Game Day, Final Test, 3rd Day,

Indians versus the Aussies, Mumbai, Nov 3rd 2004.
Sweet Revenge, Redeems the pride.

Remarkable victory! for the Indians

India started to bat and lost 2 quick wickets, 15/2 Sachin and the promoted VVS were cautiously dealing the Aussie pace men. Even though it was early in the innings, I was able to see a Sachin whom I have been missing for some time. I was able to see the peculiar body language and the temperament, his usual idiosyncrasies drove my sleep away,while it served as nightmares to the Aussies.Sachin started to play well, really well. This was a track where batting was kind of totally tough, and at 15/2 the pressure was really enormous.

Offense is best form of Defense, Sachin took the fight in his home ground, on the other end VVS though was shaky at first, soon came into his groove, his natural foot work started to appear, this does not happen so easily for an out of form batsmen.

Gillespie was whacked by Sachin, over yielded 14 runs, 3 comfortable typical scoring shot from Sachin. Seeing Sachin VVS start to chip in scoring strokes, soon the run rate increased drastically in just about 5 overs. Then came the “spinner”, 2nd ball , Sachin hit him 40 rows deep inside the stand over mid on, this was followed by another shot in the same area for a four, Mumbai crowed chanted “Sachin” and were screaming full throat to support their home town boy who was busy whacking the Aussies.

Soon the deficit was repaid, Innings defeat was avoided, Sachin and VVs have saved India but more to be done. Indians for the first time in the match started to count the lead that too with a big smile.

At this point of time, my brain started to think about the Blog, what should I say to those Sachin haters, I came up with this.

Now shut the #@$@# up.I am sponsoring one year free supply.

Sachin reached his 50 in 64 balls, Six mid blowing fours and a massive six. On a pitch which was totally on the bowler’s side, Sachin’s strike rate was simply remarkable. I was able to face read the Aussies, they started to feel really uncomfortable on seeing Sachin’s batting form. So did Sachin haters, yes!, the same ridiculous bunch.

While I thought everything was going well, Sachin took another risk and played a risky sweep shot, paid for it he was out caught, an excellent running catch by Clarke. Entire Mumbai was silenced.

Dravid walked in and VVS took over where Sachin left, VVS made very important runs for India. But the real surprise was Michel Clarke’s left arm spin, he wiped out the Indians quickly. He bowled well and opened the match for the Aussies.

105 odd to win, openers walked in, Zaheer khan broke at once, second ball Langer was out for a well cooked Mumbai Duck, was caught by Dinesh Kartik. Soon spinners started to take wickets at regular intervals, Murali Karthick was outstanding, so was Harbajan. Man of the match Murali Karthik bowled a clear line and adopted the same game plan used by Michel Clarke.

The Aussies one after another were sent to doldrums. They had no clue on spin. The important wicket was Gill Christ, Sachin took a nice catch, and after he took the catch I was surprised to see him so much animated pumping his fist etc.

Another major contributor this victory was Dinesh Karthik, he was brilliant keeping wickets against the spinners, he was 20,000 times better than that of Parthiv Patel.

Dravid’s captaincy was remarkable, good tight field placement and perfect bowling changes, he was very emotional and animated in the interview after the victory, and I felt his emotions were 100% genuine and valid to what they have been through.
Though Aussies won the Border Gavasker trophy, India finished the series on a very good note; they can now carry this memory to the test series against South Africa.
While the Aussies shall remember this bitter loss for days to come, if not we will keep reminding them, People remember Aussies have been bowled out for something less than 100,atleast twice now and both the times it was by the Indians. Wow!

I was totally happy to see Team India beat the Aussies; I have been following this series live missing sleep for so many days now, just an adherent fan of this game and this team. I have been mocked and teased by my friends for wasting money on this game, I think they have missed a great game, I simply did not. I have watched the tied test in Chepauk Chennai, it is still green in my head, [I also have the ticket with me], Like the tied test, the final Mumbai test was also one such game to remember. I think this final test made my cricket craze worth something, I would bore the world talking about this for days to come.

[more Gloating to come...]