" Cricket Etcetera was voted as the Best Cricket Blog by Google during the World Cup 2007 "

Monday, July 23, 2007

Chasing Test Glory

1730 hrs IST, 23rd July 2007
Lunch on Day 5, India vs England 1st Test, Lord's
India need another 173 runs with 5 wickets in hand.

I have completed almost about 2 decades of serious cricket-viewing, still waiting for India to turn one of these 5th day chases of 300+ runs into a successful one. Not many will argue with me if I say that there is nothing more fulfiling for a cricket team or cricket fan than to see his team to forge those all important partnerships on the 5th afternoon to see their team home. Afterall, it is a culmination of the previous 4 days efforts, and that's why ( this quantitative factor more important than any qualitative, i think) it hurts that much more to lose a test, and that's why, winning a test brings that much more joy.
As the players walk back to the pavilion for their final lunch this test, chances are slim of India holding out. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and VVS Laxman have sparked a mini come-back after the early lose of Karthik and Ganguly, but Dhoni hasn't really inspired much confidence during the course of his innings. The wicket-keeper has survived dangerously, with too many close shaves for a sub-fifty innings on a relatively placid 5th day wicket. More than anyone else he must also be thanking umpire Simon Tauffel for still being around - a less competent umpire would have definitely raised his finger for an ultra-close miss just before play closed for lunch.
My major grouse is not, and shouldn't be against Mr. Dhoni. It's more correctly against the trio of Dravid, Tendulkar and Ganguly. One or maybe two of them should have put in a more worthwhile effort - an additional 60 or 70 by one of them, you will most likely find at the end, may have made the all important difference.
The three, alongwith Laxman are now in the twilight of their careers. With plenty of cricket coming up in the next year and half, they will have more chances to realise my big cricket dream ( chances are it's their too, besides a World Cup win i guess) . If they can do it even once, it will be a day to savour. They only need to look up some of the score - cards of Ajit Wadekar's India Team for some motivation. That, a bit of luck and lots of application are all that are needed. Not too much to ask for, once in two decades. What say?
*Fact: It's been 75 years since India played their first test in England.
Total no. of test wins in these 75 years: 4
Played: 45, Won: 4, Lost: 23, Drawn: 26
A small bit of statistics might be the most important one - Indian batters avg. against England, when playing at home is 33.50. This drops to 27.4 in England. In a test match, that translates into 120 runs.

No comments: