Wednesday, March 01, 2006

In control, almost

I usually stagger out in the mornings to catch the last 30 minutes or so of test matches played in the subcontinent (during the Pakistan tour, I was able to watch a bit more at times). There is the initial moment of trepidation as I move the mouse, and the screensaver goes away to reveal the game in progress, for who knows what the score might be? And then, there is the hope that I'll be able to catch some significant action in this last little session, rather than just batsmen blocking for stumps.

Well, today, the score was 225-5 on waking up, a slightly better situation for India than had looked possible in the morning. Two more wickets followed to make it even better. England will feel like they squandered a splendid start, got done in by one decision, and India will have partially gotten over the disadvantage of having lost the toss. But it will be the performance of the seamers with the old ball that will be talking point: they stuck to their guns and worked on getting the ball to swing.

England aren't out of it yet though. India will probably take the new ball early tomorrow, and if Collingwood gets some easy offerings while Hoggard blocks away, they could still prove to be a gigantic pain-in-the-neck. English fans might be a bit worried, but the morning session could still bring them some cheer.

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