Counting days between cricket matches has become my hobby, a special mention of India and Australia on either side can only add desperation.
Now that the counting mode has shifted to few hours, a battle between the titans of Test Cricket is shortly underway. I do not care the result as my best guess always favors India, relentlessly in a stronger orthodox style. Everyone loves to see a champion fall hard, more so when the opponent is our own team, but Australia is a great Cricketing team who does ony one thing better, play the best Cricket that is humanly possible.
Feroz Shah Kotla, the favorite hunting ground for India, who have thrashed their opponents in their last 7 outings are eager to make it 8. And, Kumble might be already feeling pressure to perform at the same tone he had done in the past. With statistics at our fingertips, media has covered these contest like never before. They can even tell you how many time Kumble swept his face off sweat. This contest has already transpired into a war a war Australia desperately trying to contain and if not win it, at least get the compromise going on. I would watch these players very closely than ever before.
Sachin (he always tops my list, any list for that matter!)
With the big monkey off his back, he will be enjoying his cricket like never before. His intentions are more team-centric but he is a wizard in manipulating the bowlers and its a treat to watch how he handles Stuart Clark (if he is in the playing 11) and Bret Lee.
Having drawn the curtains over his retirement, he is I think the best person to watch when batting.
No person would be best to score a ton other than Sehwag. He is raring to go and after all its his home ground. Being in his prime form, he single goal is to destroy their bowling and make sure it doesn’t recover from that.
He is in his own trouble world and he desperately wants to get out of it, sooner than later and he shall have to prove a point here, not for anyone but for himself. We can expect him to come very hard on our bowlers as long as he stays or he will fell too cheaply trying to do something he has not done ever before.
More than Cricket I expect him to play with fire in his mouth and sweat on his tongue. He will do everything he can to avoid a defeat, be it slow over rate, wasting time or just jump into arguments with the umpires.
A cunning customer of Cricket who doesn’t play the game in it spirit, ever. Expect him to be the thorn in the Indian turf and it is interesting to watch how we burn that down.
Dravid & Lakshman
Tow men, two stunning personalities. Test cricket runs in their veins and they haven’t really showed it yet. Both look in good knock with luck not favoring them enough. If Gods are merciful, they will create havoc from which a trillion Australian Teams would not return.
Wish all the best for India. I hope they just won’t crush them, but kill’em, better yet, at their own game.