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Monday, September 6, 2021

India tastes victory at Oval ! ~ Happy moments !!

A victory at Oval should taste very sweet for the Indian Team especially after that 78 all out at Leeds and losing the Test by a huge margin.  This morning when the game started, all 4 results were probable. India’s fortunes at Oval have not been great – played 14 – lost 5 and won 1 .. .. !!! .. .. and when Umesh Yadav found the outer edge of Jimmy Anderson to Rishab Pant, it is jubilation all around – an Indian win by 157 runs.

The Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth, in south London.The Oval has been the home ground of Surrey County Cricket Club since it was opened in 1845.  It is here, where it all began. The first-ever Test on English soil was played here in September 1880, resulting in an England win over Australia by five wickets, with WG Grace scoring a hundred on debut.

What is the shape of an egg … a search revealed – ‘the shape of an egg is approximate by "long" half of a prolate spheroid, joined to a "short" half of a roughly sphericalellipsoid, or even a slightly oblate spheroid’.    Certainly not easy to figure out what it is all about….  An oval (from Latin ovum, "egg") is a closed curve in a plane which "loosely" resembles the outline of an egg. The term is not very specific, but in some areas (projective geometry, technical drawing, etc.) it is given a more precise definition, which may include either one or two axes of symmetry. In common English, the term is used in a broader sense: any shape which reminds one of an egg.

pic from twitter.

After conceding 1 short of 100 lead in the first innings – Indian innings began well – a partnership of 83 when KL Rahul departed, then centurion Rohit Sharma (127)  and Cheteshwar Pujara (61) shared a grand partnership of 153 – Kohli made 44 – promoted Jadeja failed and Ajinkya Rahane did not disturb the scorers – and at 312/6 – it seemed all over but Shardul Thakur played another innings of character scoring 60; Rishab Pant 50; Jasprit Bumrah 24; Umesh Yadav 25 took the score to 466 .. .. set a mammoth 368 – England began and ended the day well at 77 without loss with R Burns on 31 and Hameed on 43.  

Today England went to lunch at 131/2 – now moving steadily towards a draw !  - the new ball was due but was not taken.  Shardul Thakur returned to bowl the 81st over – his  first delivery looked fairly innocuous, back-of-a-length and outside off stump, but Root flirted and managed to inside-edge onto his own stumps – and perhaps with him went England;s hope.  The post lunch session was so productive that  England lost 6 for 62 in 25.1 overs.

August 24th, 1971 - the fifth day of the third and final Test was a golden day as  Bhagwath Chandrasekhar, skittled England for 101.  Clearly he was the match winner with six for 38 as England were dismissed in their second innings for 101 runs, their lowest score against India and their third lowest total since the war.  The Indians were left 173 to make in the fourth innings and by consistent batting on a slow, turning pitch gained a victory which gave them the series. It was an unexpected win, for until Chandrasekhar's inspired spell on the fourth day England seemed to have the match well in hand. Snow was recalled for Lever, who was unfit, and Underwood regained his place because of Gifford's injury. England played exhilirating cricket on the first day. They totalled 355 after Illingworth had won the toss for the third time in the series. Jameson (82), Knott (90) and Hutton (81) attacked the bowling with relish, Jameson recalling the dash of Colin Milburn, so powerfully did he drive and pull. Jameson straight drove two 6's into the pavilion off Bedi and also hit ten 4's in a stay of two and three-quarter hours.

Indian moment of glory came at Oval in 1971 – on that tour when Indian spinners – Bedi, Venkat & Chandra excelled claiming 37 wickets – it was Bhagwath Chandrasekhar – whose eight wickets brought India their biggest win.  Years later, in the final Test of 1979 Series, Sunil Gavaskar played a classic knock in the 4th innings. Chasing a mammoth total of 438 runs in the fourth innings, he set the The Oval stadium on fire with a masterly knock of 221 runs.

On that tour, Indians were  beaten comprehensively in the first test by an Innings & 83 runs at Headingly and the 2nd & 3rd Tests were drawn.  Srinivasan  Venkatraghavan and Mike Brearly were the captains. In the 4th Chetan Chauhan and Sunil Gavaskar were involved in a grand partnership of 213 and then Dilip Vengsarkar added another 153 – thus Indians were 366-1 at one stage, which for sure created jitters. At tea, India was in a commanding position at  304 and  England played negative tactics in slowing down the game.  When mandatory overs began, India required only 100 runs and were on course to a historic win.  Not to be, as in the end, India sort of threw away the match, with couple of poor decisions hastening the end.  Eventually India fell short by 9 runs with 2 wickets in hand losing the series 1-0. Bharat Reddy was the wicketkeeper then.

Sadly, Venkat was to lose the Captaincy in an ignominy – reportedly the news was broken in the PA system of the aeroplane when the team was travelling back, Gavaskar became the Captain.

A decade ago,  Aug 2011 at Kennington Oval, London Test no. 2004 -  Indians were defeated by an innings and 8 runs. Amit Mishra the leg spinner had a good 144 run partnership with Sachin, whose missing a century was much talked about.  In that test Bell (235) and Pietersen (175) amassed runs to pile a total of 591/6 decl.  Mishra had forgettable figures of 38-3-170-0.  In the 1st Innings, Indians were bowled out for 300 – Rahul Dravid opening and carrying his bat through for 146. Following on, India lost Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman at 118 and Amit was sent as a night watchman to join Tendulkar.  After battling for long, and when it appeared a draw was the most likely result – Amit got out at 262 making 84; Sachin too followed at the same score having made 91 and India folded for 283.

An Indian victory is always relished .. .. well played Team India.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
6th Sept. 2021. 

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