Friday, July 29, 2011


Day 1: It is our habit. We won't start a series with a strong first day

By the time umpires called off first day's play, I started to get a feeling that MS Dhoni's decision to bowl first after winning the toss wasn't such an adventurous decision as everyone made us to believe. Rather it was a safe decision. Considering how sloppy and how much devoid of match practice we were in the field, it was a good thing that we were bowling. Bowling badly won't lose u a Test match. We would have been 8 down in those conditions if we were batting and that, almost certainly, would have what MSD thought. It turned out to England's day at the end with the loss of only 2 wickets but there is no reason that India will be unhappy with the situation. The only real concern was Zaheer Khan who went out of the field with what looked like a hamstring injury. It is not a pretty sight to watch your strike bowler pull up on the first day of the first Test match of a series where the No1 slot is at stake. India can still come back into this contest with early wickets tomorrow but their thinking process now will be different with the loss of Zaheer. Thinking positive is what makes a difference in close contests. Tomorrow will show if the No1 Test team has what it takes to fight what seems to be a collective gathering of Murphy's laws.

Day 2 : India are still in WestIndies

Just as in the last time India toured Kevin Pieterson started with a big score. The only difference was that he was in the form of his life them but was batting himself to form today. While KP and England pulped India to desperation, PK swung himself to the Lord's honours board, a proud achievement for someone who is said to be a misfit at Test level. India's bowling effort gave a feeling that they think they are still bowling against the mediocre WestIndies batsmen. England made a bold declaration at the end which will help to make sure that there will be a result in this Test. I can't see India winning this Test from here onwards with 3 days left, but then if winning was the only thing I was worried about, I wouldn't have been watching this game for the last 20 years.

Day 3: if they have KP, we have PK

The story of Rahul Dravid's life. At the end of the day some of my friends r talking about Praveen Kumar's 13 ball 16 as the innings which saved the follow on than the painstakingly compiled technically magnificent 103 from Dravid. England are firmly in driving seat by the end of the day. It would need an extra ordinary batting effort from the Indians to save this match, something which they are familiar with in the last 5 years.

Day 4 and Day 5: Bashed, battered and bruised

Day 4 and 5 of the Test followed the same pattern. Whenever India found either their collective strength or individual brilliance to make a peep hole opening, England, as is their wont, shut the door hard. Again and again. On day 4, Ishant Sharma's inspired spell opened the possibility of an even an Indian win, but Matt Prior and Stuard broad then scored enough runs as if they were playing in their backyard. On the last day, when several partnerships started to offer more resistance, England somehow found the right man for the right occasion to break them. As MSD said at the end of the match, whatever could go wrong, went wrong. India may take solace from the fact that they managed to drag the match to the final session despite the loss of their strike bowler on the first morning but deep inside their mind they know that, had England been more efficient with their catching and some contentious LBW decisions gone their way, the match would have been over by 4th day.