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Well its finally arrived.England are missing two frontline bowlers in Hoggard and Harmison but their strongest bowler is likely to be Panesar.

I truly believe if India bat well(and they have the talent) then they will win the series.

As for the weather there may be at least a day lost to rain so whoever wins the toss will be in pole position.
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Hi Robert,
Yep, the day has finally dawned and its going to be one big test not only for India but England as well. I think England is doing pretty well at the moment as they were 100 + for the loss of one wicket when I last heard the score. India has to use the conditions and even though we all feel that our bowlers are really not that experienced - I would not put it past them to produce some fantastic results.

We must also remember - these tests are going to be the last ones for a number of the Indian team members - Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, Kumble and each one of them will have an agenda and especially Sachin who has never scored a century on this field. India now that is batting second must ensure a lead large enough so as not bat again. If they are unable to do this - the match will head for a draw - nothing that you or I would care for.

Keep writing in - your view points are really good and it gives me also a lot to think about.


India fought back well.Not only did they take wickets but they also slowed the run rate down.Kumble showed he has still got it.Also India dropped Strauss when he was on 48 EekerI will be suprised if there is much play today due to the weather.I think India need to restrict England to 400 to have a chance of winning,My money is on a draw.
Hi Robert,
Since I am not getting live feed at the moment - I have depend on my lap top for all the news and boy!! was I amazed from 242 /2 to 298 all out. I think Sreesanth and Zaheer khan did a lot of damage- much more then what the British or the Indians expected. Today as I post this - Sachin has got out for 37 and Jaffer has got his 50. Indias batting is long and now I wonder what can be done - either England skittle them out or they go and score a huge total which will ensure a win or a draw. I really do not the English winning this match.
I really think the team misses Flintoff and Harmisson. I think both would have a massive difference to the British side and guess at that stage, I would have been more prone to England going ahead and winning ( not drawing, mind you - but winning.)
What say?

Vey poor batting performance from India today so far,particulary Dhoni has played a lazy arrogant stroke.

England are missing Flintoff but their seamers bowled well today.Alan Donald is coaching the bowlers for England these days.

India are not out of it uet but anything over a 250 lead for England will mean trouble for India
Hi Robert,
Just day 3 and we have already been though one innings. The Indians never ever seem to take the initiative when they have been handed over all the possibilities for a win by all getting out as 203!!! I had felt that with the famed batting line up and the famous last words of all those senior cricketers " This is our last tour of England" and Sachin wanting to score his ton as this is one ground he has never done so - things would be ok and especially they way they went about dismissing the British in the first innings. I have a feeling the second innings will be different for the Indians as the British are not going to let the advantage very easily (The fact remains - India's bowling has much to be desired for!!).By the end of todays play if Strauss sticks around, which he very well can and then goes ballastic with the thoiught that he has great back up in Cook, Vaughn etc. Even if he gets out then - Piterson is not going to be left out of the party and thats the end of the match with England winning easily. The only hope is a draw for India and it depends on the experienced lot to ensure that as if they dont fire as they could not in the first innings its goodbye India and Sachin will never realize his dream!
Alan Donald was one heck of a bowler and England are really lucky to have him as their bowling coach. India still have to get their act together as I honestly dont think Greg Chappel took Indian cricket anywhere and I would really pity the team that takes him on as their coach. What do you feel?
Ananth it's raining at the moment so some time could be lost making the draw a possibility. Kumble is going to be an important player to keep England to a low score. Sreesanth could hit a golden patch again. In terms of batting, the big players owe India big runs. There is going to be lots of twists but England are in the box seat. I may actually go to the second test at Nottingham next week if I can get tickets. If I do, I will take some photos of the Indian fans and players for you but a lot depends on the weather of course.
I really hope we have a result as it will have a lot of bearing. As I see it - the main stumbling block are the top five bats of the England team and two are already down. If India can contain them today and then go all out tomorrow and do what they did in the first innings, there are reasonable chances that India may take the game to Englands door step. It all depends on the total England either put up are bowled out for.
One just cannot say as the wicket though well under covers will retain misture and it will give a lot of advantage to all three Indian bolwers - Zaheer, Sreesanth ( this is a fluke - at least thats what I feel) and Kumble. Kumble has a big role to play and Sachin can bowl some and fox a lot of people.
Well, lets see. I am watching the live scores on the internet. They will be showing the matches live from tomorrow on TV - through my dish. That however does not absolve you or I for exchanging notes!!Smiler
One full days play left and just about (!!??) 200 odd runs to get and have lost three wickets - two being the biggies. Rahul Dravid got a raw deal but there was no doubt on Sachin. Kartick is really enjoying himself there and hope he can carry on the momentum tomorrow and also hope Ganguly will finally get out of his 30s and 40s and go for a big score.VVS Laman, as far as I am concerned is and has always been a liability - one who rests on his laurels ( the 200 plus against Australia - a long time ago)- he has reached the end of his carrer and its been accepted by everyone he is not the quickest on the field and bowling is out of the question as he is suposed to be a "Bat". I know its not a very nice thing to say but I really wonder as to why he ever was selected when there were so many more talented players ( who are now going as Team A ) to Zimabwe for a series.

