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Friday, January 04, 2008

Indians are back again (Sung as Backstreet's back again)

We had an insight yesterday while comparing notes on the local media's coverage of cricket. They are full of respect for Indian team. They think that if there is any team that can stop the Aussie Juggernaut from rewriting the world record of most consecutive test wins, its India. It seems that we have been too harsh on Indian team. Or may be it is just that the standards are harsher in the family.

One thing is for sure, Australia is rewriting the way test-cricket is being played. Take the first inning, for example. They lost six quick wickets but their scoring rate never dipped below four. It is almost saying that losing wickets is a matter of time, so we might as well make the most of the four or five sessions that we get to bat for. It definitely does push for results and it seems to be working for them. I would not talk about fielding intensity which I have covered before.

So, on day 2, we got up pretty late. As hoped, Aussie innining was bundled but for a massive 463 and we could not even get Symonds out. As predicted, Jaffer lost his wicket early on. Laxman was, however, delightful in the way he batted. As we settled onto our seats, we were welcomed by a vintage Laxman batting. He hit four boundaries of a Mitchell Johnson over, just before drinks. As we filed out for a break, we were all unusually silent. After some time, we figured that we were all silently thinking about and admiring his strokes. The best thing was each one of us picked a different stroke to be the best among the lot. Laxman, of course, went on to hit a century.

Dravid, on the other hand, was a story of pure temperament. He stayed at 18 for over an hour. Towards the end of that hour, there was so much hooting/din for every ball he faced that I cant believe he still didnt flirt with that ball outside off. When he scored his nineteenth run, it was like a thunderclap; he just kept smiling. A commentator said - "They dont call him WALL for nothing. Look out there. There is a wall (The Aussie infield) around him and still nothing is happening."

Its a pity that both of them got out at around the same time. Both of them got a standing ovation and so did the incoming Sachin Tendulkar. You have to give it to the Aussies who love and respect a fighter, be it of any team.

I am hoping for a double from Sachin today. Arent you? I think even some aussies are secretly wishing for that, for the love of the game.

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