winning-captain-led team to deal with.
Save us, Mumbai.

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