They’ve got to have one, right? The obvious hope is for V.V.S Laxman to yet again pull off a miraculous escape (either with Singh, Ohja, Sreesanth or Khan) and then leave too little time for the Kiwis to chase down whatever target is set.
That means: get past the first 30 overs to lunch; keep scoring (either through inevitable tail-ender hijinks or Laxman’s own fluency) and then pray for the best (170? 200?). (Pray, also, that the Kiwis will falter in their chase as they move from underdog to expected winner. Pressure works wonders.)
But, as hard as I try, I can’t fathom why we’re in this position at all (apart from the fickle wishes of the Test gods). Who the hell is Chris Martin? And did this pitch have anything to do with his (awesome) success, or was it a batting failure?
A lot has been said of India’s near-perfect record at home of late, but there have been noticeable cracks — too many of the recent games have been far closer than series results suggest, and I’m not sure why (a gap in concentration levels? Exhaustion? Complacency?).
At some point, we’ll have to address the team’s weaknesses: Harbhajan seems to be failing, with no spin successor in place; Gambhir’s form has fallen off, as has Dravid’s; our bowling attacks relies too heavily on Zaheer, who’s leading a weak pace attack.
But other than that, you know, India is No. 1. And they’ve won all their close shaves of late, so I’m rooting for them. But only just.