Saturday, 11 August 2007

Eng India Test 3 Oval 2007 Day 3 Preview

2 days of near perfect batting from India capped by an incredulous, scarcely believable maiden ton from Indian cricket's greatest matchwinner - Anil Kumble. This has merited a separate post by itself and hence I will restrict this to only the Test.

All the batsmen played for a greater team cause, and this was encouraging to see. Dhoni's pyrotechnics, Sachin deciding to wake out of his slumber in the quest for quick runs, Laxman dealing exclusively in boundaries at the start of the day, and of course capped by Anil Kumble's magnificient ton which was the icing on the cake.

India won a good toss and all the batsmen expressed their gratitude. Its difficult to gripe when the team is in such a good position, but I just couldn't understand Rahul Dravid's and Kumble's game plan. When Dhoni got out with the team score at 508, I thought Dravid will declare after 3-4 overs of throwing the bat around. But even after Kumble got his maiden ton, there was no declaration in sight. In fact, the sight of Sreesanth and Kumble blocking was baffling. Was Dravid looking to play till tomorrow morning, if possible?

Did the adverse media reaction when Dravid declared with Sachin at 194 playing on his mind? Or did he just go to sleep or was so jubilant after Kumble's ton that he forgot he had a decision to take regarding the declaration?

In the end, India got 8 overs to bowl at England. I would have liked at least another 7-8 more. For Dravid's sake and Kumble's sake and India's sake, I hope the Test doesn't end in a draw with the last English pair on the ground.