Already smelling victory ~ Cricket Blog - THE COMMENTARY BOX



Sunday, July 29, 2007

Already smelling victory

What a day of cricket for India! Frankly, as an Indian supporter I very rarely get to see the team play two consecutive days of near perfect test cricket and every time that happens, it is a reason to celebrate.

When the second day started with England at 169/7 after a rain-shortened first day's play, I had numerous memories of occasions when India have allowed themselves to be frustrated by the opposition's tail, playing in my mind. Thankfully, none of that happened as Kumble and Khan made quick work of Tremlett, Panesar and Anderson. And exactly as the doctor ordered, India had England bundled out for less than 200 runs.

Now, this is when I realized what a pessimist recent Indian batting performances have made me into. Soon as Kaarthick and Jaffer came in to bat, I started thinking on the lines of 'what if the batting collapses?', 'what if the batsmen, yet again, succumb to their reputation of being good only on paper?'. Fortunately, though, my fears were misplaced. After a long long time a solid and comforting opening partnership of 147 runs was effected by Kaarthick and Jaffer. Sure, they were lucky at times. They played and missed and survived some pretty 'dead-duck' lbw decisions. But they got those vital 147 runs, the foundation on which the whole batting line-up can now build upon. Infact they better build upon the rock-solid foundation.

India will go into into the 3rd day at 254/3 with old friends Ganguly and Tendulkar taking guard at the crease. With Laxman and Dhoni still to come and lots of time still left in the match, to expect a lead of atleast 250 runs is, I think, reasonable(provided Ryan Sidebottom continues his poor run with the ball!) . Yes, I can smell victory here.

After all, a lead of 250 runs playing on a Trent Bridge pitch is about as good a formula for victory as you can get. And yes, Kaarthick and Jaffer seem to have made an optimist out of me.

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