This is turning into a humdinger of a test match. At lunchtime on Sunday, India were right back in the match. Ishant Sharma, the elephant man, took four quick wickets. Our batting line-up was in tatters. Thanks heavens for Matt Prior, who scored one of the best counter-attacking hundreds you’re ever likely to see.
Immediately, the Sky commentators were waxing lyrical about the Sussex man, calling him the best keeper/batsman in the world. They could well be right, but we’re not saying anything until Dhoni has batted in the second innings.
My head tells me that England will win this match. Tremlett and Broad bowled beautifully in the final session, and with a bit of luck – Dravid seems to have taken Mike Hussey’s mantle as the man most likely to play a miss without ever nicking the bloody thing – India could have been two or three down.
We reckon this pitch offers just enough for the bowlers. If we keep our discipline, and don’t panic if India start piling up the runs, we should come up trumps. Only two teams have lost a test after declaring twice. We don’t expect Strauss’ England to become the third – even though that bloke called Sachin might have something to say about that.
And by the way, if anyone, anyone at all, has any idea how to get Dravid out, please let us know. The bloke doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses. Annoying, isn’t it.
In recent times, Dravid’s problems have been similar to that of Andrew Strauss’… i.e. the left-arm seamers. He has been prone to have a poke at deliveries angled across him, which he would have left alone comfortably during his prime.
I don’t know, but here is something worth trying – right arm around the wicket. Someone like Tremlett can try that to cramp Dravid up in his ribs with Bell at short leg, and then slip one full and slanting across him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a poke at it.
But why am I telling you this? He is one of the four pillars on whom my team is depending today to save this Test (others being Laxman, Tendulkar and Gambhir)! Mind you, I think your team will have a tough task with Gambhir too… not just Dravid. Lets hope for a riveting contest, and whatever may be the result, lets hope for a final hour ending!