The Day surely promises to be exciting...
Mmm…and interesting day ahead… four of the most exciting Test Teams in World Cricket are matching themselves against each other.
Australia against England in the Ashes series, as also later on the day, India takes on . And as I write this, the second Ashes test is already underway, and how much worthy it was to stay back and watch the match a little. South Africa
Half an hour into the match, and there was a visual treat which will linger on for days and I am talking about the stupendous catch Paul Collingwood took to dismiss Ricky Ponting. The pitch was full of pace and the ball was flying all around when Englishmen were put into bowl. As an obvious strategy, there were six men guarding the slip-gully corridor, and here it was, a tame defence from Ponting to a rising ball flying towards the fourth slip.
Collingwood, rather than waiting for the ball, decided to pounce on the ball, and dived, stretching himself fully, air-borne, almost a meter and a half above the ground. All the while he kept his soft hands behind the ball, intact, and let the ball to remain there, as he came back to ground with a thud. He literally picks the red-cherry out of thin air. Super technique of catching, impossible to mimic, and a great treat for the eyes. These sort of catches are never practiced on net sessions and training sessions and comes out of impulse, super-reflexes, and a commitment to excel in the highest way possible.
Writing about the other match that is waiting around the corner for me to watch, this surely promises to be great advertisement for test cricket. I don’t know how much a three-match test series can be a ‘Final Frontier’ as the
media projects it, but the rain is surely trying to play spoilsport as reports suggest. Even then, it still appears to bring all the classic elements of a test match simply because of the actors involved. Players like Smith, Kallis, Amla, DeVilliers, Steyn as also Sehwag, Dravid, Sachin and Laxman, in action, on a wobbly track will surely be a purist’s delight. India
Something about the statistics, and I am compelled to bring to my notice the amazing fact that in the 15 test matches that south Africa played in SuperSport Park (the name of the ground), it has won an amazing number of 11 matches, while loosing only one. It will be a tough ask, for Indian batters to face the quartet of Steyn, Morkel, Parnell and McLaren, but
also have its battery full. Harbhajan needs to take a leaf out of Greame Swann’s book and look at how the Englishman had bowled quite aggressively, when India England toured . Swann chased wickets rather than trying to contain batsmen. Who ever told that pace and bounce is only for fast bowlers? If one bowls with a consistent plan and on the right areas, spinners too prove to be lethal in such surfaces. South Africa