What say? The game is still wide open and India did well again to restrict England. They have at least a day and half to play, provided there is no rain - which if it does can only have one result - a draw. However if it does not rain - India still have the fire power to take on the England attack.

Luckily, I am getting the feed live and can now watch the matches and see excatly what is heppening. I am keeping my fingers crossed on an Indian victory - lets see!! Smiler
Hi Robert,
All I can say is WHEW!!! and thank the English weather. KP did a great job by scoring that cetury as thats were I think changed around. All in all - The English team should have won. Its just one wicket and Dhoni that kept them at bay and then of course the bad light and rain.
We have had a lot of comments in the newspapers here on the "big5" as they are known - Sachin, Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman and Anil Kumble. I have a strong feeling from what I gather is that VVS has been given enough opportunities and its time he walked into the sunset. Sachin will never get that century he wanted at Lords - but all the same it gave them a reprive. Rahul has to find his form and become the wall all over again. Kartick was really worth his weight in gold and came good when he was required and to an extent as you pointed out VVS and Ganguly - but not enough.
What can one say about Dhoni ? Did you know that he is the Indian Vice Captian for the ODIs'? He really played a great innings and really did well by trying his level best to keep the tail from crumbling. He could have opted for glory and am sure he would have got his century but he had to curb his natural instincts and play some very controlled cricket.KP deserved the Man of the Match and surprisingly the pacers who were not experienced enough (as the newspaperw and cricket pundits put it) to take 20 wickets and they showed it could be done.
I think we really have a great series in view and trust me - I am not going a miss a day of the match scheduled to start on Friday. I really would not bother as to who won the toss as it would be the same for both sides with the ball swinging and to an exten -the number of extras that were there as byes. I also hope the big 5 get their act together and play the role that they are supposed to. If they do - I see no reason why India cannot win as the bowlers have shown their capabilities and it were the batsmen who let them down.
Will you be going to watch the match live? I would have loved to do that, but will have to do with a new channel that has been created dedicated totally to cricket - without ads. etc.
Lets wait and see how the next test goes off as I hope the rains do not interrupt and we have a game on our hands.
Test crciket can become as nail biting as ODIs' and yes -it does test a player to the limits and its surprising when the one you least expect to come good actually do a great job.

Well, Robert - lets see and will be here to exchange notes.

With a bit of luck I will be at the match on Saturday and the weather is set fair.The match unusually has a Friday start and the first two days have good weather forecasted.Both sides are evenly matched in my opinion.I hope my seats will be next to Indian fans.They are noisy but totally passionate about the game.The English are also passionate but in a different way.
Hi Robert,
You must be at the grounds ( hopefully) as I type this mail. The rains almost spoilt everything but anyway all things end well and we do have a match on out hands. I knew the ball would swing and Dravids decesion to bowl first was on the cards. I am sure England would have done the same. Three quick wickets did a great deal to boost the Indian camp but Cook and Collingwood are now well set and are looking good. Lets see where it takes us from here,
Hi Ananth,

Robert is at the ground and sitting by the scoreboard, so look out for him! He's taken a few photos for you which he will try and post later on when he gets back. His only regret is that you are not there with him. I think it would have been good if you both could have been able to spend the day together as cricket nuts and not cancer victims and he would have really appreciated the cricket banter between the two of you. Take care.

