Thursday, July 21, 2011

First Day at Lords

An important day in Test cricket was mostly ruled by Rain God. However the 50 odd overs played during the day provided enough content to make an article.

India fielded the expected side and hardly to anyone’s surprise sent the opposition in. Well, I’m not blaming Dhoni for the decision as the overcast condition would have tempted any captain the same, especially when blessed with two genuine swing bowlers in the armory.

Was the decision justified?
Definitely Yes!!! (The least in my opinion). India got out Cook cheaply and picked the wicket of Strauss earlier than expected. Wonder what must be running on Strauss mind when he could have easily cut the ball chose to pull it from way outside the off stump only to find Ishant at fine leg. India almost got the wicket of Trott twice. After all this, what else you expect from India on better batting conditions?

I’ve been reading this game as a draw and so I’m not cribbing on Dhoni & Co for a dry day. However, Ishant bowling too many short balls way outside the off stump and the super slow bowling of Praveen Kumar without much swing in the second spell did create moments of irritation. If Praveen is going to have an ordinary Test match from here, no doubt Sreesanth will replace him without a noise.

The final blow of the day came when Zaheer pulled his hamstring and left the field in middle of the over. A sense of Dejavu prevailed in me. That last time I saw this happening 8 years ago, turned good for India. Irfan Pathan replaced Zaheer only to become a sensation. Is this injury serious enough to provide an Irfan Pathan comeback? Only time will tell.

The little discussion with ICC Chief Haroon Lorgat during the rain interval spiced up for the lack of action. ICC is planning a World Test Championship in 2013. The Top 4 qualify for the event. As per the current ratings India, England, South Africa and Australia are the likely contenders.  Look like the event is to be hosted at England. I only wish the weather gods permit results to find out the Champion.

All in all England look to score anywhere above 400 runs and India is likely to finish 100 runs less. England should then come back to set up a target of 350 runs and India could find time only to manage a draw. That would be my readings for the day. I could change all of it tomorrow, depending on what happens next.

Cricket Lover

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