Ready or Not, Here I come …

There was a particular beauty to yesterday’s contest which underscores the times we live in. Everything is lightning quick. Everything is under the scanner and must be right. Every mistake is analysed. The run fest at the Oval showed that not all of that is bad.

A number of mistakes were made by a host of people yesterday. With England looking for a long awaited one day series win and India fighting to stay in it, there was so much at stake that frailties which characterise humans were bound to surface. So an umpire made an error – then saw a giant screen and changed his mind, Kevin Pietersen ran out Paul Collingwood, then ran himself out with Owais Shah at the other end, Rahul Dravid ran out of bowlers, Yuvraj Singh ran out of ideas and after a wonderful summer, James Anderson looks like he’s probably running out of steam.

But yesterday will be remembered not for the mistakes but for the achievers.
Owais Shah had stood rooted to his crease in the one game when the superstar KP had got his first ODI 50 of the summer. Surely, he could have sacrificed his wicket. He should have. But he didn’t and he stuck on. And how.
Luke Wright making his one day debut. (Wonder how many in history have a 4 and six as their first international scoring shots?) To my mind, Luke Wright set up the move from 137-5 to 316-6. If that was the nervous beginning, watch out once he settles in.
Dimitri Mascarenhas is not in England’s Twenty/20 squad. Go figure.
Zaheer Khan, Piyush Chawla and Romesh Powar . Irrespective of the result of the series , they have been terrific. 29 overs between them for 131 between them tells its own story.
Sachin Tendulkar – if anything batted better than he did in the match before. The joy is not so much that he’s playing with the fluency of old but that he’s rediscovered the concept of inspiring. Yesterday was the second consecutive century partnership. (When Ganguly fell in the 23rd over , we were 150 and Ganguly was all of 53). Sachin plays and India wins, is back. Man of the match.

And finally to Robin Uthapa. He’s been in the sidelines all summer as a makeshift opener has done brilliantly in the Tests and another has been given a number of chances till he’s finally begun to come good. Yesterday, Uthapa got his chance at no 7. He’s never batted there before. He came in to bat at 234-5 in the 41st. There was no batting to come. The composure and cool of it all in a never-before-but-must-now was the impressive part. The buildup to the finale. The fact that he got 24 of the final 27 runs. That audacious shot over fine leg for a boundary with 4 balls to go and 8 to get which prompted Collingwood to bring long off in and move fine leg back. And then the confidence to take a couple of steps forward to get to the pitch of the next delivery and drive it past that mid off for the winning boundary. Outstanding.

Unlike the lyric in the song, a number of performances yesterday that were keen on taking the lead role in the war….

And so 3 all and to Lords we go for the decider. Thats where it all began.

Wish I was there …


11 thoughts on “Ready or Not, Here I come …

  1. I totally agree with your comments Sfx. I have mentioned the same points in my post.What a good advert for the game the match was. Even a purist like me enjoyed the match which kept everyone guessing until the end.

    I hope Lords is the grand affair the series deserves.

  2. Hi Rashmika,

    Wonderful game, indeed. Was reading somewhere that it was fitting that a game like this (or games like this) should be played ahead of the Twenty/20. So its ODIs for the purists now. Times change …. and so must we I guess. But if its cricket of that kind, then why not.


  3. Butjazz,

    Hi There ! Thank you very much. Nice to see you here …

    Just think that the English have played good cricket and thats always wonderful to see. I’m probably not the only one that thought the ODIs would be a one sided series in our favour but they’ve come up with some terrific performances time after time and its now going down to the wire.


  4. One thing that a lot of people have overlooked in the last match was the fielding standards.. everyone panned India for its slow movers.. But think England got too complacent and cocky in the “running between the wickets” department.. Wonder why Atherton didnt ask this question to Collingwood on India saving 20 odd runs through the run outs and England misfields that lost the game for them.. KP and Monty’s brilliance comes to mind in the last 3 overs

  5. A courteous correspondence with cricinfo.. Attitude simple and straight – We welcome feedback as long as it’s positive -)

    My Comments:
    Siddarth Vaidyanathan’s article on the 6th ODI follows the normal pattern.. India bashing..
    In this case he has talked of luck being with India as Collingwood was given out by the umpire after saying not out earlier.. Now Pietersen was called Back after being given Out in the test series. Finally the decision was not a wrong decision was it?
    And there has been no mention of Owais Shah being caught by MS Dhoni off Powar on 40.. Was that not luck? or is it that umpiring decisions favoring India have to be highighted. One has to find faults in any Indian victory is it..
    Please continue the unbiased reporting mate.. I have stopped reading most of cricinfo’s bulletins etc.. And will start avoiding them again..


    Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2007 09:41:44 +0100
    From: “Martin Williamson” Add to Subject: Re: [Feedback form] Cricinfo general – Suggestion
    What you are actually saying is that you want biased reporting as long as it is biased towards India. What you got was an unbiased report …

    Martin Williamson
    Executive Editor, Cricinfo

  6. Rahul,

    re the fielding standards, I think India have been way sub-par this series – and by that I mean we have had a bad series. We’re not great but we’re not as bad as we’ve been. Think the performance at the Oval was better and it showed in the results…

    KP’s off balance throwing (5? 7? dropped catches in the 2005 Ashes?) and Monty generally are a bit more in our lower rung !


  7. Rahul,

    Re CricInfo….

    I wonder if you read/remember this exchange that Samir had with Cricinfo.

    Take a look here.

    After this, I remember speaking with a sportswriter and I just get the feeling sometimes reading Cricinfo and sites run by guys related to it that they get bombarded in the feedback section by the guys that are their bread and butter – Indians. Maybe its just too noisy for them to tell the difference between the genuine fan who means to give them positive feedback and the fanatic who wants it his way.

    I find it amazing that an Editor should ever be as “dismissive” to feedback as that. I’m not even going into the veracity of the feedback. I’m just saying that if they don’t want to listen, then their view is that the Feedback mailbox is actually a Pandora’s box …


  8. sfx,

    thats exactly wat I replied..

    My point is that if one wants to talk of umpiring errors (point is if an umpire reverses his wrong decision is that an error) in deciding the final outcome of the game, we need to be told of all of them and not only the ones that are convenient to a few..
    I didn’t expect the Stuart Broad LBW appeal to feature in a match report of the 4th ODI.. They played well enough to deserve some luck.. So don’t expect them to be biased to India..
    But cricinfo has been overtly biased and it shows in their attitude.. As i had mentioned in my mail – I’ll stop visiting that site as Mr Williamson asks me to do in a not so polite manner


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