To call that a tough day at the office is an understatement. We battled, we toiled, we slogged, and we did everything we could to take from dislodge the Indian batters; alas there was only three on view today.
Up around 8am this morning to post my Day 3 blog and catch up with a couple of emails, off to breakfast at 8.30 and then to the ground at 9.30. We’re on the park for arm ups at 10am and I get through my stretches, throwing, fielding and warm up deliveries and am off the park about 25 minutes before start time. In this time it’s usually a couple of waters, a sit down, get into my whites and then out for a few more warm up balls about 7 or 8 minutes before the start.
I wasn’t feeling to bad after all of yesterday in the field, sure I wasn’t as fresh as I’d have loved to be, but not too bad considering. I was to start up this morning, but as I bowled the last over from the Beach end Dan had to bowl one to change me around. The plan was to continue with what we did yesterday, hang tough on our lengths and make life as hard as possible to both score and be out there. My rhythm had come back to me last night and I was warm ups had gone well so I hit this spell with a good feeling. I started well, hit my areas and had that ‘snap’ in delivery. The pitch really wasn’t helping us to much so it was going to be a case of us doing different things to create results. I use the crease a lot when pitches get flat or when there’s a lot of movement, for different reasons. Pitches like this I use the width of the crease to create different angles, going wide, maybe in the middle and then back to close to the stumps, in varying patterns. By doing this I can ‘explore’ different parts of the pitch to find out if there is anything there variable and also by changing the angles it means my stock ball is different, but still the same, it just starts from somewhere else.
I hadn’t used my slower ball much so far but set a field for it and gave it a run. First one Gambhir stroked through the off side for four, the second one, next ball we went up big for an LBW shout. I thought it was pretty good, the ump didn’t. The plan worked, just couldn’t get the umpire to agree!
Gambhir batted well today, took his time with everything and has scored a very good, be it slower than he normally would, hundred. He batted all day, something I’d love to do..... one day! Maybe this was the pitch I could have done it on.
I haven’t seen the replays, but from reading a couple of articles on the net it seems like Dravid was unlucky to be given. We had toiled hard for a breakthrough and finally Dan got one that looked like it got some bat onto pad and off to Howza at short leg. Dravid had been extremely patient, 62 off 220 balls, that kind of patience is what he’s built a career on. Great to watch from the best seat in the house, but we don’t mind if his next stay is a little shorter!
We toiled all day for that one wicket. Just 205 runs were scored in the 90 overs. We pushed hard and they absorbed what we offered. We beat the bat, we got a few nicks that didn’t carry, a couple of inside edges that passed not too far from the stumps, it just wasn’t to be as good a day as we had yesterday with the ball.
We now head into day 5, 62 runs in front needing eight wickets as quick as possible. It’ll just take one break through, early, to maybe swing the game. One may bring two which then opens up the tail and from there, maybe, a great Test match win.
We’ll be pushing hard again, don’t worry about that. Who knows, maybe something special tomorrow?