Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Trent Bridge mash-up

Apologies for not having blogged quickly in response to India's win at Trent Bridge, but events conspired against me able to respond to that speedily enough. And theres so much to think about now that the win has actually been registered. I must admit, that at 287-3, all the unkind thoughts I'd ever thought of Indian teams being unable to close out wins out in the past returned, only to be dispelled when Zaheer trapped Bell in front (the earlier dismissal of Vaughan hadn't quite made me as optimistic). From there on, the killer punches fell in rapid succession, and had it not been for Sidebottom's mini-blast, India could have wrapped up the game on the fourth day itself. The three wickets that India lost on the morning of the fifth day could have still some significance (the ease with which Tendulkar fell to the leg-slip trap was alarming) but overall, India will go into the third test the much-more confident side, knowing that England haven't figured out a way to combat the Khan-Singh pair (now, theres a Indian bowling combination name worth killing for!). If only Sreesanth could get a few therapy sessions under his belt and concentrate on the outswingers that made him a matchwinner in South Africa. (Indeed, if that could be counted on, Indian confidence about a series win could be even greater).

When all is said and done, the Indian bowling has been the revelation for me. English scores of 298, 282, 198 and 355 are ample testimony to their contribution. And to think its Zaheer, an old favorite, doing the damage. Way to go, Zak. Happy to see you back in the game. Next on the list are the openers, whose century opening stand was worth its gold. And then finally, the middle-order, whose partial firing was good enough to ensure a 250-plus lead. (I should be honest and say that the Tendulkar LBW decision didn't upset me so much; I find it hard to get outraged about LBWs where the batsman wasn't playing a shot; and I've had this tendency for close on 25 years now, even when my countrymen were going nuts about Pakistani umpires giving out Indian batsmen who were padding up to Imran Khan).

I suppose I should say something about jelly beans. Always hated them. I can see why someone would lose his cool if confronted with them. And want to take lots of wickets as a result. Other than that, whats there to say? Boys will be boys, I suppose, but what are they doing playing for the men's cricket team then?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good win for India Samir - congratulations. Singh and Khan bowled magnificently really making use of the first day conditions. It was a complete contrast to how they bowled in the first session of the first test, and I suspect England went into the match a shade complacent. Let's hope the next test is a cracker, for the cricket that is, rather than the other stuff.

12:28 PM  
Blogger kunalsingh said...

I do not think that jelly beans are disgusting. My guess is that would have Zaheer liked them too. May be Dravid promised him more of them, in case he plays well. If some one was really upset, it was Simon Taufel. He gave Sachin and Saurav out in a very wrong fashion. May be Indians should offer him few Jelly beans before the next match.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Rolla: good to hear from you again. I was quite worried about this inexperienced attack before the series began but they've really come through. I don't know how complacent the English batsmen were (to be honest, I don't think scores of 298 and 282 from Lords should have done so), but I'm sure plenty of journalists that had written off the bowling attack completely were having to revise their opinions. But in any case, the Oval promises to be a cracker.

Kunal: I much prefer exotic chocolates though I doubt they'd last too long in the outdoors (especially on the kind of summer days England sees in July/August). But yes, Taufel desperately needs something to get back to his usual high-class umpiring.

5:06 PM  

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