Thursday, March 02, 2006

India vs. England: T1D2

Highlights of Day 2:

  • Sachin Tendulkar - I make this the 279th time he has shied at the stumps, missed by a foot, and then thrown his arms up in the air and sunk to the ground in abject dismay. You would think it's the first time he has failed to run someone out, whereas he's pretty much waiting for the first time has has not failed.
  • Javagal Srinath - his commentary is, sadly, atrocious. However, he has to get some credit for putting up with being called "Jav" and "Javvy" by his fellow clowns in the box.
  • Nasser Hussain - clearly Mr. Popular on the commentary team, he was first taken to task by Athers for his own poor running between the wickets, and then by Srinath for his infamous tactics on England's last tour of India
  • Dean Jones - once again gave us a glimpse of the difference between Indian and Australian cricket. When Monty Panesar made a hash of a sliding stop and conceded a bondary, Deano laid into him, and deservedly so. Srinath was alongside him, and was insistent on applauding the effort and technical correctness thereof. Absolutely ridiculous.
  • Sreesanth - breakdancer he may be, but as a bowler he suddenly appears to have a yard more pace and skill than Irfan Pathan. In fact, looking at Pathan's career stats, the questions start to be asked. 39 wickets in 4 games against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh; and 42 wickets in 17 other matches.
  • Monty Panesar - I tell you what, this lad could turn into a top class left arm spinner! I was pleasantly surprised, and he hit the spot right from the word go - no doubt buoyed by his batting effort earlier in the morning. He was in fact desperately unlucky not to have an lbw go his way early on - had it done so, India would have been in a spot of bother, and he would have been on a real high. On such decisions are careers made and broken - one hopes that England see the talent they have unearthed, and really make every effort to nurture it.
  • Wasim Jaffer - despite Paul Coupar's hopes to the contrary (see the last sentence of his report on CricInfo), he name is not synonymous with Jaffa, and so the orange joke just falls flat. The sentiment Coupar expresses though, is spot on. Jaffer looks as stylish as ever - witness the delectable Azhar-esque square cut he executed when Panesar dropped a fraction short - but his game seems that much sturdier than when he first came into the side. If the Mohali wicket stays true to nature, we may get a better idea of the level his game has reached next week.
Day 3, rain permitting, is going to be critical in what is shaping up to be a classic 5-day Test match, with plenty of ebbing and flowing going on. If India bat through the day, then they will have all but shut England out of the game, but should they fail to top 400, then Andy Flintoff will be quietly confident of getting off to a winning start as skipper. Much will depend on Panesar and Hoggard, who appear to be closest to figuring out how to be effective on this pitch.

Of course, if the pitch crumbles overnight, all bets are off.


Sesh said...

Oh ! I guess u forgot the fact, that Sachin is playing cricket for the past 17 years. U just have to think abt the standards of fielding, then and now & I would say Sachin has improved leaps and bounds. Sachin is always considered a 'Safe' fielder, and I bet he is. No team can have XI great fielders Dude !!! Its just a basic cricketing fact.

Fourth Umpire said...

No doubt Sachin is a safe fielder, and actually a very good catcher - he has even taken some great catches (remember the one-handed one running round the boundary in 1990 in England).

However, it just amuses me that he reacts as if he is stunned that he missed the stumps with a throw, when he rarely ever hits! The look on his face suggests that it is a miracle that he missed, when the opposite is true.

Of course, it's probably a reflection of the high standards that he aspires to with every aspect of his game.