There is something about Indian summers in England. Everyone around is great full that they have come around to play the test series. I think Pietersen did very well and England stand a chance of winning the first test and perhaps win in India is they managed to hold on to this lead. England has the bowling to skittle out Indians cheaply in the fourth innings. I am really happy to see cricketing actions live.
ATKT = Allowed to keep test? Yuvraj and Rahul Dravid.
ATKT or simply KT, in engineering when you have to clear first year to stake a claim to answer third year papers i.e. one can go on into second year with earlier year back log papers, but U have to clear them before your second year ends or else you get into an infinite loop of studying the second year and third year course and it’s tough.
I thought till yesterday I though only Dravid and Yuvraj were ATKT, Allowed To Keep Test. Yuvraj bemuses me, he is someone you can build you team around in T20 and ODI but I don’t think he is good enough for test. Yeah I know he has scored big runs in form of centuries, in test and first class. I hope he can find some county and play some first class there may it would help him iron out his fallacies against short pitch stuff But can he face pace battery on fast pitches. The answer is a sad No!! I feel for him. He looks so beleaguered when facing fast bowling in test. It’s not only the pace bowling. I think any good spinner worth his salt can work out Yuvraj very very soon. I was pensive that this would a test of test for Yuvraj. He was to face Flintoff, Harmison and Monty. While Flintoff happened to be making a comeback but his reputation precedes him. He is a very good bowler, unlike a rookie when he started. However, Freddie Flintoff seems more assured of himself more than ever. Harmisson works purely on one principle, bounce. The amount of bounce he can get is prodigious. He bowl aiming for jaw and chest of batsmen and occasionally there is a drive ball and batsman are caught behind looking to cream it through cover point and ending up in slips. Yuvraj feel victim to it. I don’t rate Yuvraj highly as a test batsman. I know its tough facing chin music. However, Yuvraj seems to be relying so heavily on his predictive reactions rather than watching the bowl.
Dravid also on the KT list. :(
Rahul Dravid poor chap. He was one of the safest first slip fielders India cricket would see for a long time. He dropping regulation catches isn't helping nor is his batting is inspiring confidence. He is a unique predicament. The game of cricket has enough examples of people starting and then falling to bad form or injury and then making a fairy tale return. I don’t think Dravid will have this luxury. The predicament is that he is facing a trough at the last turn of his glorious career. He is the sole architect of Ganguly’s success as a test captain. He managed to walk out of Tendulkar’s shadow, no mean achievement in itself. He has over Ten thousand runs in both form of the game, something people should look into. He was labeled a Test Only player if you remember. Dravid at 35 has sands of time slipping through his fingers. I wonder if he playing at five instead of three would help. Also as Sehwag-Gambhir partnership blossoms, Dravid often reads the score at 80 for one rather than nine for 3 or 17 for two. Its tough for him, but his confidence will come back if he starts taking catches in slips. At least we fans would get some reprieve of him being right in the game.
Dhoni mean while will soon get a taste of first defeat if England rub it in tomorrow. The bigger challenge for him would be winning chasing in the fourth innings. Indians has a terrible record, it is perhaps worst than losing finals in ODIs. One can debate and argue on that but the fact remains that at present no one, yes no one know how to bat in the fourth innings. Tendulkar fourth innings has been a handicapped a blind spot for him. Layman flashes too much, Dravid out of form, Yuvraj will buckle to pace or seduced by spin. Dhoti’s technique isn’t his forte. Sehwag is the only one who can, coz pitches and nature of bowling doesn’t matter to him, if it is in his percentages he will score. But he too may feel the pressure.
I don’t think India deserves to win this one the way the have played till date. English happen to script this list. Although there is an opportunity here, if they have to stake the claim of numero uno in cricket they have to dissolve the mental block of the fourth innings and give themselves every chance of winning this match by finishing the English innings soon tomorrow and then look to bat 120 overs in the fourth innings and claim victory.
There are only couples of things in India’s favour:
Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties; it is never over until the last wicket is claimed or the last run scored.
India is one team that can make one sided match exciting.
Are the rain gods watching?
The only problem is time is running out and English hold the key. I imagine myself writing a review of this test tomorrow evening itself. I don’t think lack of preparation owing to off the field events in the near past should be an excuse.