22.3.06

Cricket: Guess what?

England win by 221 runs
First Innings:
England: 400 All Out
Strauss: 128 | Santh: 4 for 70
Indian: 279 All Out
Dhoni: 64 | Anderson: 4 for 40
Second Innings:
England: 191 All Out
Flintoff: 53 | Kumble: 4 for 39
India: 100 All Out
Tendulkar: 34 | Udal: 4 for 14

The English have won the final test and levelled the series. This is one more example of not writing off anyone in a cricketing contest. They were written off before the Ashes and they did really well to beat the Aussies in a very exciting series. They were once again written off before the series was underway. They again raised themselves to square the series against an Indian team that is very strong on paper. The only problem is cricket is not about laurels it is about performances.
The “Cricket” inclusive titles will take a hiatus and give way to “About” and “Blog” categories, which have been under wraps for some time now.

Day Five, Wankhede
The pace attack dislodged an uncertain Jaffer and night watchman Kumble. It was fine till lunch with Tendulkar playing shots with some positive intent. The case of this match ending in a draw or an Indian victory had soon vanished. There had to be somebody who could hold fort, scored some runs and draw this match. I am still searching for someone who could have hold is fort. The name of the players who could do so was in wrap of recent (missing) performances and (lagging) fitness.
The first session saw just two wickets to fall and Tendulkar may have won over a few more supporters who believe he can make a comeback at any stage of his poor form. Indians came back to lunch at 75 for 4 with a distinct possibility of a meek draw. The Indians returned after lunch and Dravid saw Flintoff standing on top of his bowling mark. He bowled a couple to Dravid and on the third Flintoff bowled, a ball, which Dravid thought might come in. He managed to edge it to the eager keeper’s hand. Flintoff had dismissed the possibility of Indians drawing this test match.

Tendulkar.
I have mixed emotions; that is why I could not add many words after “Tendulkar”. He has got out four times in this series. Three times, he has got out to “second” string bowlers (Panesar, Anderson, Udal.). The second string bowlers means the bowlers who are first change bowlers much like the middle order batsman. These bowlers are meant to keep things tight and if wickets come their way then brilliant.
But whatever I saw of Tendulkar, I liked it. He was not only looking to stick around but he was looking to score runs. This sign was good. He is now out of first three One Days. I think this injury would not have come at a better time. He and Sehwag have been under intense media scrutiny and pressure. He will be out of action and may can unwind with cricket and catch up with “normal” life. This will help him organize his routine back again. He will also empty his minds recycle bin, which might have corrupted his thinking process. The same case is with Sehwag.
I just wonder whether the injury caused the poor performances of these two batsmen or it was the poor performances, which caused the injury.
Tendulkar’s return will be interesting to note. He might be struggling in test matches but his return to One Days is very good. He put on a good show on Pakistan as well.

Indians cooked for meal after lunch.
The first over saw the chances of Indians drawing this match gone for toss after Dravid’s loss. The next over was the classical dismissal of a right-hander batsman (Tendulkar) to an off-spinner (Udal). He came to party in a big way and cleaned up Dhoni, Patel, and Harbhajan along the way. There was little that the lower order batsmen could do after the top order had just contributed with single digit scores. They are paid for bowling side out rather than search for impossible draw. The last six Indian wickets fell for 24 runs.

The seeds of defeat sown yesterday.
The whole Indian approach was negative. They were trying to sneak into a party, which was open to all. Kumble bowling around the wicket is a negative tactic. He and Harbhajan were given extended spells and the pace men seem to have been forgotten in the backdrop. There was no use of Sehwag, Yuvraj and Tendulkar as bowlers. These three have bowled a match-winning spell at some point in their careers in One Days or tests. The experiment with them could be carried out. It might just have paid off. This is just an after thought. I always think that Tendulkar should be given the ball if it takes more time for our bowlers to strike a wicket.
One should not expect a quality side drawing or losing the test match after taking over a hundred runs lead. The meek Indian response, which followed only, helped the English further in their endeavour.

Flintoff deserves the praise.
Flintoff a man who can hit the bat at speed in excess of 90 miles and he can hit the ball with his bat a long way (wait for One Days). I think the determination shows on his face. He led a depleted team to a miraculous series draw. He deservingly won the man of the match as well as Man of the series. He led the English team with bat as well as ball. He looked threatening with both and managed to blossom in adverse conditions.

Applause for the English.
The famed Indian batting was flamed by a very hot English attack. This fast paced attack is very well balance. One sees everything that one wishes to see. There is pace from Flintoff, bounce of Harmisson, swing of Hoggard and Jones. It is a complete attack. The additional advantage is it has pace. They seem to hit the deck and do things, which often surprise batsmen wanting. The English pace attack saw them through with Flintoff leading the front.

A few lessons that are to be learnt.
The paces must learn to use the conditions to their advantage. They have to show more of discipline and a less of flamboyance. We have to stick with people who bowl fast. Yuvraj is a very good One-Day player. He should not seek the ghost of test performances chase his One-Day career. Kaif or Laxman will give us better stability in test there is no doubt in this fact. The English’s seam attack’s discipline and performance should be aimed to be emulated often.

A few search results.
There were a few finds on both the camps.
Ian Bell: He cannot play spinners. He can trigger an English collapse.
Alistair Cook: He has limited strokes and unlimited patience’s stick with him.
Madhusuden Singh Panesar (Monty): A fine prospect.
Sree Santh: He bowled well and with some consistency in pace. He should gear up well.
Munaf Patel: He rocked the scene, after selectors did not select him for first test.
Anil Kumble: An unacknowledged match winner.

8 comments:

criclogger said...

Another major setback for India was the fielding especially the catches they dropped. The number of chances they missed probably played the biggest part.

Dawn....सेहर said...

Its sad I also read all about it....!!!

PuNeEt said...

name a side who has won a test match after dropping 16 catches

it was a shame...
not the loss bt the way they lost it

The Light-House. said...

@ Criclogger:The batting wasn't the most heartening wither.
@ Dawn: Yes it is :(
@ Puneet: U hit the nail on its head Puneet.

Sudeep said...

This made an interesting read inspite of the loss...

I m also happy tht Tendulkar is getting a break but at the same time i will miss him in ODIs' for sure... hope he returns with a bang

Flintoff has come out really gud.. i like the fact tht he is a true all-rounder

n i liked esp the 2nd line of ur post.. never underestimate anyone

The Light-House. said...

@ Sudeep: Thank U

Sesh said...

100 all-out at home is never acceptable. Englishmen deserved to win, as they dominated India, all thru' the series. I also want to know, wht the heck Dravid opted to field first ?

The Light-House. said...

We played so poorly that we were bound to loose.If we had 121 runs lead bowling first would not have mattered much.
The toss does not matter as much as playing poorly does.