As we all know, it’s not how you start that matters, but how you finish. If one is allowed to read and write between the lines, the sentence sums up what India and England have experienced, while competing for the Anthony de Mello Trophy. After Ahmedabad, who thought that India would be tested. Nobody talked about the fact that Dhoni would talk so much behind the stumps, or that his bat would do the talking in Nagpur. 99 is a statement, short by one run perhaps, probably a sad forecast that his knock would be of no consequence. The ‘Jharkhand Jadoogar’ had a lot to say with his helmet on behind the stumps, but the three lions ensured that he wouldn’t roar in front of the stump microphone. These came straight from the horse's mouth, so we decided to kill two birds with one stone.
“Oh yaar kya daal raha hai Jaddu”
The intent and purpose behind playing four spinners was questioned with raised eyebrows. To be fair, both Chawla and Jadeja ignored what was being said, by bowling with the right attitude. Dhoni gave them an attacking field, and lots of chirpy encouragement from behind the stumps. Pietersen’s wicket in the first inning would have given the Indian captain a lot of satisfaction, given that the Englishman was caught in the ‘leg side’ trap that MSD had set. But then think about it, fast bowlers hunt in pairs, so by playing a lone pacer- Ishant Sharma, Dhoni thought that sending Gulliver out to hunt with the hobbits would bring the shire down. The ultimate insult probably was when he stood up to Ishant on day four.
“Aur lay aaoon ek do aagay?” and “Bat pad nahee chahiye meray ko”
A lot has been written about England’s weakness against spin, but to say that they will fall like nine pins to the slower bowlers all the time, is to expect magic from Daniel Radcliffe in muggle life. Packing in fielders around the batsmen these days, doesn’t lure the Queen bee anymore to the honey trap. Her Majesty’s bats must be complimented for the way they brought about the turnaround, by digging their heels in, and using the crease to create scoring opportunities.
“Yeh achcha hai, idhar hee dalta ray”
Permit us to interpret this statement differently. The first three words in India’s national language have to be dedicated to Joe Root. The young Englishman impressed all with his smart toe out technique, that helps him transfer his weight a lot earlier, and plan his shots well in advance, adding time to the timing of his strokes. Remember to multiply the digits of his first innings score (73), to calculate his age, for this lad from Yorkshire is going to keep the scorers busy for a while.
India did look a little desperate with their appeals and the fact that Virat Kohli had a word or two with Trott about a possible edge, was silly bullying. Let’s not forget that the wickets of Cook and Compton came with the blessings of Lady Luck herself. But remember, she is not going to smile at you, if you decide to shout at her when she isn’t looking. That Trott went on to notch up an ‘I Love You’ score (143) was the ultimate slap on the face. Kohli might have had the last word, but by then the fat lady had moved on to singing her final number.
“Ghantee ko lekay jayengay”
Ian ‘Ghantee’ Bell not only survived day four, he went on to score a century on day five, remaining unbeaten before his skipper decided to ring the final bell, to signal the end of the match. India’s body language on the final day was anything but positive, and the fact that the skipper went into silent mode, showed that Alexander Graham Bell taught his namesake how to return a call.
“Game ko lekay jaayengay. Ek aur laykay jayengay”
Do we need to say anything?
India saved their best for the last, but spent it too quickly, while England deleted the first loss from their memories, and moved on. A lesson a life coach would love to narrate to his class. The story of the tortoise beating the hare, being read out by Alastair Cook to his grand children, with a byline for Aesop.
If you think that we missed anything that Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on the field, do feel free to add your bytes in the comments section, right below this article.
Beamer: Sour day for India in the Orange city.
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