The way team India crumpled today against South Africa reminds me of the way we played cricket in our school days. Generally matches were either 15 overs or 20 overs a side. Usually we ended up scoring between 70-80 runs. Highest scorer (and Man of the match) used to be someone who crossed 30 runs or took 3 wickets or more. It took about 2 hrs to complete an innings. See the similarities?
Any Indian cricket lover would be under serious dilemma today. How can a team that scores 600+ runs a few days back get bundled out for less than 100 in the very next innings? That too under home conditions, on a pitch created by a local curator, in front of thousands of local spectators, with most players in decent to good form etc etc. Beats me! No one wanted a dead track like the one in Chennai. And hence a seaming pitch was prepared. The result? India 76 all out. And on the same track, South Africa are comfortably poised at 223/4 – perfect example of the great uncertainties of this sport!
I think Dale Steyn has been a revelation the last couple of seasons. 22 matches for 114 wickets at just over 21 runs a wicket with 8 five-fors – this is the making of a genius. And he is just 24!
This match may have well been lost in the first hour of the test unless we see some heroics in the Indian second innings. Another flash of brilliance of Sehwag, another innings of lazy elegance from Laxman, another wallish performance from Dravid or another innings from Ganguly to reinstate that he really is next to God on the off-side! I am optimistic of an Indian fightback. All is not lost. After all, isn’t cricket known for its uncertainties?