By this point, my worst prediction is coming true. India are well on their way to a comprehensive defeat. That much is known. But a much tougher assignment looms: how should cricket fans approach a one-sided Test? The greatest thing about the Test format — the amount of time allocated to a game — can also be its biggest liability. We know how this Test will end, but I suspect most die-hard Indian cricket fans will still gear up the illegal cricket stream and watch the game secretly at work (if I’m a representative sample, anyway).
Well, there are some possible delights: a) Sachin Tendulkar could finally come to the, er, party, as Ravi Shastri would say. b) Actually, any number of batsmen — Sehwag, Gambhir, Laxman, Raina — could come to the party. Some fine knocks are due, and they might as well involve taking the shine off Stuart Broad. c) The last man standing figure, aka The Chanderpaul. One man holds fort while everyone around him loses his head. This man alone — who will it be? — makes the losing battle worth watching. d) A few tailenders — Sreesanth? Kumar? — decide to bosh the English bowlers around for a bit. The fun lasts for only 15 minutes, but for that brief period, India relish their final moments as the No. 1 Test cricket team in the world. There’s fun and innocence on display. Not a care in the world.
And then, it’s over. India’s dominance comes to an end, and the knives come out.