I usually like Peter Roebuck’s insights on cricket. I am unable to understand, though — what’s with the analogies here (column from The Hindu) :
Over the years India has been blessed with many scintillating middle order batsmen but reliable openers have been as hard to find as tuc-tucs at rush hour.
Every batsmen has scored vital runs. None has sold his wicket cheaply. Prising a sherbet from a child has been easier than removing these combatants from their occupation.
Tendulkar was sublimely solid. It is no more possible for him to play an ugly innings than it was for Jane Austen to write a clumsy sentence.
It is possible for Peter to write one, though !
The column does ,however, make a good point : this has been a dogged display from the Indian batsmen. The bowlers have done their job with some elan but the batsmen have ditched all flamboyance and stuck to the script. They have done this dogged-defense thing in the past too (with disastrous results) but this time, they have combined it with a positive intent. In the past, the batsmen would get into a defensive mode and never come out. This time, however, they have used the trench-digging in a positive manner; they have used it to tire out the bowlers and then carry out that well-planned assault (like Dhoni yesterday).
Also, the goals for the batsmen seem a lot clearer this time around. On the second day at Trentbridge, the goal was to bat out the day without losing too many wickets. Tendulkar and Ganguly did just that. Here, the goal would have been to snuff out the contest. The batsmen have done just that — not just by playing for time, but also by tearing into the bowling at every opportunity.
Bravo, guys. Bravo !