Lord’s Test: A 5th Day That Could Decide A Series




This Test Match has been a bit like sitting in your armchair at home, enjoying your favourite cognac and being allowed to immerse into an Agatha Christie classic. You get transfixed in the drama with its rich plot and equaling compelling sub plots and then you experience all the gamut of emotions. You are perpetually on the edge of your seat by the twists and turns that make the clarity of the finish look as clear as mud.

Lord's Test: A 5th day that could decide a series

Lord's Test: A 5th day that could decide a series

That was the embodiment of Day 4 between England and India yesterday. Where we arrived at the start of play in the knowledge of India was nobbled by its chief spearhead Zaheer Khan being on the treatment table, 200 runs behind and it’s Little Master with a virus and in bed too. The only question was about when England would declare and whether they’d have the skill in their bowling to dismiss the iconic Indian batting.

The English fans smiled like Cheshire cats in this knowledge, while at the same time the Indian fans prayed to one of their many Deities for a miracle.

Though the coin flipped as Strauss somehow got out to an impotent Harbhajan Singh. As he took up his vantage point on the Lords balcony he was still seen to be beaming anticipating the inevitable English batting onslaught. Only for 5 overs to pass and he looked as though he had just learnt of a death in the family. His jaw dropped and his face gaunt by having the life sucked out of it. After Ishant had just reduced the much vaunted English batting to rubble in the form of 5/62 and only a lead of 260.

It was compelling too, the English Skippers look and told the tale of the meaning of this match…

In regards to with all Strauss’s jawing about England’s ascent to the pinnacle of Test cricket in the lead up. This was more about hot air to inflate the confidence of the players in the Teams credibility. Not in any way to diminish England’s current standing, for they are indeed a very fine Team, but in a heavy weight clash like this series. They are indeed the challenger trying to find belief that they can not only stand toe to toe with the undisputed champ, but indeed take him out. Thus crucially they need to land the first blow to buy into real belief to propel their skill.

When Ishant was on his tear and threatening to not only dissolve this victory for England, but also set up an unlikely Indian victory. It was an edge of the abyss moment for England, where they could have slipped into oblivion in the series. If not for the Matt Prior inspired rescue mission.

Even as the game stands now, India are threatened with taking a little knock back if they were to lose, but a huge lift if they draw and let’s not even think of the meaning of a miracle win for them… A lose would be covered up with the fact that they were beset by so many injuries to crucial players and that they are notoriously slow starters. Then you’d know they’d hit back hard from ball one in the 2nd Test.

Outside of winning, the other outcomes would be a bitter pill to swallow for England. This in the knowledge that for most of the match they’ve had the one man advantage on India with Zaheer injured. Then dominated for the most part only for India that has had ever cruel hand of fate go against them in this match enter the last day with a better than even chance of escape from it.

Escape wouldn’t be so easy for England especially in their minds. In the knowledge that they had India on its knees with everything against them and couldn’t beat them.

So profound a blow, that it could decide the 4 Test series on this the last day of the 1st Test.

Tim Holt

Author:

Hi All, I’m an old gent having been born in 1953 in Derry, Nth Ireland. I learnt my love for cricket during my time in South Africa in between 1964-66. My hero as you can see by my profile picture is 'Chandra'! I am a qualified journalist having worked in Radio and papers across the Globe. Though I’m currently a teacher, who is on extended medical leave due to my heart not agreeing with the Irish past time of drinking copious amounts of Whisky! I have many tales to tell in regards to a lot of sports having played both Football and Cricket professionally. I hope you enjoy a few I share with you! Regards and Peace to All Tim

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