17 January 2008

What you may call Test cricket

Saw the first couple of sessions and they ended up being some of the best hours I 've stolen off work. A hint of a partnership from Dhoni and Pathan was quickly snuffed out by Asad Rauf, and Australia will thank him and Tendulkar at the end of the day for a state of affairs that is not yet entirely out of their control. The lower order should have contributed more and Kumble needs to ensure that he and those batting below him can contribute a minimum of forty runs in every match. Even without Bhajji. But Lee was fierce again, though Mitch got most of the wickets.

After Pathan and Arpy gave Mitchell a lesson in left arm swing bowling, Ishant's first spell was real quality. He may look retarded when he chases the ball, but to pig headedly pursue the channel on a track where a young quickie is liable to get too excited, showed he had a brain, precariously perched on that spindly body. Michael Clarke and Ponting are good scalps to have, on what the experts were calling a batting beauty that was expected to become even better for batting.

We are building a good bowling attack here, fellers. Both Arpy and Zaheer have shown a taste for the spearhead role. Pathan showed today with the new ball (with a li'l help from Rauf) that he is more than just containment, and what is more, he has the experience of having gone through a lot of shit form to make a comeback. There are Sree, Ishant and Munaf competing for
the right arm quota, with Praveen Kumar nipping at their heels, see what he did to Delhi today - along with Pankaj Singh and VRV. Options galore with left arm and with the right. Swingers and skidders too.

Anyway, then Symonds and Gilchrist survived a good spell from Arpy and then decided to show us why exactly the Aussies have won sixteen on the trot. Sachin spilt one and then they scored at seven an over from a situation of 60/5, and I cannot imagine Dhoni/Yuvraj being able to do that, and I do not understand why. Please someone explain to me what Symonds and Gilchrist eat before they go out to counterattack. What is the source of their fearlesness?

Anyway, Kumble had to call himself in to quell the rebellion, and Arpy cleaned up after him, in what was one of India's best bowling performances in recent years. All is not ost yet for the Aussies and Tait may yet come to the party and cause what Sidhu calls the "cycle stand theory of Indian batting". But he seems to be running into the sort of trouble that was plaguing Sree at Trentbridge. His spell early tomorrow will reveal a lot about his character and Ponting's skills of managing the wild ones.

India should try to bat through the third day, and that should get them to 400, which is the bare minimum with so much time left in the match.

Basically, doesn't look like it will be a three day rout, but the doomsayers may yet be right.



Soulberry said...

A very good analysis John. Am expecting Sehwag to play for his life tomorrow...which anyway should be the best batting d ay by the looks of things. They've got to respect the good ball though.

Don't mind if Pathan chips in too...he loves being promoted out of turn, even if it's as a nightwatchman. Just didn't like it on a regular basis back then, maybe now he'll never complain!

John said...

Thanks, SB. One century and two cameos from any of Sachin, Laxman, Dravid and Ganguly should do the trick, one feels. Sehwag will need to more than just bat. He will be significant some the fourth innings and the fifth day.

TM said...

What I would love to see would be a big hundred from Sehwag, maybe before lunch tomorrow with a nice compact 50 from Pathan. And a swansong to remember all of Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman by at the WACA. 400 still sounds very chaseable to me on this track, against this line up. Bat through tomorrow and up to lunch on day 4 (we are assuming control over events ofcourse). Target 550 or so and then have a real go over 5 sessions. If we arent getting them in a hundred and fifty overs, we dont deserve to win. And John, we seem to be building not just a fast bowling battery, but a side to beat all sides. Just wish that the fab four had more time in their international careers.

straight point said...


i dont think anybody is near toppling fab four at this moment...only hitch was dravid...but he seems to be
getting in groove...

sehwag seems to be on mission here...and one can already see the difference he has made to the team and he has not even scored that much...

kumble need to look at sehwag the bowler too...coz i think every captain has underutilized him as test bowler...

John said...

TM, let's not be too eager here. Just as the Oz top order imploded, the Indan top order can as well. Brett Lee is probably the best quick in the qorld at the moment and Clark is a good support act. If Mitch or Tait get their act together, we could be in for a real thriller with the Aussies chasing 300 odd.

Hopefully Sehwag can come to the party with both bat and ball.
As Soulberry keeps pointing out, we need to examine where Kaif, Yuvi and Raina have lost their way and make sure we do not repeat those mistakes. Kaif and Yuvi travelled with the team for so long without playing enough four and five day matches. Chaps like Parthiv, Gambhir, Badri etc. could be very capable replacements and it will be quite handy if we can try them out in home Test matches.

Anonymous said...

somebody stick dravid permanently to the first slip when kumble comes in..we should have screwed the lid on them aussies much earlier than we did eventually..

though i wonder if india can hold their nerves two days in a row..our fearless captain would be a handy asset i think..
almost makes me tempted enough to risk the early rise in the morning..

but come what may tomorrow, at least pride became an issue with our cricket team after a long while..or seems so at least..hurrah for pathan & co. ..

and i love the way the news reports specially remembered to mention that gilchrist shook kumble's hand..

we should definitely give him the bharat ratna though..six hundred is just mindblowing..this polite and hardworking fellow never seems to give up or tire..hurrah for him too, that we're honoured to have the likes of him on our side..the man deserves a bow..