Fog claimed this match. Fog drags this match to a draw. India was partially to be blamed. It also highlights why there are still not number one. The momentum is often killed as India looks to defend rather than kick on and make some runs. I know time is of essence and often in cricket lay low when the bowler on top but you have to make up for the lost times and run making opportunity.
If the first innings is to be anything to go by India did not push them harder to win the test.
This match was dragged on and then drawn.
The series was on a high when India came from behind to win the test, with Tendulkar hitting a century of a lifetime perhaps. After that this test was a tame display of sustaining the adrenaline and pump in the enthusiasm. But Sehwag didn’t click, India missed the spark. A big blob in first innings didn’t help. Dravid fought bad form with doubts to stay afloat and get a century in the taking. Gambhir meanwhile went from strength to strength and missed a double in the first innings and century in the second. Tendulkar will just remember day five of the first test in Chennai. He and Dravid failed again and there was a collapse of sorts in the first innings before Yuvraj Singh came in and kicked on the scoring rates. Gambhir trenched in, but poor soul did not keep a cut short down and Ian bell, the biggest loser, catch a ripper in thin air to sent Gambhir packing for 97 in second innings. Indians did not declared their second innings before lunch and thus confirmed the drawn fate of the test, which people imagined to be so at the end of the third day.
It was foggy in the morning but when things cleared out India were 40 something for 3 and 80 for four on the fourth day late afternoon, the whirlwind Yuvraj came in belted it all around, may be hinting a promotion up the order but, if first innings was anything to go by, he came in after the fourth wicket fell.
That was a passage of play which made me think that a quicksilver 45 minutes and India should declare. The fog as expected stalled the proceedings, by the time sun came out and the picture got clearer the match ended in a draw
Pietersen leads the front.
I find Pietersen bemusing; he is a superb stroke player, not only the strokes he plays but also the way he plays them. He is a rare batsman, rare because he is one-quality batsmen and a rank ordinary fielder. I still find it amusing the way he jumps in the crease before playing a stroke. But surely he is SAfs loss and England’s gain. The English were down two for two. Strauss followed a test match in which he belted century in each inning with a third ball duck. That’s the way cricket goes. Next was Ian Bell most incomplete batsman the game of cricket has ever seen. He got a swinging beauty from Ishant and heard his stumps flying all over the place. Pietersen literally jumped to the crease, Dhoni the gambler bought Yuvraj the pie chucker and almost had his man only to Laxman let a chance a begging. Yuvraj almost had his man, Pietersen had almost chucked his wicket. Harbhajan egged n himself to produce something but struggle until the end of the day when he went around getting Pietersen into a false position. Flintoff was claimed by Mishra at the end of days play. India did manage to brush the English tail. The last six wickets fell fro just 22 runs. India claimed a healthy lead in a very forgettable test match.
India kept running them out.
Sehwag, Laxman, Yuvraj were claimed run out and in some ways made Ian Bell’s tour more soothing to him. His performance would have placated him, but may not placate English selectors. India virtually sleep walked with Dravid Tendulkar not contributing much, Laxman has had a silent innings, and perhaps he has to score more against teams other than Aussies. India lumbered to let English 403 in forty overs, Cook came out and Ishant had me caught second slip. The slow scoring tactic were pretty much followed from the first innings, I was so glad when the match ended in a draw, not before Dhoni turning his arm over an over or too. All said and done the match was drawn and a series won.
Man of the series Zaheer,
The reigning Sultan of Swing. Ishant is more of face and hitting the pitch. Zaheer, RP Singh and Sreesanth mean while have superb control. I am curious to know how Munaf does, but I don’t think he can swing it like Zaheer. It’s the amazing sense of control on the old ball that Zaheer seems to have developed that makes him a man to watch out for. He swung it when Aussies were here. He has been castling the stumps with some consistency taking into account the left handers in top of the order, Cook and Strauss in this series. He also comes around the wicket and gets low order batsmen in a tangle castling them or getting them LBW. It is lovely to watch.
Thought of the day ...
Study invites study, idleness produces idleness.