Saturday, 21 July 2007

Game evenly poised at the end of Day 2 of Lords Test England v/s India

Intriguing Test Match so far. After the butterflies were all laid to rest, after the storm passed over, after the ground was dried, the bowlers came with purpose and discipline. Once the new ball was taken, (one go0d decision by Rahul Dravid), R P Singh got the night watchman. Immediately, R P Singh was taken out of the attack (another good decision) and what fun Zaheer and Sreesanth had. Zaheer bowled the right line, while Sreesanth got the length & line right. The results were there for all to see. The difference between the lines & the lengths bowled on the 1st and 2nd days was so evident. Who is responsible for this? Did Rahul have a tough talk with all the bowlers? Or, was it Venkatesh Prasad (the bowling coach) who impressed upon the young bowlers the need to maintain a specific line and length in these conditions.

When the Indians came to bat, the English bowlers took a leaf from the Indian bowlers. They, being familiar with the home conditions, hit the right lengths straight away. Except for Tremlett, who was playing his 1st Test. Tremlett bowled well, and if he gets his length right, he will start asking a lot of questions. There is still a lot of bowling to do in this Test.

It looks like the teams are evenly balanced. Let's see who blinks first. Hopefully, Ganguly's injury yesterday is only minor and would not effect his batting.

India will bat last and the English have a bowler by the name of Monty Panesar. On a last day pitch, Monty will get turn off the bowler's foot marks. And except for Ganguly, none of the Indian batsmen, especially Tendulkar, have faced Left arm slow bowlers with any conviction. Remember Ashley Giles, Nicky Boje and many others.

3 more days to go, and we have a cracking test on our hands. Ganguly, Laxman and Dhoni can take the match away from the English; while Anderson, Sidebottom, Tremlett and Monty can do it for the British. The key for Indians will be to manage a lead of at least 50 runs and then bowl out the English for 250 or less. England on the other hand will look at getting the rest of the Indians cheap, maybe within 300, and then bat out the rest of today and a major portion of tomorrow and set India a target of 350 in 4 sessions.

Either way, its going to be fun. We may have a great finish on our hands.