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Friday, October 17, 2008 

Tour Diary #2

$@@&# fati to Australia bola… “Old school, old school”

I am slightly disappointed that I could not get this post in time before the start of the second test. But my opinion would not have been much different either side of today. We may not have Australia on the mat yet, but boy are they ruffled. “He has done well in the last test match, and this is unusual for him. He should concentrate on his own game”. I think that was my favourite part of the entire first test façade. (For those who didn’t remember, this is what Ponting said about Zaheer, when the latter commented on Australia’s defensive approach). And shortly after that the descendent of Raja Harishchandra aka Punter, went ahead and said “Kumble’s poor form is a worry for India”. I was a little sad that Kumble could not play, because he is at his best when he is poked at.

There is huge controversy surrounding Kumble’s fitness and form. I am not a worshipper of Tendulkar, but still I think such things time and again prop up the issue of how batsmen centric this game is. Margin for error for bowlers is very tiny. All said and done, if I see Anil Kumble on the field I am assured that there is aggression in our bowling and something can happen. Yes he is out of form and in the twilight of his career but he is still a force. I hope Amit Mishra does justice to his selection and bowls well. I have always had a thing for leg spinners, because I think this is the most artistic practice in the game of cricket. As far as Kumble’s captaincy is concerned, I believe he is fulfilling a particular job and that is of buying time for Dhoni. Its not that Dhoni may not be ready yet, but you want to have the captain experienced enough so that these Ian Chappels do not get another opportunity of mud slinging at the opposition captain. I really hope that whenever, the selectors think Dhoni is ready, they should ask Kumble to discontinue his services. I think captaincy is the highest honour that a player can get, and one should really be a captain when he has effectively learnt everything he could and can continuously give it back to the team. And therefore, your resignation from captaincy should be your retirement call as well. Although it was a different scenario for Dravid, but that’s in the past.

Of course Sachin finally reached the landmark of maximum runs. But I don’t want to make much out of it. It is a great feat, but it is a feat which should really be celebrated at the end of a career. Anyways, as an Indian it feels proud that we got that record back. We put up a good show through the day. Although we should have got much more for fewer wickets. But that’s ok. With no Stuart Clark in the side, Australia will be feeling very good about restricting India to 311 for 5. India should look to cross 400.

The Mohali pitch has always been a good cricket pitch, i.e batting pitch. (Sadly these terms are synonymous). Getting Australia out twice will be slightly difficult, especially without Kumble. Moreover, Australia has two local boys in their team and India has none. But once we have the runs on the board, it will be easier to apply pressure on Australia. Obviously they will play their “aggressive” brand of cricket. And I am sure that this is what is going to bring about their downfall. Something tells me intuitively that Ponting is going to make that one bold decision and its going to go against him in this series. He almost did that at Bengaluru, if only Sehwag would have batted for an hour or so. I think the Australian bubble of aggression, if you will, is going to explode in this series. Sunil Gavaskar made a good comment on air about the Australian aggressive strategy. Ponting dropped the third man and deep point on the boundary and had only one slip. SG’s co-commentator was about to say that it’s a strategy employed to block the flow of runs and create pressure and how Ponting has made specific plans for specific batsmen. SG said if India would have done it, it would have been defensive, but if Ponting does it, its strategy. The Australian team is full of this bull shit and this October we are going to help them get relieved of some of it.

Waiting for tomorrow as it will be a crucial day in this test match, how many India get in the first innings is going to decide the fate of this match. I am loving Dada for every run he scores in this series. And he is not letting down. Even Sachin scored a 50, you know he is big match player and only plays in the big matches. I am glad he thought of this match as big too. Gambhir is a rockstar; he is like the left handed version of Sehwag. Only more technically correct.

This is cooking up to something historic. Keep going boys, one more here!


I'm simply loving this test match. and it's not just because of Dada :P
keep posting the tour diaries :)

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