West Indies 304 & 21/2 (14.0 ov)
No, the match isn't taking place overseas, the tragedy is unfolding in India. Of course the Indians can still win the match, but they'll have to pull the socks up high here.
Upon expressing my surprise on Twitter I got the following reply from Homertweets (hope Shrikant doesn't mind me quoting him here):
'@WesPFCNFS wake up and smell the coffee sunshine.. Its IPL or bust!'
To be frank, even if all signs seem to confirm this assumption, I still refuse to believe it. Giving up on the highest form of the game contradicts anything I've ever learnt about India so far. Indian fans are obsessed with rankings, they always want their team to be the first, the best, the most, the highest. Still fresh in my memory are the jealous Indian moans during the last football world cup, from which India were shut out due to the lack of a proper football team; the ecstasy after winning the cricket world cup at home this year; and the satisfied tummy pats all around when India had climbed to the top of the Test ranking, particularly compared to England, who almost made an embarrassed impression after taking possession of the five day throne.
Therefore, I'm stubbornly ruling it out that the Indian cricket fans are willing to let India's reputation in the highest form of cricket go down the drains for the sake of a domestic T20 tournament. At the end of the day, Sachin is still God, The Dhoni is not to be doubted, Rahul Dravid still has a frenetic following, and in the bowling department some delicate, pink, albeit bearded, little flowers are shyly blossoming.
Also, Indians -except those to who it doesn't apply of course ;) - are classical in-rubbers, i.e. each and every success will be smeared on the opponent's bread with great determination, each defeat is played down with the most adventurous excuses and you needn't waste time disagreeing here because I know what I'm talking about! This is why India is the most popular and most important opposition a cricket team can have. The fire and the steam that comes with every match against the Indians turns the clashes into the most entertaining and exciting battles on a cricket field. I have written about the necessity of a strong Indian Test team already and can only repeat myself here.
|A friend of all things Russian, Pragyan proudly presents his newest |
'@HomerTweets @wespfcnfs - except we keep finding good test bowlers. :('
I bet Sehwagology is sharing my dream of locking up Praveen Kumar and Pragyan Ojha in a room for a couple of years in the hope that many arduous, consistent and workhorse-like little Test bowlers will emerge from this.
I find it a tad weird but also exciting that it's India's bowling that keeps the Test flame burning. The passing on of the sceptre from the batsmen to the bowlers, especially the ones I had selected for worship a fair while ago already, makes the team a lot more amiable to me. There is of course still a huge gap to fill in the fiery, searing, cattywampus fast bowlers department, but pace alone seems not be indispensable as long as India can open the bowling with Pragyan Ojha...
...OMG OMG finally we have reached the paragraph in which I can bubble with joy about the selection of my favourite non-Australian spinner besides Ollie Rayner. I had predicted that he would save Test cricket and there's no doubt that he must have read this post and thought by himself HELL YES I'M GONNA DO THAT.
He took seven out of the twelve Windies wickets that have fallen so far, it should have been eight even, and will hopefully keep steamrolling on tomorrow. It is a shame that the selectors have only picked him in a Test they perhaps did not deem that tricky, but who cares, Ojha is the man. Please allow me to rub my belly in satisfaction, and to happily nibble on a chocolate-filled cookie.
So for the love of Test cricket, let's hope India can steer the boat into safe waters.
PS You can always join me on Twitter or Facebook for a little banter.
PPS Apologies if you find that this post is all over the place :P