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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Test times

Back after a break away from cricket viewing/watching , including a UK trip where I went to two soccer matches : Sheffield Wednesday 2 v Colchester United 0 (League 1) and Chelsea 3 v Arsenal 5 (EPL).

Test cricket has been in pretty full swing around the world. I missed Ts1 & 2 of the Pakistan - Sri Lanka series in the Gulf, which were played in the shadow of the UK court case and subsequent  jailing of three Test cricketers. I watched quite a lot of T3 which was ended in a pedestrian draw as Sri Lanka seemed happy to settle for a  0-1 series loss.

India v West Indies T1 (of 3) has just begun in New Dehli. The West Indies have been surprisingly competitive but the class of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, the two highest scoring Test batters of all time (Tendulkar scored his 15,000th run overnight) should see them home when play resumes in a few hours.

If you are able to watch today's play, do so. If the two masters aren't able to continue yesterday's masterclass for long, then there may be some anxious moments, but it's hard to see West Indies getting rid of them, VVS Laxman and MS Dhoni cheaply, even though the wicket is keeping low at times.

Tonight I'll be watchng the first day of the first Test of a truncated South Africa v Australia
two match series. South Africa are said to be rusty, as they've not played a Test for ages.  Australia still have a few question marks about certain players including Mitchell Johnson and Phil Hughes, each of whom has performed well in the Republic previously but who have been inconsistent elsewhere.  On paper the South Africans look to have the edge but the series, if the two matches can properly be called that, should not be too onesided (say I, sitting on fence).

Update 10 November

India beat West Indies by 5 wickets. It didn't go quite according to the scenarios I'd sketched as Dravid left early, leaving Tendulkar 76 ( the 100th international century eluding him yet again) and Laxman 58* to keep India on the road to victory. MS Dhoni's bumbling 0*/4b attempt to avoid a pair suggested that another wicket sooner might have kept such tension as there was ramped up a little longer.

For South Africa v Australia T1 D1 see separate post.

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