Monday, March 18, 2013

14th to 18th Mar, 2013 - 3rd Test Ind vs Aus

Ah! Cricket - the game of glorious uncertainties! Another test match between these two countries that defies cricket and cricketing logic if there is supposed to be something like that. And if there is not supposed to be anything called cricketing logic, what for, round the clock, round the globe, round the media channels, analysis by experts and non-experts of various origins? 

I skip over the camouflage created before start of the game through suspension of four Australian players. 

First day washed out through rain. The loss of time made up partly through half an hour early start in remaining 4 days. Australia wins the toss and bats first. They score a very good 408 in 142 overs at rate of less than 3 runs an over, on a pitch not considered easy. A high score and a good time consumed. Virender Sehwag (a known potential to turn a test match by scoring fast) is not in the Indian team. Who could think of an Indian win being possible? Enter the script-writers for the match and Australia had virtually lost the match well before lunch on the final day (odds in f/o India coming down to as low as 1.05). 

Script of the match could have shamed the best fantasy-writers. Not that there have not been such fantastic scripts in the past in international cricket. Remember England-Ireland match in the last World Cup? Coming back to this match. In their first innings, India scored 283/0 in 58 overs by the end of 3rd day's play. Australians had forgotten how to bowl, same way or not same way as they forgot while bowling to SA defending a score of 400 plus in an ODI and losing it a few years ago. It was laughable when same bowling attack was being praised by the commentators (stalwarts among them) when to create unnecessary drama (and increased heart-beats among the punters leading them to make mistakes ) the Indians chose to play some dot balls when match was all over bar the shouting. 

Anyway, at day's end the Australian bowlers must have been given some pills by the team physicians such that their memory came back overnight and they bowled India out for 499 the next day before Aus themselves ending the day at a precarious 75/3. Not so precarious, as with lead almost wiped out and 7 wickets still in hand, with only one day remaining, the match could well be drawn. But now it was turn of Australian batsmen to forget batting at crucial stages. And with 143/8  well before lunch, the writing was on the wall. Still with all the strings in fixers' hands, a lot of drama was created before India finally won in the dying moments of the match. The punters were kept guessing and made losing through wild swings in the odds a number of times during the day. 

A match where one can see and sense a joke being made of cricket simply by watching the match, without having to go into details of betting odds. Some Australian media had reported loss of 2nd Test by Australia as death of  Australian cricket. Though this loss might have further confirmed that to the Australians, but cricket itself has already died long ago.

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