Monday, July 25, 2011

2000th Test: Lords - Day 4 Thoughts

End of Day 4 in the 2000th Test at Lords. 98 overs of play left. India need 378 runs. England 9 wickets. 1st result highly unlikely, 2nd one quite so.
  • India left fighting for survival in the first test. Pretty much following the script of our overseas tours. Batting gets derailed, then bowlers unable to close out things or totally ineffective. But this is a 4 test series so we should be able to come back (if needed, that is).
  • Clutching at Straws fact - On the last tour in 2007, India survived in Lords with rain washing out the final session and the last wicket pair of Dhoni & Sreesanth at the crease.
  • Day 4 of the Lords Test showed why Test Match cricket is so intriguing. England are were they would have wanted to be at the start of the day, eyeing a lead of around 450 and declaring at tea or in the final session. However what they wouldn't have anticipated was collapsing to 62 for 5 and then a 150 + partnership between Prior and Broad bailing them out.
  • Matt Prior for the second time in the match pulled England out of a spot of bother, scoring fast without taking too many risks.
  • Stuart Broad arrived in the Test with a big question mark on his place. He removed it with both ball and bat.
  • Rahul Dravid's celebrations on day 3 after reaching his 100 showed just what these runs meant to him. Also he opened the batting the second time around when he has clearly shown a disdain for it in the past (although why it is so is a mystery as quite often he has been batting in the first over itself) Still anyone out there wanting him to retire?
  • Ishant Sharma destroyed the English top order. But then went missing after lunch almost literally. Have to say this, love the sight of an Indian bowler bouncing out the opposition top batsman (Pietersen in this case).
  • In an attempt to cut down the scoring rate, Dhoni spread the field but the rate improved. Aren't attacking fields better at saving runs also. Just wondering.
  • I like the way Strauss allows his batsmen to reach personal milestones. Bell against Sri Lanka, KP in the first innings, Prior in the 2nd.
  • Random Observation - Suresh Raina seems to be always there when a players' celebration is going on. Batsman at other end, as a runner for the batsman, near the bowler or the catching fielder, Raina is always in the frame.
  • Now for Day 5 - Can India save the match? Yes we can. Will we save the match. I certainly hope so. Don't want to jinx any of the batsmen so no predictions on the likely centurions.

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