Monday, March 30, 2009

The best indian DRAWing

Ever saw an art movie with the subtlety of every move, every single dialog, the colours and the delicate sounds. You must have, but ever saw it live, being played in front of a kiwi audience.

'How can someone be so irresponsible, how can someone disrespect the bowlers like that?', these were the words of those commentators who were awed by Sehwag's reaction to Jeetan Patel on the third day of the second test of India-New Zealand test series being played at Napier. Indians (referred as we in this passage, in spite of this being an anonymous blog the nationality is inevitably inseparable from cricket) were left to chase a mountain on the fourth morning of this boomerang attack by the kiwis. Some 269 runs behind, we had to survive six cruel sessions of gameplay. And the rest is history! I had a hunch that Gambhir had waited too long on this tour, and the time had come. One of the most prolific T20 batsman of our times, played an innings that will be remembered perhaps as the most gritty overseas knock by an Indian. Rahul Dravid reminded of the great rivalry days during the South African tour in late 90s. And they held the fort.

And then dravid succumbed to appealing. A bad decision indeed, and my disbelief in the referral system disappeared. He certainly deserved better than that after all that hard work. Life is not fair, but as far as possible, let technology help bring fairness to whatever aspects of life it can.

Sachin came, and the new ball was taken. Here is the snapshop of next few overs:

82.1 Martin to Tendulkar, FOUR, full but drifting down leg and Tendulkar tickles it to the fine-leg boundary

82.3 Martin to Tendulkar, FOUR, lovely whippy flick. It was the inswinger but full and on the middle and leg, Tendulkar waited for the swing to play out, allowed the ball to come into his zone before wristing it away

82.5 Martin to Tendulkar,
FOUR, And now he pings the off-side boundary. He went down on a bent back knee to cream a full delivery through covers. He held the pose as he watched the ball race away to the boundary

83.2 O'Brien to Tendulkar,
FOUR, Very classy on-the-up back-foot punch. He moved back, stood on his toes and played a delicious punchy drive through covers. It appears even the bowler appreciated that shot.

87.2 O'Brien to Tendulkar,
FOUR, his first bad delivery after few good ones and Tendulkar puts it away immediately. Full and on the legs, flicked to the boundary. He is very positive today, looking for run-scoring opportunities.

87.6 O'Brien to Tendulkar,
SIX, It's a bouncer and the red ball flies over long leg. Tendulkar swiveled to unfurl the pull and it flew over the ropes

I will need to stop here, the list is getting too long, and remind you its the same slow test match we were talking about. Day ended, kiwis tired of two days hard work on field but still in lead and with a very good chance of leveling the series. Sunset.

Fifth day, Sachin starts with a boundary but perishes to Martin playing an uncertain uppish drive. In comes the man who scripted India's great follow-on victory against Australia at the Eden Gardens, VVS Laxman. The guy who loves the southern hemisphere a hint more than the northern, and then there were stats. India survived what would be remembered as one of the finest performance by Indian batsmen overseas. Cricinfo has provided some stats relating this match, and its imperative that we see atleast a few of them here:

  • India batted 180 overs in their second innings, which is the eighth-highest number of deliveries they've batted in the second try. The first six of those instances had all been before 1980
  • It's also the second-highest number of overs they've played when following on
  • For New Zealand, it was the first instance of not winning a Test after enforcing the follow-on at home.
  • Gautam Gambhir's 436-ball 137 was easily the slowest of his 15 fifty-plus scores in Tests. His innings spanned 643 minutes, which is the seventh-longest by an Indian.
  • Gambhir's knock is the slowest by an Indian, in terms of balls faced, for an innings of less than 150. His strike rate of 31.42 is still better than Sanjay Manjrekar's strike rate of 24.64, when he scored 104 off 422 balls against Zimbabwe in Harare in 1992.
  • VVS Laxman's unbeaten 124 contained 25 fours, which is the highest by any batsman in an innings of 125 or less.
This is certainly the best Indian drawing that I have seen.


giri said...

nice post......ya surely a brilliant performance by india.....i rate this higher than any of India's T20 and ODI achievements.....TEST cricket is the ULTIMATE test of any cricketer and any cricketing nation......
this feels really satisfying.....OK.....agreed that the pitch was placid and the opposition bowling attack a bit naive......but to play out 180 overs....its just never happened before in Indian cricket......thats why it feels so good.....We have witnessed some last ball thrillers in ODIs, test match turnarround victories at Home (e.g: vs Aus 2001)....but we have rarely/probably never done something like this

To my memory, I can think of one similar instance......Ind Vs SA 2001.....when Dravid and Deep Dasgupta saved us a test in SA.....but I am sure it was nowhere near 180 overs.....

ab ye IPL ka nanga naach jaldi khatam ho aur KASAUTI fir chalu ho.....kuch zyada hi bol gaya kya......khair.......bhavnao ko samjho!!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree!
Indian display of grit and determination...
Way to go boys!!

abhi said...

nice read...and thought provoking stats. cheers!!!

nitesh said...

nice one
giri hater of IPL but i feel you are wrong its because of last year IPL exploits we are seeing new types of shots slow bowling and other improvisations , those who will miss the IPL bus will surely lag behind in ODI's
and tests also if IPL teaches us to be fast scorer what's wrong in that see how most of the test matches are producing results due to 20-20 affect

sorry i am fan of twenty-20

nice stats dk
keep writing

if you guys remember the way me and alok batted for 20 something overs to save the only test match we played in daiict
Grit and determination was same as we showed to tackle the bowling :)

got nostalgic thoda

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