Love from Lorraine
Dear Lorraine,
I just sent you your birthday greetings - a bit belated but apologise for the same. I have been watch the match live and have been rivetted to the screen all afternoon and till now where bad light has stopped play. I guessed that Robert would be at the ground and was really happy for him - at least he got to go where I have never been before!! Wink.
I have never let my cancer overcome my love for cricket. You will be really have a laugh if I told you that I had so many surgeries that I lost count and that when the ODI's were going on and I used to request the doctor to make me the first one to get opertaed upon - so that I would not miss my cricket! ( won a decent amount from all the surgeons who used to cut me up and put me back together!
I think Crisket is a bigger illness then cancer as one can live with cancer - but with cricket - NO WAY!!!
Lots of love and will try and see him tomorrow if he goes to the ground again. If he does do let me know and I shall request the TV channel broadcasting the match to interview him. I am really not joking on this one!

Take care,
Dear Robert,
I have a strong feeling that the England team has had everything going wrong for them as was the case with India at Lords. The weather was really making the ball swing and all the bowlers -Zaheer,Shreesanth, R.P are all swing bowlers and one thing I can say for them they line and length has been really fantastic. The batsman really let down the side at lords but have done well here with getting England all out for under to 200 mark and then had a great start with Wasim and Kartick. Rahul too played hi role but lost his wicket. I have a felin Sachin is not going to take things lightly and neither is Ganguly. I see a huge total on the board and then getting England to bat to try and get them out and not having to bat again. The Indian bowlers have shown the can take 20 wickets on the trot.
So lets see and you send me the snaps that Lorraine told me you were clicking away.

Surely India have put themselves in a winning position.All their batters have delivered so far and there is more to come.Panesar was unlucky with reasonable lbw appeals.I had a wonderful day yesterday .We had a contingent of Indian fans behind us who were noisy and fun.The Indian fans know how to have a good time.

As for the photos I hope to get them on today .They were taken with my mobile phone so I hope the quality does them justice

It was an honour to witness Sachin get his 11000 test run and he received a standing ovation from all the fans in the stadium.A testimony to the respect the little man is held in.

As for Dravid I have never seen a player so angry with himself for getting out.Kartick is onlY 22 Eeker ,a fantastic prospect

All the best

Hi Robert,
The snaps are really superb except one where you "think" it was Kumble with the ball. I dont think so as Dhoni was standing way to far at the back for Kumbles bowling. I am mailing this during the lunch break and it really seems England is in serious trouble. With just three wickets down and even the three contributed to a fantastic start and both Sachin and Saurav have consolidated things. Sachin has just got out - LBW - but I dont think he was out and neither Sachin as he is a gentleman and normally just walks but here he showed his surprise. However Laman is on the ground with Saurav and now is the time for England to pull things back to get get back to some measure in this match. Two and half days still to go - anything is possible except an England win. Either India will put up a huge total on the board and then as they have done far get through the ten tickets as they have done in both the tests till now (England too has done the same)for an outright win or England would have to show a lot of grit to try and draw the match. I ,however,do not see England winning this match.
You lucky man!! I would really have loved to be there at the ground and honestly would have been there had it not been for my "eating" problem. I am sure if things were all great - we could have had a lager together and cheer some good cricket.
Lorraine, finds us nuts - discussing cricket on a Cancer Site - but even my wife looks at this in the same way. What they dont realise is that cricket itself is life and guess I am still around to see the tight schedule that both India and England have during the rest of the year. Sorry Lorraine - it seems you have lost out to cricket!!! Razzer

Cricket is the one game that allows the mind to wander beyond what is happening on the field.You can read a book while watching it as well Smiler

Anyway back to the game.India missed a trick last night and Sreesanth bowled like a novice.At least 3 Indians should never have been given out as well.Today is the day that will determine the outcome.India need to take at least 5 wickets before England reach parity .I am still confident India will pull it off but Kumble and Khan will bowl a lot of overs

The weather is set fair for both days.

