India-Sri Lanka 3rd test, Day 5: Looking down the barrel
A favourite cliché in Cricket is ‘it ain’t over till the last bowl has been bowled, the last wicket taken or the last run scored.’ With last day of the the 3rd test match between India-SL yet to go the latter two are the only possibilities. Unless the weather interferes the match is sure to produce a result. India can score the remaining 204 runs or Sri Lanka can spin out those 7 wickets.
On a day when fortunes turned 180 degree for both sides Sri Lanka definitely has inched ahead. Ranadiv’s 3 wickets has hurt Indian teams quest to level the series as much as the superb rearguard action by Samaraveera in company with Malinga and Mendis . The last 3 wickets plummeted 180 runs leaving the Indians shell shocked. Just like the Indian spinners shocked the Lankan top order to reduce them to 87-7 in the morning session.
Like most of Indian fans, i am finding it difficult to digest the second innings by the Lankans. It seems a nightmare though not the first of its kind. But 87-7. God. I am going to have an uncomfortable night and if the things go from bad to worse for India, the irritation will take some time to go away. How often we have had the opposition on mat only to allow them to slip away. I know i am using double standards, when we enjoyed Indian tail wag in style to agonise the Lankans yesterday why crib now when the boot has landed on our foot today. But what the heck?
I am an Indian team supporter and hate to see my team losing.
Frankly we were not expecting Lankans to roll over as they did in morning session. 267 is not a big score and on another
day the team would have been happy at their performance. Not today. While not taking anything away by the fight and character shown by Mendis and Samaraveera, you don’t allow tail enders to score almost 200 runs. If this score lowered Indian spirits, the collapse of top 3 by end of day have definitely flattened them. Sachin is still there, so is the perennial rescue man in Laxman. The debuatant in this series, Raina may still prove his mettle and reduce Yuvraj to Waterboy for some time.
But it’s that sinking feeling all over again. Dhoni has been a shadow of himself in all departments this series. His defensive field setting against Samaraveera reminded one of Mohammed Yousuf’s strategies in that famous match against Aussies at SCG when he allowed Hussey to waltz away. A defensive approach while batting on this pitch will not help. His keeping has not been up to the mark this series neither has been his batting. He may still have a chance to redeem himself though I hope he does not have to pad up tomorrow.
The eternal optimist in me still believes we will pull off an easy victory tomorrow. If not this test match will be locked in our collective memory at 87-7 with endless only if’s. The last things the Indian fans need right now is another horror story.
If this team really believes that they are deserving No.1′s , they will level the series tomorrow. Aussies would never give up when they were No.1 and not even today. .. And nor shall this team. Its only 200 odd runs more. And God is still there.