Third day - thoughts at lunch time
See, according to me, the target right now is 274 and not 474 ... because though giving us a follow in will put mental pressure on Aussies, still it leaves them with a better chance of winning this match ... Calcutta doesn't happen everyday. So the best option for us is still avoiding the follow on and giving Australia the headache of wondering what is a good enough target for us. And hey, if it looks too big for us, we can just send in Dravid and ask him to go to sleep over there. No one else is capable of doing that but Dravid is.
Right now, at lunch time we are 75 away from the target and that way I am glad Kumble has come in ... with Bhajji u can get a 0 or a 40 and both happens pretty fast. Right now, India also need to eat up time ... winning this one is still a distant dream but saving the match is not a dream, not yet anyway. With Kumble u know the score will not move fast but we have Patel to push things along ... and if Kumble can just eat up time and add the odd run or two, he would have done more than enough. Bhajji and Zaheer are both lottery tickets and I would rather have them in when India were already past the follow on score or just approaching it.
Patel's batting has proved beneficial to India in the past and it is proving to a savior again (hope I don't speak too soon) ... his keeping, sadly, is on a nosedive. I don't get this one ... either we get guys who keep wickets well but can't bat for nuts ... or we get keepers who keep lousily but look more than decent with the bat. Frustrating!!!
My prediction .... and it could take just 3 balls after lunch to throw the prediction into the dustbin .... India will manage to save the follow on and then things will become fun. The Aussies will have to bat fast in the second innings because they have to have enough time to win the game by bowling the Indians out ... actually, if India were in their position, I wouldn't be certain India would come out blazing coz India doesn't have that killer edge to it ... but the Aussies will come out blasting coz that is the only way they know how ... and that makes things possible. Either the Aussies will blst us away and take the match .... or the Indian spinners will make the 5th day a very interesting one.
Come on Patel ... Come on Kumble ... Zaheer and Bhajji ... take us past 274 ... then anything is possible.