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Monday, August 16, 2021

looking for that twist at Lords - Will India ?!?!?


“Is Plot mei twist hai” - Santhi twist we have been seeing on advt - This twist was not part of our imaginative story too .. .. in Test no. 2429, presently underway at Lords, can India take the remaining 5 wickets is the Q at 21:21 hrs of 16th Aug 2021 !

Certainly not any ardent Indian fan dreamt of, when India closed at 181/6 on day 4 with Rishab Pant 14* and Ishant Sharma at 4* - the only hope was Pant making a quick fire 50 and taking the score closer to 250 !  .. .. India declared, yes, declared at 298/8 after 109.3 !! overs – runs came not from Pant but from Mohammad Shami – 56* and .. Jasprit Bumrah 34* - in general, we do not call them lower order batsmen but only tail-enders.  Recently heard Harsha Bhogle state that England tail-enders aggregate 22 while Indians 11 – and that was a huge differene according to him !! 

Tail enders scoring runs is nothing new !  .. .. but mostly they come against India.  Long ago,  at Kanpur in 1976 – against New Zealand – Bishan Bedi scored his maiden unbeaten 50 and India declared at 524/9 – all the 11 players including Bhagwat Chandrasekhar scored double figure runs –Bishan Bedi joined – Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath, Gundappa Viswanath, Ashok Mankad & Syed Kirmani in scoring more than half-century .. .. and no batsmen scored a 100. The mercurial Richard Hadlee had ordinary figures of  29-2-121-1.

Back in July 2013,  England won the test but last man Ashton Agar scored 98 outscoring Phil Hughes 81* - and together they stitched a last wicket partnership of 163 at Nottingham.. .. an year later, Indians experienced that agony when rabbit Jimmy Anderson scored 81 and was involved in a partnership of 198 taking the score from 298/9 to 496 all out !!   of the 5 bowlers now, Shami, Ravi Jadeja and Ishant Sharma were part of that bowling line-up.

Before we see further, have not thus far heard of - Jayden Nigel Tristen Seales.  Seales literally sealed Paki hopes taking a 5 for (becoming the youngest West Indian) and hanging around his partner Kemar Roach to hit the winning runs in a nerve-wracking chase.  The scorecard reads :  WI 253 (Brathwaite 97, Holder 58, Afridi 4-59) and 168 for 9 (Blackwood 55, Roach 30*, Afridi 4-50) beat Pakistan 217 (Fawad 56, Holder 3-26, Seales 3-70) and 203 (Azam 55, Seales 5-55, Roach 3-30) by one wicket  As Kemar Roach and Jayden Seales kept batting, the nerves kept building. Finally, it all came down to a fateful Hasan Ali over, as a nick evaded a valiant dive from Mohammad Rizwan to race away for a boundary before Roach pushed two through the off side to guarantee a 1-0 series lead.

Today at Lords, perhaps none of us expected that our bowlers would be batters too -  Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah swung their bats around - while also playing some fairly attractive shots - for an unbeaten 89-run stand for the ninth wicket at Lord's, it certainly caught the England team by surprise. 

Will India win this test now ? 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

16th Aug 2021 @ 21:21hrs.

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