Game Day
[India vs England - 1st Test -3rd day]

All Right! As feared or predicted or guessed or ------------ by me yesterday, Indian batting collapsed. By all fairness, Dravid got a poor decision, similar to what Flintoff got in the first innings. Dravid and Jaffer departed leaving behind huge debts for Sachin, VVS and rest of the Blue pack to negotiate. In form Jaffer survived a close LBW call and soon was caught at the slips he quickly followed Dravid to the hut.

VVS walked in and walked out, out first ball, seemed bat/pad to me. Kaif joined the party. Sachin was playing a patient knock , once again L.Siva was giving advices and told "one more opportunity for Sachin to prove his class"; What the heck, even Ian Bothom seemed offended and defended Sachin.

Soon Sachin also perished to the new spinner Paneser, a “foxy” one from him to trap the little master – LBW, a good decision by the umpire. Paneser’s first scalp in Test cricket – Sachin Tendulkar; he has a worth while story to say to his grand sons/daughters in later part of his life. This spinner has a natural arc and reminds Bishen Singh Bedi.

Dravid, Jaffer, VVS , Sachin gone in quick succession, Damage was done; Indians were already in the back seat, thanks to slowest Ravistrified batting approach by Dravid. Now Team Indian went into the trunk. Sitting in the trunk Dhoni played a careless one day shot [- Bad side one day games] and gave his wicket. Agreed, offense is best form of defense; however before going free he must settle down and read the line etc. This is what Test cricket all about. Pathan did not do well, just walked back as he came in.

Now, it was left to Kaif, a layoff round in the corner he had no other choice other than to get some runs. He played a patient knock, definitely a good and a very import innings in such conditions, but I still feel his batting technique seemed rickety. Kumble inning was more powerful and authentic and comical than Kaif, in fact Kumble square drives were simply top class. Both rescued India, just before the close both gave up.Kaif deserved to get a century, however with Kumble gone and unpredictable Harbajan at the other end, better get the 100th run quickly, he tried to push his score but lost his off stump to a beauty from Paneser.

Finally, I feel we are missing a left hander, Yuvraj; I think the next choice should have been Raina or yes! Gangully he is better player of spin and a tough customer. Things could be different,. Having said this, Dravid and the Coach should be thanking Kaif and Kumble tonight; Kaif not only saved his ass, he saved theirs too. Indians 75 runs behind, we need to restrict the English some where around 150. Kumble, Harbajan, Sreesanth and Irfan should bowl real tight line, so that India’s target in the fourth innings is less than 300 runs. Anything more will change the equation = "save the game" instead. Dravid’s Captaincy is once again out for an Acid test. But frankly, Dravid is quick learner, I am seeing an Indian victory by the Tea time on the last day. Yes! I am kind of sure!

Have a great weekend!