Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A classic in the making

India and England go into the last day of a test series that has turned out to be much closer than expected. India need 295 runs; England need nine wickets. Given the run/time/wickets equation, both teams will know that defensive moves might place them in a losing position, and that attacking moves (but not foolishly so) are the best way to go about either winning or saving this match. Both teams have created some doubt in the mind of the other: England, well, just by the way they've played in the entire series; India by their late charge in Nagpur, and in some measure, by the reputation of their batting line-up. England will know that Sehwag and Dhoni still lurk down the order, that Tendulkar will be keen for redemption (how about that 40 minute session in the nets while the rest of the team worked out?), and that Dravid is not in the middle yet. India will know that England have triggered collapses thanks to their mastery of swing, and that Flintoff will be nothing if not inspired tomorrow. I doubt India will attack right off the bat (no pun intended) tomorrow morning, and neither will England start with overly-aggressive fields. Expect some sussing out - and then hang on for the tension that will build all day. English fans might have expected some relief after the Ashes, but none will be forthcoming tomorrow. (yeah, I know, bold prediction). Hopefully Mumbai fans can keep a lid on inane behavior, like the booing of Tendulkar or the boundary-line abuse of English fielders. (I'll blog later on the tamasha mentality that has been an affliction of Indian crowds for a long time, and its exacerbation by the one-day era).

Test cricket takes a long time to get it right, but when it does, there is, quite simply, nothing in the world like it. We have a classic on our hands, gentlemen. Don't miss it. I won't, battling grimly with time-zones all the way. The least I can do is work as hard as those guys in the middle.


Anonymous Nagraj said...

first time on ur blog samir.

yeah u r right it would be interesting to see the approach both sides take in the bgienning of the fifth day.a combination of both attack and defense should be the correct approach for both sides.
u conveyed it nicely thru ur post we have great match on hands.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Nagraj said...

forgot to mention some fine lines about test cricket.great work

11:01 AM  

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