Take care Ananth.Thank god for patient and understanding wifes Smiler
Hi Robert,
The inevitable has happened. The moment England was bowled out for a 198 in the first innings with so many days to spare and then Indias top order all coming good (with the decisons which we know were a mistake on part of the best umpire in the world) and the substantial score that they posted. As I mentioned the ball was swinging away on the day one itself and India did take the advantage of weather by letting England bat first. All the three pacers do swing the ball - they may not be super fast but they swing the ball both way and with a lot of accuracy. Yes - Sreesnth was the odd man odd - bowling all over the place and then acting like an idiot ( I think he must have got a mouthful from Dravid) and then loosing half his match fees. Kumble was not really effective was he? We did ( you too ) expected more from him but the way the English played him to the leg side did frustrate him.The jelly beans arguement had Zaheer almost knock off Pietersons head off and Sreesanth left no stone to try and do the same with that crazy beamer.
The match was firmly in Indias grasp on day 4 and in fact I say it in Zaheer Khans pocket. A seventy three run lead with one day to spare! The English still fought to the end and were rewarded with three wickets. But getting the 73 runs was never going to be a problem. However, I feel for England as the first match at Lords was for England to go one up in the series but the weather Gods decided otherwise and India drew the match by the skin of their teeth. This match however, they were totally outplayed and India did deserve to win.
Well, with all said and done - its India that is one up now and the last test next thursday will make it a National holiday in India!!! Smileror will go into the onedayers - quits and having salvaged their draw and loss. I really do not think either team played badly - its just that India won the toss and that made all the difference. (one last thing- did you notice the spinners on either side were most ineffective?).
I still envy you being right there watching the match live and I would have been over the clouds had I get the chance with Indias win. Well, lets see what the last test does for either team.
Do keep writing in as it will be really fun to exchange notes during the test and then the onedayers which will have a lot of things to talk about.
Lorraine - prepare yourself to be left alone as I imagine that is what Robert will be doing for five days come thursday.(this cricket!!!! Banghead)
Take care,
Dont forget Rugby Smiler


England made a big mistake.They tried to wind up Khan with the Jelly Bean incident and paid the price.I thought Sreesanth went over the top but the bad feeling stemmed from the English players petulance.Fantastic win for India and they are on the verge of an historic series win,which will set them up for the tour of Australia in the winter.

Have you seen the 20/20 world cup is nearly upon us.India ,Pakistan and Scotland(my team)

Also I see its 50 years from the creation of the two state solution of India and Pakistan.The BBC are running a season of programmes about it and very intresting it is .
Hi Trev,
Welcome to Robert's and my column! First to answer Robert - Do you honestly think that the jelly bean episode had anything for Zaheer to have come back and blown the English away. I really do not think so and I figure out as he too described that it was his spell in County and Domestic Cricket that taught him to control the swing that goes out to a right handed batman and in to a left hander. He had his basics very correct. I am sure this match would have made him realise the exact way to use and pitch the ball so as to really trouble all over. Sreesanth has to grow up and I am sure Rahul Dravid has given him a talking to. However, as Vaughn said - it happens( though they did come very close to crossing the line ) and lets accept it as a part of the game. Carry on sledging in a decent manner while on the filed and become friends or remain such once off the field.
Honestly if they pull of the next test match - Rahul Dravid could stand for elections to become the new Indian President and he will win!! Further as you mentioned it will be a knock on the Aussies door to announce the arrival the men in blue.
I was not very keen ofn the 20-20s but now that India to has got into the fray I have no option but to go with the wind. I dont think Sachin or Ganguly want to be a part of the 20's team or for that matter Rahul.
Tell me something more about the two nation solution for India and Pakistan. Though I am normally completely upto date on current affairs this one has left me in the dark - and I do get BBC here as well.
Finally, I think the English will go all out to win the next match or draw it as India has nothing to loose. They will either be the winners of the series 2-0 or the same drawn 1-1. I really think we have a great match coming up.
The one dayers too will be worth watching out for as Fredie is getting back - so that could make a difference to both the bowling and batting strength of the English.

