Is there a chance of a result? Yes. I think there is a chance, provided weather allows the match to go on. There is still time in a test match that can be used to cook up the recipe for a great victory in this test match. The English team with them have bought the English weather to India. It is not just Mohali; it has been raining all over the place and there is all of sudden some very pleasant weather to freak out. The match is there for the taking for the team, which will play some hard ball. If we manage, a lead of 70 runs tables will be turn on the English team. It is here Dravid who is always ready to grind in will have to display courage as a batsman first then follow it by some smart captaincy. It is a lip licking exciting test match which is about to unfold. There was some initiative provided by Kumble.
The toast of the day, Kumble.
He took five wickets again. He is a great phenomenon. His wickets tally also indicates that. He can run through any line up of batsmen in wearing Indian conditions. He has been an author to many winning scripts of Indian cricket. He has bowled some memorable spells and got India right back from seemingly nowhere. He has been like a background on the stage, always there but never noticed. He has major role in making the Indian team formidable team at home. His form with the ball has often decided the way the series will be head. There is an example to cite here, every one who reads this post will remember the last tour to Australia. He took 24 wickets in three tests. He has done it many a times in India. He also has ten out of ten in Ferozshah Kotla, Delhi against rivals Pakistan. There is something unique about this record. It can only be equalled but cannot better. Kumble is to Indian bowling what Tendulkar is for Indian batting. It will be interesting to see how many Tendulkar centuries have coincided with Kumble taking five wickets in the same innings.
I reckon number 5 is lucky for Kumble. He has many times taken five or more wickets in an innigs. There is something unique about Kumble. It is the ability to get bounce out of the pitch with some surprise. He also tends to hurry the batsmen when they look settled. He has come of age. There is a lot more vairety on display after his dhoulder injury some seasons ago. There was a time when he uses to hurry the bowl to the keeper and one could hear Nayan Mongia screeching “Bowling Jaambo”.He exactly knew what would Kumble bowl and the only one place the ball landed after taking off like a jumbo jet was into Mongia’s gloves. It was the most awesome site to see.
There is something, on which not too many commentators throw light. It is the wicket keeper and spinner partnership. The great spinner is always complemented by a brilliant stumper. He has been often urging the bowler to do better. There are many example like that of Warne-Healy followed by Warne-Gilchrist (try saying “bowling Shane” in an Aussie nasal accent), Moin-Saqlain (Sabaash Sucky). If one digs into domestic history there are various examples of this fact. The likes of Chandu Borde in the late fifty and early sixty, Farookh Engineer for the quadrate then followed by Syed Kirmani in the seventies and eighties then now naughty More for the spinners of Eighties. One profound partnership was Kumble and Mongia.
The review of English first innings.
The English innings helped by some poor catching seemed to be rolling before Munaf Patel caught Flintoff off his own bowling. Flintoff looked threatening. Their innings looked a bit cautious after his dismissal .Then the English batting hit a roadblock, named Anil Kumble. He cleaned up the tail in matter of four balls and it was curtains at 300.
The review of Indian first innings.
There were couple of cover drives by Sultan of Multan. Then got a short pitch ball coming into his body and managed it glove it to the keeper. Jaffer bored himself and was lucky that Monty ended his misery at score of 31. The Tendulkar came, saw and went back. It was a very good delivery and tested any other batsman currently playing. It is either lack of form or luck. I hope his home ground brings him a little fortune he seeks. Then it was turn of Yuvraj Singh.
Yuvraj expectedly disappoints.
Yuvraj is devastating in both forms of the game; in the One Days, he often devastates the opposition while in a test he is likely to devastate his own camp with some dreadful strokes. This section will be hard doing digest for some. The point is the people have seen Yuvraj Singh flourish in the slog overs of a One Day. He does this brilliantly without doubt. He is perhaps the best finishers of One-Day games today. He is so good that if he finishes a One Day inning with fifty India is likely to win the match. However, for Yuvraj, five One Days do not make a five-day test match. It is often laborious and rewarding to only those who are willing to stick to a single plan. Patience.
Kaif is different to Yuvraj. He is better suited to test match. He is better discipline and choosy for his strokes. This example is pretty parallel to that if Dravid and Ganguly. We all know what type of records these players hold in their zone of specialization. Yuvraj’s selection was negative, a backward move. Kaif would have definitely delivered. The reason being he often sees himself in this position of delivering goods without too many resources. The last test he played is just another example.
My Point of View on tomorrow's game.
The Indian team is one, which can make a one side match exciting. I don’t know which way the game is headed but I am sure looking forward to next couple of days. The Indians did well to bowl England at a score of 300. I think Indians are in a bit of a hole and will do well to take a first innings lead. If they script a big lead then the writing will be on the wall. They have to bat the whole day tomorrow. Pathan and Dhoni should be backed to make decent scores at a fair rate. Dravid should hold one end up. They have to bat the whole day tomorrow and then ask the English to bat in fading lights. They should back themselves to take wickets on the final day with Kumble in form. India has to ensure that this be the only time they bat in this test match.
If England manages to bat tomorrow, before tea then the game is headed for a certain draw.