I’ve already written about my nervous disposition, and why I’m constantly on edge as an Indian fan. So imagine my mental state now that India have to not only ensure Australia do not score more runs, but also survive perhaps 60-80 overs on a deteriorating pitch.
But let me say this: I’d much rather be an Indian fan than an Australian one. By that, I don’t mean to make a simple nationalistic statement. Even though this Indian team is one of the best I’ve seen, it still infuriates with its inconsistency and quick swings from brilliance to inanity (we saw that yesterday when, in dramatic fashion, India lost five wickets for nine runs after one man scored more than 200).
It’s bad for my blood pressure, but it’s just so much fun. When the Australians were dominant — as they still are, I think, in the ODI form — they won in such a clinical and destructive method, I couldn’t help wondering why Australians bothered to turn the television on. Sure, everyone likes it when their team wins, but I think true cricket fans face a much more difficult task. They must balance their desire for victory with an appreciation for the twists and turns the game offers.
So, last night, while I knew the rational hope was that India would score 600 runs and then squeeze Australia, I secretly held out that just the situation India faces on Day 5 would come to pass. Another chance to show their human frailty and ability, and, yes, another chance to bite my nails.