Ahh!!! my friend Trev - The champs have had their run and its time they gave way to the better side. Ok - they regained the ashes but did they not loose it? Without - McGarth, Warne etc. the team though very young and experienced now have to take on a team which has both age, experience and young blood. If the grounds in the UK are used for determining things - I am sure the Aussies will also be hurt with the swing of both Zaheer and RK Singh. For all I know they may include Irfan Pathan who seems to be getting back into the groove and if that does happen the Indian tail will bite and not give up as they did in England. Also keep in mind that none of the famous five would like to finish with a ziltch and Sachin,well as Saurav are hungry for runs. Laxman, though not a favortite with me will be a thorn in the Aussies butt and so will one more - Dhoni. He is one guy who you just cannot underestimate. He is a hitter but a thinking hitter - unlike Afridi. Look at the Lords match where he stood alone.
I think I better start thinking of an obiutory for the passing away champions tag that the Aussies have as of now. Its a gut feeling that India have changed to become more aggresive and give as much as they get. They are no longer meek and stand up to any competiton ( sledging for example - which is going to be a sure shot in the series! ). Trev!!!! come on and lets hear your side as to what can happen. I think both Robert and I would be glad to hear the same and once again welcome to the Cricket club.
Hi Robert,
I was just having some fun with Trev on the Aussies. There is no doubt that play a very different style of cricket then others which makes them so good. Most of the other sides try and put down their shields when the going starts getting a bit dicey unlike the Aussies who mantain the agression right through and I feel thats the way to go.
However, I honestly think India too is not too far behind in thinking like the Aussies and as you said it will be interesting to see the Aussies with the likes of Shane Warne and McGarth. I honestly do not think any of the other bowlers would trouble the Indian batsmen too much.
I also feel a lot will also come after we see what happens in the third test - if India loose it will be a major blow on their confidence and I certainly would not like to face the Aussies in that frame. The ODIs are a different issue altogether as no special techniques need be applied except for the bowlers who get a raw deal with their no balls, wides (Beamers!!).However, I am waiting eagerly for this coming thursday and then on to the ODI's. Will go through the web site in a while as am off to give spanish classes.
Trev - Hope this makes you feel better Smiler
Warm regards

I see the India and Australia as evenly matched and we could be in for a series like the one when Sachin put Warne to the sword a few years back.Trev may need to get used to the Aussies just being good Smiler

As for the final test on Thursday I cannot wait ,unfortunately I will not be able to follow much of it due to work and other committments but will watch the highlights in the evening
Hello my cricketing buddy-
The test has started off with India getting the advantage of batting first and as I put this down India have lost the first three wickets. Kudos to Katrick - he has really matured during this series and I think India have finally found good opening pair. Jaffer must be kicking himself for the way he went. Rahul cannot complain - he got out to a gem of a ball.
At the moment two of the famous four are batting - Sachin and Saurav and seem to have settled down pretty well with the score reading 230/3. I have a feeling this match is really going to be won by the team who keep their nerves.
The replays showed that Kartick was not our but that number 91 seems to be the bane of Indian batsmen ( remember Sachin?). Today is just the first day and I think we will have a better picture of things by tomorrow evening as we will know more or less where India stand. If they mount up a huge total, I think England will play for a draw - but, however,if they manage to get India out with a resonable score they may just go for a win.
Lets have your comments,
Originally posted by Robert E:
Well its finally arrived.England are missing two frontline bowlers in Hoggard and Harmison but their strongest bowler is likely to be Panesar.

I truly believe if India bat well(and they have the talent) then they will win the series.

As for the weather there may be at least a day lost to rain so whoever wins the toss will be in pole position.

India have a famous series win in their grasp,this despite another terrible umpiring decision on the dismissal of Ganguly.

The Oval is a pitch were you can score runs very quickly so India just need to bat as long as they can and grind England out of the game.There are three things in India's favour that make a draw unlikely

1 Sachin looks hungry for runs and I think he will score a century

2 England tail is quite long and will buckle under the stress of the situation.They will have to chase the win

3 I think the Oval will take spin on day 4 and
5 and Kumble will come into it

Credit to the Indian openers also ,they have delivered and it looks like Singh will be waiting a but longer.

