Sport is Life and Test Cricket is probably the only sport that mimics life thoroughly. Everyone who has even been remotely associated with some Sport or the other knows how Mental toughness is much more important than physical excellence and Test Cricket is the ultimate Test of mental strength with the ability to stay focused even when it makes you yawn ,and hence the name.
One would certainly be hard-pressed to find another game that stretches on for five continuous days with so much physical skill and temperament involved. Which other game can bring out the exuberance of patient batting by Andrew Strauss and the flamboyance of Virender Sehwag in one single package?
George Bernard Shaw once said “The English are not very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity” and yes, the game meanders along for a really long time but so does life. The English in this match showed us what boredom really is! And I had the misfortune of seeing every ball they faced with zero aggression. They were so slow that Viru and even Mishra were gesturing to the crowd that they were dying in all the blade the English were putting without Manasatchi!
Life gives you shit, then everything that comes after it even if only slightly better feels like heaven and after two really gritty, patient and defensive innings from England and one totally insipid performance from India where we collapsed to a bowling attack with an off colour Monty and debutant Swann, came the awesome stuff. When it rains it pours and when Viru unleashed those breathtaking shots, the white buggers didn’t know what the hell hit them. You should have seen the English faces going wtf!! Lol !
And then, came God. Football gave us Maradonna, Basketball gave us Jordan and Cricket has given us Sachin Tendulkar. What commitment, skill, determination and love for the game even after all these years! The final day was just plain fucking legendary. Never will so many dot balls from Yuvi be cheered with such ferocity as he stopped eating away the runs that would allow God to score yet another hundred. Never will the entire stadium stand up for an hour and watch him play and erupt with joy for every run the legend scores. Never will so many plastic bottles be hit on the chairs to make so much noise. Never will the Barmy Army be surrounded by such freaked out Indians and stand in awe at the Chepauk’s amazing Crowd. And never will my throat be this sore after screaming the hell out for five days of amazing Cricket.
Another thing that I realized during this match is how awesome a bowler Freddie is. Man, he was the best with a line and length that rivaled McGrath and every time he ran in hard to bowl you cannot help but feel tensed at how the batsman is going to negotiate such fine bowling. And his stamina, phew, is he on steroids? When will our thayir sadham fast bowlers reach such levels of fitness ? And Strauss was amazing with two hundreds, a Dravid like performance that was so awesome that we did not know when he had scored a hundred runs because all I saw was dot balls when he faced, test cricket at its patient best. But the match was rightfully ours, for taking our chances; for Viru’s magnificent batting, for Sachin cause well, he is God; for Yuvi , for his ability to come up with such a fine innings after the most abysmal batting performance by him in the previous day and for Dhoni, man he is one lucky guy. Everything he does, he seems to nail it. Engaeyo machham da avannukku.
And I missed Kumble a lot, and we are gonna struggle when we go abroad because he was only guy consistently taking wickets for us away from home, lets hope Dhoni’s moles help us with this one too.
Anyway final words, Sehwag weightu! Sachin God! Chennai, Namma Ooru Ultimate!
Test Cricket is the ultimate test simply because it remains the only sport where men like Inzi and Viru, the Thondhi fellows with a nonexistent fitness program who cannot even see their toes compete against the fit and athletic men like Yuvi and Freddie. Well actually there is another thing that pits men of such contrasting natures and abilities against each other, it is called Life.