There are a few possible reasons, which cause teams to lose test matches. It is the inability (a combination of form, fitness, or skill) to bowl out the opposition teams or to bat out sessions in order to collect runs (co-incidentally a combination form, fitness or skill).It is hard to pinpoint the possible reason or combination of reasons to justify the current performances of Indian team. The couple of tricks were missed in West Indies; a full team should have played there. Gambhir, Tendulkar, Zaheer. It would have given the team management a headache of plenty rather than dismay of dearth. The pace bowling looks a decent attack. Praveen Kumar and Ishant are in good touch. Praveen Kumar finds himself bowling on pitches to be cut out for him. He has bowled a lot of overs. The question over Zaheer still lingers. I don’t know if he will play the next test, if he plays will he bowl 100%, if he does bowl 100% will he last the entire duration of 5 days. Will he last the whole test? If he does last the whole test, will he be available for the next test? Only time will tell.
Men in form
The form of PK, Dravid, Laxman and Bhajii’s no more available for selection could be some of the few positives Indian team may wish to take forward. All eyes are surely on Sehwag. But Sehwag wont be 151 not out when he comes to bat. The rules of games are such that he would walk out with a big O against his name and he will have to come out and start his innings from there. He doesn’t come with assurance that he will score. At this point in time, we can all wish that he has recovered from his injury and has enough fitness to last a test match.
International sport is increasingly a function of fitness. A fit cricketer will prove to be more valuable than one with higher skill and a dodgy fitness. The Aussies ruled the roost because they were supremely fit team. SAfs may lack panache and skill of teams from the sub-continent but they have been a very good team since there re-admission. Rahul Dravid can give a run for the monies to all the youngsters in the India’s ODI XI. Rahul Dravid is the leading sun scorer for this series. It is too good to be just a coincidence.
The least likely scenario
There is a lot of intrigue lot of un-answered questions and lot of ordinary display of cricket we have seen in last couple of test matches, including the ones in West Indies. The excuses and alibis will be complex. The easier thing to do would be to just play the time. We must field our fittest XI and just play. The batsman should look to bat five sessions. If Dhoni and Raina are to come at say 450 for 4 or 500 for 4 after say 160 overs, next 20 overs can make up for the meagre run rate. I hope this tour dust turn out to be something like the tour of Australia in 98-99 when Sachin was the captain, the one in which he was given LBW when stuck on the shoulder.
Its been only once that a team was 2-0 down and came back to square and series and then won the fifth and final test to win the series. Don Bradman was the captain of that team. I was hopping for a 1-1 result. Shane Warne suggested 2-1 in favour of England. I hope things fall in place for Indian team, Sachin, Sehwag Scores, Dravid grinds out, Laxman flicks them along the ground, between the fielders, Dhoni tonk the bowling. Zaheer takes wicket virtually under stealth, Praveen Kumar keeps gliding in. Ishant makes a few batsmen hop and every one plays well to pull one back and make the final test a fitting finale.
I wonder when I last crossed the boundaries of optimism and step into utopia.
Spirits and Exorcism.
So this is what I happened. It was the last delivery before the tea interval, Eoin Morgan played a stern clip off his pads towards square leg, Praveen Kumar ran and dived to keep the ball in play, mean while the batsman, Morgan and Bell had ran three. The ball was hurled to the batsman end, the bails were dislodged when it was seen that batsman was not in the crease and defending his wicket. The appeal was made and the third umpire was consulted. He declared Bell out. A lot of it around that time is open to interpretation and sources. Bell was out. He has agreed to that. I think the spirit of cricket saw that and flew into haunt the fame while the game was in recess for the tea interval. Dhoni withdrew the appeal. The spirit was happy after that. I think he did the right thing. Anyways Bell early dismissal would have no bearing on the result of this game, considering the margin with which we were beaten. Boycott said that we looked like Bangladeshi’s in disguise.
Its time to get all things right and justify our abilities and our rankings.