Tuesday, March 21, 2006

India vs England: T3D4

Highlights from Day Four

  • Nasser Hussain - in a great throwback to his tour of India as captain, Nasser Hussain interviewed Paul Collingwood at the start of the day's play and quite shockingly, asked him "Are England looking to win this game?" Times have changed Nasser - fear of defeat does not consume Andrew Flintoff.
  • Sachin Tendulkar - hurrah! He hit the stumps! Unfortunately, there was really nothing happening at the time, and both batsmen were well in their ground when it happened. I suppose you have to start somewhere though. I did notice, as I had on Day One, that after releasing the ball, he visibly winced and gingerly massaged his right shoulder. No surprises then when it was announced this morning that he was out of the one day series, and likely the West Indies tour to follow. For once in my life, I can say I know exactly how the great cricketer feels - I'm carrying a very similar injury right now!
  • Indian Bowling - the fact that the day opened with Munaf and Sreesanth speaks volumes for the miserable time that Irfan Pathan is going through at the moment. The Indian bowling today was discplined and honest, which it hasn't always been in this series. No co-incidence then that England struggled for runs. The poor fielding continued though - missed catches in the bat-pad areas, and yet another clumsy missed stumping from Dhoni. Kumble and Harbhajan each took a great caught and bowled chance, but one fears it was far too little, and far too late.

This has been a superb Test match for the first 4 days, and with any luck, day 5 will be an absolute corker. Kudos to the curator for an outstanding strip. All four results are not just possible, but plausible, although the Indian victory is probably about as likely as a tie. If England can get 2 or 3 wickets in the morning session, then it's game over, but if India hold on, they will start to believe that they can maintain their grasp on the series trophy. They don't deserve it though - in my book, Andrew Flintoff is well worth a share of the spoils.

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