Vantage point

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Dammit Dammit Dammit!!

India is sitting pretty at Wanderers, with a lead of 311 and 5 wickets still in hand. 5 wickets which include the dangerous Dhoni, already off to a start, and the even more dangerous Laxman, who is looking like he is in that zone which sees him unleash a string of big scores. I am happy. Doubly happy, since Ganguly's made a triumphant return to the side.

Why the dammits, then? Because I never made a preview post about the test series. Instead I restricted my opinions to email discussions with RajK and Rony. For instance on December 5, I wrote -

We never played in SA before 1992. The last series against them was 2001-02. In that stretch India didn't win a single test outside the subcontinent. After SA in 2001-02, we went to West Indies, where we won a test, and after that have ben winning at least a test match away on regular basis. I do think we will win a test this time round. Don't get fooled by the ODI debacle. Test cricket is a different game altogether. And Munaf-Zaheer-Sreesanth could be quite a handful on a pace-friendly track. This new crop of Indian pacers have rarely gotten pace-friendly tracks to bowl on. Australia produced one in Brisbane, where Zaheer got a fiver, and got us first innings lead. But all the other tracks were flat. In New Zealand we bowled very well, but batted worse. Pakistan produced a pitch that was a greentop for the first 2 days, and we all know the havoc our pacers wreaked there in the first innings. Of course the pitch evened out and we got creamed in the 2nd is a different story.

Point is, this new lot of pacers will get, for the first time, pace-friendly pitches. If our batsmen don't capitulate, and there really is no need to... SA bowling in tests is mediocre... we have a good chance. Of course, I hope SA won't wuss out and prepare feather beds in Joburg and Capetown.

I am good! Anyway, here's hoping there are no slips twixt the cup and the lip, and we win this test by a massive margin. And the rain better not play spoilsport at Johannesburg again. Or else, India may just be forced to nuke the place.