It’s an auspicious start for this blog.. with a memorable Indian win! A lot of thanks must go to Dinesh Karthik for the wonderful stumping which set the day up. Hardly did we look back from there!
It was but expected that Kumble would maul the Pakis — Balaji and Bhajji duly denied him another perfect ten. Just to point out the similarities between this match and the one in Ferozshah Kotla early 1999, where Kumble picked his 10-74 — both targets were 420+, both had an Afridi cameo, and in both, Kumble looked like the only bowler who would take wickets!
This was almost a perfect team performance, with everybody chipping in with their bit, though Dravid, Kumble and Karthik take the top honours. Maybe, there should be a few words of praise for Darrell Hair as well — however bad he may have been in the past — this was a fantastic test for him. Obviously, the same can be hardly said of his more illustrious partner, who’s now been making the headlines regularly for the wrong reasons. Perhaps, he’s getting blind with age. And now that he’s played Test 100, he could really think of retirement, lest ICC thinks of dismissing him!
As for Bhajji’s doosra being reported, it’s really interesting, because there were more interesting `bowlers’ on view, such as Afridi (who delivers a legal ball once or twice a match)! Maybe after a spinner from Scotland (no longer England’s spinner – I forget the name) would be told to assist him correct his action!
Kolkata does continue to be a dream venue for India. It’s not so much the venue, as the team’s performance itself that matters now I guess. I guess I’d be vindicated if we win at Bangalore, which has exactly the opposite history, to Kolkata, as far as Indian wins go (in tests). Good luck, Men in Blue!