July 22, 2007

Testing times

Day 1: England piles on the runs confidently, surely. Two late wickets give them something to think about overnight, but it's still England's day.

Day 2: England swiftly subside to some inspired new-ball bowling by India. By the end, they've lost 8 wickets for 46 runs, and India is on top. Despite two early wickets lost, India motor on through the day. Then, near the end of the day, they get becalmed and two more wickets are gone, just like that. Still, overall it probably still is India's day.

Day 3: Now India swiftly subside to some magnificent fast bowling from England's men. For 46 runs again, they lost their last six wickets, and their way in the match. With a 97 run lead on the first innings, the match is England's to grab. But India refuse to fold, whipping out two wickets by the end of the day. England's day, but perhaps only by a whisker.

Day 4: India make inroads once again, three quick wickets in the morning and things look rosy for them. But then a century turns things around for England, and by an hour after tea, the lead has swelled to 350, Englad has just scored 90 runs in an hour, and India seems out of steam and ideas. Two wickets in successive balls after the drinks interval, and three more in fairly short order after that, and suddenly England are out on the field defending 380 runs. Big target for India, but smaller than it threatened to be, and certainly gettable if they buckle to the task. Yet two swift wickets and another soon after, it doesn't look quite so gettable after all. But is there yet another bend in the works? India end the day with a 50+ partnership; they are one-third of the way there and there are some stalwarts still to come. England on top, but not without hope for India.

What will day 5 bring?

Whatever it does bring ... God how I love Test cricket.


Philip said...

India will fold up before lunch and lose the match. Simple.
Trust India to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Anonymous said...

243 runs on the last day is hardly "jaws of victory" for india.

one of the best test matches that i have seen is the wi/aus one on barbados '99, where lara scored 153 leading wi to a 1-wicket victory, singlehandedly. can you believe that wi were 98/6 at some point in the first innings in reply to aussies' 490?

Anonymous said...

what I like about Test cricket is despite its relaxed look it is not. Small mistakes and complacency at sometime early in the game or in one session can sometimes cost you the match. quite like events in life?

Btw, is it OK to not believe in God and use the expression?

Dilip D'Souza said...

It turned out well in the end: a draw with England on the brink of victory was a fair result. England played better, but India was not outplayed and had their own stars. India fought hard to stave off defeat on the last day, and considering how Dhoni was scoring and farming the strike, I was starting to think he would even see us through the last session had it not rained.

I think this is a tougher Indian team than ones in the past.

Anon 131: that's exactly right about Test cricket. I don't know any game where fortunes can swing so dramatically, and that there are always so many possibilities for strategy. A long five-setter tennis match comes close.

Why would it not be OK to not believe in God and use "Trust India to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory"? Besides, how do you know that Philip does not believe in God?