I agree their is only one "C" worth respecting on this board Smiler

India to win

your friend

Hi Robert,

The match is def. in Indias grasp. With 650+ runs to play with they do have the fire power to bowl out the English. However, I am at times very doubtful of the Indian becoming a bit to complacent and not go in for the kill. The umpiring all through has been very average and I think both sides even out on that score. Prior has to do something about keeping the wickets as nooone can say he is upto the standards ( he is in a league of his own ). The two catches he dropped really cost England about 100 odd run and maybe even more.

Kumble - what can you say about him? He was a star performer and is still one but yesterday he performed with the bat - his first maiden century!!!. I have a feeling he will surpass Glen Mgarths for number of wickets in this match.

But then at the end of the day - India is coming home the winner of one of its most historic overseas win. It was great how the Indians all played the role they were assigned for and none of them got a century - except Kumble!!. Kartick has truly come of age and Dhoni played a fantastic innings. We could say he is just another Afridi but one must remember the innings he played at the Lords.

Coming to day 4 and 5 - there is no doubt the ball is going to turn. One could see the rough on the pitch even before the match started. Kumble again could be very dangerous.

There is no doubt that Yuvraj has wait for some time to get into the test side but hope he does so in the one dayers.

Catch up on day four - warm regards and love to Lorraine.
So finally the historic series win is done and over with. You will agree that India did outplay England in all departments of the game and thus enjoed the fruits. I however, wish Rahul had declared a bit earlier by havin sent in Dhoni to go Bam Bam and get up to the 500 total he was so keen on. He gave his reasoning but that was hardly one as had they managed another wicket or two yesterday - the series may just have gone to become 2 - 0. These guys will be allowed into India as heros and not hiding under disguises when the got jammed at the world cup. There is no doubt - had the mob caught even one them, the poor guy would have been lynched.

Now for the one dayers - any takes on it?

Hello Lorraine, hope you keeping well.
With warm regards,
Hi Ananth,

Robert has gone to bed early tonight as he needs to be up at 5.00am tomorrow as he's working in London and it's tiring him out trying to keep up with what's going on in the cricket when he's at work.

Our son Alex has told me that England are due to tour Sri Lanka soon which is one country Robert has always wanted to visit. However, I am still pining for India and I'm currently watching all of the Indian programmes being shown on the BBC at the moment. Tonight I was in Darjeeling!

By the way I love your picture!

With love


How did the nation of india react to this historic win? For me the man of the series is Khan ,closely followed by the two openers.If India would have won the 3rd test they would now be second in the rankings.

India can now be proud again after the debacle of the World Cup.Onto the OD1's and more chat Smiler

btw I expect England to struggle big style in Sri Lanka.Sri Lanka traditionally have a great batting line up but they are now very strong on the bowling front also
Hi Robert,
It was one great feeling about Indias win and you can imagine what happens when India wins - streets are named after the cricketers, menues in hotels are renamed Tendulkar etc. Everyone gets around to thinking how great the team is. One thing which has upset quite a few people is what Rahul decided - on not enforcing the follow on. I was sure he would but guess he was a better judge. I feel if India had enforced it - it would have been 2 nil. However, its been a historic one which make Rahul Dravid one of the preveliged ones and those along with him.
I think the Indians have finally come of age, where they are not the subdued side they used to play - accepting sledging etc with a word. This is a new side who gives it back as they get it - Piterson, Vaughn,all got a dose of what the Indians were never capable of fighting back. I think Mike Prior's days are numbered. He was a total novice and we can argue that even Dhni was not a such a hot shot behind the stumps but his batting blasted the English right out.
I saw the first of the 20s, which India won comfortable and Singh did well. I think India is going to treat this as more of a side show then anything else as most Indians have not acepted the 20s and feel the real cricket is the ODI and the test matches. Lets see how it progresses.
Any bets on the one dayers?
Say hi to Lorraine.
With warm regards from a rejoicing country,
Yes i must congratulate india on a most convincing win. I nearly had my prediction right. I said 1-1 but it was never to be. Thanks to the umpire in the first test before bad light helped India. I think Prior should be given time as Geraint Jones was given far too long. I dont think Flintoff should be back in the team until he has got games and form under his belt. Never mind. Well done India they outclassed us in the final two tests.

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