Deja vu


Offering a chance for redemption as it does,RobSteen has envisaged Test cricket as holding a mirror to life itself. Indeed, try imaginingHeadingley 1981 orEdenGardens 2001 without the 2nd innings, and it’s not hard to see his point. While such instances of Saturnalia are memorable in their rarity, every once in a while another breed of Test matches sends along a representative. These creatures witness pulsating tugs-of-war, some ebb, some flow, a myriad small battles and yet at the end of the first half, both teams find themselves exactly where they started off. The 2nd innings now assumes an invitation to seize the day, escape the equilibrium, and disrupt status quo. A bold statement, an audacious sleight of hand, or even a reckless gamble can leave the opposition broken in the wake. Tendulkar inChennai 1998, Warne inAdelaide 2006.

Let me turn to two precedents to make my point. A dozen years ago, the same teams battled for a dead rubber atBangalore. Of a more recent vintage, but the same species, is the CapeTown test on India’s tour of 2006-07. Strong Indian batting performances lit up the opening day on either occasion. While both games were India’s to boss, the opposition never let them shake off the tail. Secure in the knowledge that the burden of initiative was on India, they laid the mines, and hid in the trenches. The pressure of forcing the hand proved too much to handle. We slipped. When the balance is so fine, and lasts for so long, even one session of supremacy turns the game on its head.

We do not know yet, if the current Mohali test will fall under this category. It certainly threatens to do so. The team batting first was ahead by 24 runs at Bangalore, and by 41 at Cape Town. The numbers are similar. But in this case, India is not the prime mover. For an underdog Australian team, the position of playmaker could be unfamiliar territory. India have the relative luxury of being the holding midfielder. The 4th day’s play should go a long way in unravelling the mystery. Perhaps this time tomorrow, we will have a picture that is less foggy.

-i3j3Guest (TS Kartik)

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10 responses to “Deja vu

  1. Perhaps this time tomorrow, the picture will be foggier than we can imagine! That is Test cricket!

  2. Shit, if Aus won, it will be Ponting’s first win as captain on Indian soil. What’s worse? Losing the last 5 wickets for 50 runs or the first 5? Tomorrow will tell.

  3. Billy Bowden’s blunders!
    There were quite a few of them during the four days play. The worst was his referral to the third umpire for checking the legality of a Ishan delivery (I thought the very first duty of a good umpire was to look at the bowlers foot step while releasing he ball) and then of course his part in Gambir’s dismissal. True to his style he may record his apologies!
    Having said this I should admit that both the umpires made some splendid decisions during the course of the play so far.

  4. tendulkar just out in second innings
    can you here me cheering

  5. @john – the cheering was a bit premature, don’t you think? :P….It was a great test match, though…

  6. indeed it was blogesh …. thought we had you …. agree, it was a great match …. lookin forward to the next one

  7. @palambrugge – The decisions didn’t all go against India, though. Did you see Hussey’s LBW decision? that was a shocker too – the ball clearly pitched outside the leg stump (although it wasn’t Billy Bowden that time around). Seriously makes you wonder why India is so hesitant to use UDRS.

  8. I am certainly not convinced that UDRS works. Umpire’s judgement is worth risking over the reliablity of this technology ( I read somewhere about 95% accuracy), atleast at this point. I think this is a case of commercial interests bulldozing an ill-verified technology into the game. I am glad India is standing ground. If Sachin Tendulkar is not convinced about the technology, then there is something to be said about its reliability.

  9. Pingback: WHADDAPLAYA | i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  10. Your theory seems to be working for the current IND/NZ test too.
    Deja vu?? 🙂

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