Sixty one for six before lunch and I’m sitting in the changing room contemplating putting my pads on; that’s not how I envisaged this morning going.
A look out of my window before heading down to breakfast, skies a blue and it looks good for a great day of cricket. Flick on the telly to get watch the news and see the weather report, look like showers some stage today are on the menu; nothing strange there this summer. Good breakie with a relaxed Guppy, who’s debuting in this Test, posted yesterday’s blog and then off to the ground.
Pitch looks good, in fact, if we win the toss we’re going to bat first; which is what we ended up doing, but through losing the toss that was. I was pretty keen to get the ball in hand and bowl first, I always am though, I like to get out there and squash the nerves by getting into it. Not to be today, back in the shed, boots off, feet up and got set to watch an entertaining morning of Test match cricket.
Guppy and Mac were looking good early, Mac his typical watchful self and Guppy continuing the timing he’s had during the OD series. The Indian’s bowled well and as the session went on, their lengths adjusting to the pitch, they got better and better, really making life tough for our boys. Not only tough but taking their wickets too. And at lunch I’m almost padded up. Not perfect.
Now, after lunch it was a different story. Jesse and Dan were out in the middle together, Millsy padded up, next in. Mme after that partially padded up. And that was how we stayed for the whole session. At the start of the session, with us 61-6, the plan was to push and grit it through to 150, maybe 200. Jesse and Dan did an amazing job and heading into the 3rd session the target had changed to 250, maybe 300. One record breaking partnership, two tons and the game changes, not necessarily back in our favour, but certainly a whole lot better prospect than being dismissed for around 150.
Jesse and Dan, together, broke the 7th wicket partnership record vs India and both scored great 100’s. Dan’s third ton and Jesse’s first, a real special moment for him. This innings Jesse was out paced by Dan, not often that Jesse’s strike rate is second to many and that fact makes it an even better hundred. When the going got tough, he hung in there, gutsed it out and did something special on a track that tough.
Soon before Dan was dismissed with Millsy, Tommy (Martin), Flynny and myself sitting in the changing room, not daring to move as to maybe upset the ‘whole balance’ and something bad happen out in the middle, the mood was pretty good, a little bit of banter was being thrown around. It’s tough to sit around waiting to bat, and for Millsy, sat there with his pads on for about three hours, it was really tough. Unfortunately he got a beauty first up, so after waiting so long for a hit, with his new bat, no less, he was walking back and I was on my way out. Jess was getting close to 100, I was facing a hat trick ball and I was just a little damn nervous about the whole thing. I got through that ball and the next two in the over. I scored eight while I was out there, trying my hardest to not get out. Runs didn’t matter, it was about getting Jesse through to his ton, and I couldn’t do it, in fact I did about the dumbest thing I’ve ever done on a cricket filed, and I’ve done some dumb things. I walked past one from Harbhajan, my foot got stuck and I couldn’t make it back to my crease. Embarrassing; yes. I was trying to get to the pitch of the ball and push a single, get Jesse on strike and watch him score the last couple of runs he needed to tick over the ton. I felt so sick heading back to the changing room knowing that I had made such a bad mistake, I felt like throwing up while watching Tommy face out the five balls left in the over. I still feel bad about it now, but there is one positive side, Jesse made it and Tommy saved me some one of the worst feelings in the game. I owe Tommy a couple of red for that!
We got through seven overs in the field before time was up in the day. I just bowled the one, felt ok and got a little bounce; I’m looking forward to exploring that a bit more tomorrow. A very important day tomorrow, we have to get out there and bowl well, stick to our plans, use whatever there is in the track and make life really tough for the batters; nothing different there.