It is a very tough climb to the top… it is even tougher to stay there.
Ask the Indian cricket team; they did exactly that today.
What’s more, they almost faltered owing to one bearded gentleman who played a defiantly heroic knock.
To think that this thrilling Test series almost never happened… ~phew~
I was in office and even caught a couple of deliveries of the match on a colleague’s laptop who was watching it thanks to the wonders of wireless broadband technology. “Only 9 more overs to go in the day and Morkel and Amla don’t seem to be budging,” I told myself. Resigned, I returned to my desk.
A couple of minutes later, a whoop of joy was let out by the group which had crowded around that laptop. Even as I rushed with a grin towards them, I knew that Eden had once again worked its special brand of magic.
The sight of Harbhajan charging towards the stands like a warrior who has just won a battle will stick in my mind forever. He knows this ground reserves special love for him: the Eden crowd ooh-ed and aah-ed with every delivery of his that went past the edge of the bat or dropped just short of the man at forward short leg, they celebrated with the turbanned warrior with every wicket that he took. Bhajji knows how big a factor the crowd is at Eden and this was his moment of acknowledging his most vociferous teammates who sat in the stands.
Not to be forgotten is Laxman, the VVS in whose name Chappel says must stand for Very Very Special. 1000+ runs on a particular ground is no mean feat, but then, Laxman is no ordinary batsman and Eden isn’t any other ground. Ever since that Test match in 2001, Laxman has taken on the mantle of making this his home away from home, much like his fellow Hyderabadi Azhar did before him.
All those who fore-casted the death of Test match cricket... beware!! Test Matches have shown the sheer nail-biting excitement it is capable of delivering: first there was the England vs. South Africa series, then the Pakistan tour of Australia, and now, the roar at Eden Gardens.