Saturday, March 04, 2006

Declaration timings

England are battling on towards a declaration, and this has led to that dreaded situation: the opposing-nation pair of commentators waffling on about when the declaration should happen. This endless game of guessing, daring, disguised sledging is always painful, and its been made worse by the fact that quite possibly the worst commentator in the local sector of the Milky Way, Javagal Srinath, is in the box (thankfully, the session has just ended). Who hired this inarticulate bumbler is not clear but a pink slip is in order for both guilty parties.

England will do well to ignore all the nonsense about setting a target that would tempt India, who in all my years of watching cricket have never, ever attempted any 300 run chase on the last day of a test. Instead, the best thing to do is to set them a target out of reach. This will guarantee endless blocking and prodding, feet rooted to the crease, as they attempt to play out time. And that, against an attack of three bowlers that can reverse swing, and a left-arm spinner who will benefit from the extra runs on the board, is the best thing that England can hope for.

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