A familiar pattern has played itself out over the last four days.
- Dropping Ravi Ashwin against our express advice
- Dropping catches and spending two days in the field chasing leather (I can’t remember the last time we actually bowled a team out in an overseas test match. May have been the Lords test this summer – can’t help but think that was a total fluke.)
- The top order flattering to deceive yet again, getting starts but not scoring big runs (save for Virat, who should really be kicking himself for handing the momentum back to Australia at the end of Day 3. He should be getting hundreds, big hundreds, double hundreds).
- Rohit Sharma getting out to a soft shot (surprise surprise!) and all thoughts of a lead quickly evaporating.
- A spinner taking a five-for against some of the best players of spin (incidentally, he couldn’t buy a wicket in the last series against Pakistan).
- The opposition batsman piling on the runs quickly, helped by wickets off no-balls.
- Back to square one, waiting for a declaration.
Something tells me Clarke is going to declare overnight and set India 364 to win.
An overnight declaration tells India that the Aussies are confident of bowling us out – that although there’s enough time left in the game, they back their bowlers to rip through the Indian line-up.
It’s the Aussie way. Attacking the mind even before a ball is bowled.
In theory, we have the batting line-up to last 98 overs. Hell, our batting line-up should chase the runs down quite easily. It’s only 3.7 runs an over. After all, we have a man who’s scored 264 in a one-day game. In reality, I suspect we’ll shut up shop pretty soon and just try and survive.
If India lose the first test, recent history suggests another 4-0 blanking is on the cards. I’d go as far as saying that losing today will affect our chances at the World Cup. Once India lost momentum on a long tour like this, things go downhill…and quickly.
One friend can’t help but think that we had VVS batting at #6 instead of Rohit, we’d have the lead and the story of the game (and the tour) would be different.
Another friend has suggested that we stay up and watch the game all night (play starts at 11:30 pm here in London so I usually knock off at the lunch break). Tonight, I’ll be up watching but will Virat’s men turn up?