Chennai: December 15 2008 – A day to remember in Test Cricket

16 Dec

What a test match it was! I have not seen such a run chase in test matches in my whole life, that too in a Day 5 sub-continental pitch that’s damaged and causing uneven bounce. Yes, we are talking about the first test match between England and India in Chennai

As I mentioned in a previous post, Dhoni and his team at the moment looks unstoppable! Mainly due to the amount of positive energy that the captain himself brings in. And this is a super test combination despite Rahul Dravid’s failure at No.3.

Steps to a historic win!

  • Day 1: KP wins the toss and decides to bat on what looked like a super batting wicket. England puts a hundred run opening partnership in a display of controlled and patient batting. Eventually Strauss hits a century and England close day 1 at a reasonable 229/5
  • Day 2: Mat Prior takes England to 300+ and in reply the Indian top order collapses (37/3) with the debutant spinner Swann striking twice. England does exremely well to restrict India to 155/6
  • Day 3: Another day that belonged to England again! They get India all out for 241 taking a 75 runs lead. England puts another strong display in the second innings by finishing 172/3. Strauss again was the man!
  • Day 4: England progresses till lunch but collapses from 257/4 to 311/9 in a display of extremely defencive batting. KP declares with 29 overs remaining for the day and England failing to cross the psychological score of 400. India needs 387 to win with a day and 29 overs remaining! Indian openers walk in, as cool as ice! And it was calm before the storm. Even before KP realized whatever happened, India close their day 4 at 131/1 from just 29 overs! India’s fortunes changes for good! Sehwag scores 83 from just 68 balls!
  • Day 5: With just 256 runs required from 90 overs and a whole day, Sachin Tendulkar plays an innings of his life and takes India to the shore, very well helped by Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh! Nobody has ever seen Tendulkar playing such a patient and beautifully crafted innnigs in his whole career
  • India wins a historic test match with a sub-continent record run chase and fourth best run chase in the history of test cricket!

It’s unfortunate that despite back to back centuries from Andrew Strauss England ended up loosing. But nobody could have stopped a determined Sehwag who changed the course of the game in a matter of an hour and a half during the fag end of Day 4.

The BCCI Annual Contracts are out!

The BCCI’s annual contracts were announced at the right time soon after the famous test win and fittingly enough Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag etc got promoted to the next respective grades. People like Sreesanth who had attitude problems on top of injury and underperformers such as Wasim Jaffer and Robin Uthappa have been downgraded. By dropping Ramesh Pawar, Akash Chopra and Ajit Agarkar the BCCI has sent out a strong message that they are looking forward to the future. At the moment Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar are the only 30 plus players on the side.

The BCCI also showed appreciation towards some of the Under-19 world cup winners by offering them one-year contracts under Grade D.

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