Saturday, June 27, 2009

An Upperhand Does Not Win The Game

This is something that the England players would be kicking themselves for, after their 1-0 loss at the hands of the West Indies. In the previous two occasions, England had won test series' twice against the West Indies in between 2004-05. And not only that, the England team had won 7 out of 8 tests that were scheduled in that season, with the remaining one test ending up in a draw. The then England team beat West Indies first on its home ground which is even today remembered for the fourth test at Antigua where Brian Lara scored an unbeaten 400 to reclaim the record that he had lost to Mathew Hayden 6 months ago.

And this time, yet again a similar test series has been scheduled, with the first 4 match test series to be played in the West Indies and the next 4 match test series to be played in England somewhere in May. And this time also, England were the favourites to win the series. But, just imagine what a nightmare it has been for the English team that has toured the West Indies? Despite having the upperhand in two out of three matches, England were not able to end up victorious at the end of the series. The series result read 1-0 favoring the West Indies.

Forget about the second where the pitch had everything to say. The second and the third test match ended in a draw, with the West Indies making most out of the lead that they had so far in the series, thus leaving the English team with only having a chance to level the series and in the process retain the Wisden trophy. But, that was not at all to be. Struass had no plans ragarding how to tackle the West Indies team. Ameteurity of Andrew Struass is quite evident when he declared the England innings just after lunch, leaving the West Indies just four hours to either defend the series.

West Indies had, at the end of the 5th day scored 113 /8, meaning just two wickets were needed for England to level the series. But, the English bowlers had no time to get those two wickets. It is either the English bowlers who failed to take the last two West Indian wickets or else the West Indian tail was too strong to be cut. All the West Indies needed was a draw to ensure that they ended up victorious which they did. I wonder how come someone like Nash who was just playing his 9th test match could score a century? This is the beauty of a test match that there can be atleast one result and that being a draw. One has to snatch a victory from the jaws of draw or else, the result is evident from Andrew Struass' face.

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