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  1. #1
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Test match cricket

    Just a few hours until India and South Africa set off on a three-Test series that should have an impact for both sides, depending on the outcome.

    Changes for India, with Bumrah unfortunately injured, although they have a couple of more than decent pace men to complement Ashwin and Radeja with the slower ball. The two spinners have great combined results on home soil.

    Pant makes way for Saha behind the stumps, but I have confidence Pant will be in the team on batting merit before too long.

    For South Africa, they haven’t had their troubles to seek but there is the nucleus of a very bright, talented young team there.

    Given it is India at home then it is hard to see past them for the series, the surfaces will suit them far better and while the SAFs have upgraded in the spin department, it isn’t going to be close to the hosts.

    For those with Sky, it appears to be on one of the international channels, Star Gold, at 887. Play seems to start at five am though! That would seem to suggest the evening session commences somewhere around ten am which is more realistic! Can’t find any indication of highlight programmes on Sky Sports or BT and forget to check Star. For those without Sky there will be online radio coverage, both from Indian and South African broadcasters for sure.
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  3. #2
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    There is a half-hour highlights package from day one of the Test on Star Gold (Sky 887).

    Also discovered that Sony Max (Sky 886) seems to show cricket. The closing stages of the 3rd ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka is on now.

    EDIT -oops, didn’t say when the highlights package was on - it is 9pm!
    Last edited by Mibbes Aye; 02-10-2019 at 06:34 PM.
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  4. #3
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Interesting dayís play to start the series off. India won the toss and unsurprisingly elected to bat on what looks like a flat, flat pitch.

    They patiently withstood decent attacks at the start of the morning and afternoon sessions, which left them facing tired pace bowlers from then on, and spinners who donít really seem up to the mark. It was to be expected the Indians would take advantage and so they did, flaying South Africa with fours and sixes, very often cuts on the offside for the former and smites over deep mid-on for the latter.

    Rohit clubbed his way to a century in his debut as an opener, with Agarwal nicely poised on 84. Rain intervened before the sixtieth over could be completed, restricting India to a meagre 202-0 .

    I am not sure what the forecast is, will need to check, but India look set. For South Africa it is hard to see how they take twenty wickets. Philander isnít a bad bowler and got some swing both ways but canít conjure up the pace and aggression of a Ngidi. Rabada toiled away but is always going to struggle on a pitch like this.
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  5. #4
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    India pushed on massively on day two. Awargal and Rohit piling on the runs and setting big scores, one double century and one not far off. And although the remaining batsmen didn't score big they did score quickly to set an imposing target.

    This gave them enough time to have a go at South Africa, with the timing of their declaration. We then saw the difference between the two spin attacks, with the Indian pair conjuring up bounce and turn effortlessly and taking three wickets before close of play.

    Ashwin and Radeja are going to bump their figures massively over the next day or two, Awatgal and Rohit already have and probably won't be required to don the pads for a second time.

    Top cricket if you support India, desperately disappointing if you back South Africa - but interesting cricket regardless and the potential for some real fun from the Indian spinners as the pitch deteriorates.
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  6. #5
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Well, well, the enigma that is Test cricket!

    South Africa were on their knees at the close of day two but came out fighting on day three. Elgar and Du Plessis took advantage of a quick outfield in the morning session with some bold shots.

    This continued into the afternoon session, albeit De Kock eventually replacing Du Plessis. South Africa piled up the runs and piled up the boundaries from finding the gaps, a mixture of wide and fine on the offside. There have to be question marks about the Indian field, both inner and outer, for being just too close in. The outfielders in particular missed several catches just by virtue of ten or twenty yards' positioning. It is excusable once, twice, three times but I think it was easily double figures, possibly on both sides.

    Elgar, who opened, and Du Plessis and the De Kock, made all the difference. Elgar was very patient in holding down his end and running up an admirable 160, He ultimately fell to Jadeja with a misjudged slog sweep that gave the Indian spinner his 200th Test wicket at IIRC a very good average. Ashwin was the pick of the Indian bowlers however, claiming a five-for after many, many overs.

    De Kock is a player I really, really like and while Elgar anchored today's play, De Kock made all the difference, scoring at a very quick rate and making a century before being clean-bowled for a Nelson on 111.

    So, South Africa ended up on 385-8, trailing by 117 runs.

    They did far better today than was expected, certainly by me, and deserve credit for that. Still hard to see beyond India but the draw has become less unlikely.
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  7. #6
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Let this slip a bit but as expected, India saw it out comfortably with a convincing margin of victory, in no small part due to skittleing out the dangerous South African middle order in quick time, when they were asked to bat again. Shami bowled very well, to complement the spinners. Doesn’t look like India missed Bumrah

    I have hope that there is still life in this series, but it does feel a touch mismatched at the moment.

    Over in Australia, their domestic red-ball cricket is about to start - the Sheffield Shield. Not sure if there will be any coverage on tv channels in the UK but there are a bunch of positions in the Test side that are up for contesting.
    Last edited by Mibbes Aye; 08-10-2019 at 12:11 AM.
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  8. #7
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Not posted on the Second Test as Iíve not really seen anything other than very truncated highlights, due to being on holiday.

    India steamrollered South Africa, winning by an innings and 137 runs. It is rare for teams to enforce the follow-on these days and maybe shows just how confident Virat Kohli was in his team.

    Good performances in all the departments but the stand-out must be Wriddhaman Saha behind the stumps, with some excellent wicket keeping. Some of his catches will be on YouTube and are worth watching
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  9. #8
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Still on holiday so not seen much of the Third Test, actually only very brief highlights online.

    India are poised to inflict another hefty defeat on South Africa. It has been a bit of a demolition job. Interestingly, it is their pace bowlers, Umesh and Shami, who have been wreaking havoc, not the very competent spinners. The quicks have been taking wickets at ridiculously cheap rates.

    Every generation conjures up a great bowling attack. In my lifetime, the West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and England have all held claim to that title. This Indian attack is a bit special, especially given that they are without the best fast bowler in the world, in Jaspit Bumrah.
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  10. #9
    'S' Form Donald Max's Avatar
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    test series is very slow i am bored with this i just watch some of my favorite player betting then witch of. but i love fats series like t20 and one day matches and these matches warm you all the time.

  11. #10
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Max View Post
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    test series is very slow i am bored with this i just watch some of my favorite player betting then witch of. but i love fats series like t20 and one day matches and these matches warm you all the time.
    I totally get why Test cricket is boring for some.

    There can be long passages of play that feel very boring, because nothing seems to be happening.

    Sometimes that is because nothing is happening, and it is boring.

    To win at Test cricket you have to take twenty wickets. There are a bunch of variables - the weather, the pitch, the state of the ball, your fielding positions. They all interact.

    And for me that is the beauty of the game. You can watch a couple of hours with nothing seeming to happen. But it might be because it is a flat pitch, offering nothing to your bowlers, with dry conditions that don’t offer swing.

    You have to take twenty wickets. So you are patient and try to keep throwing the ball down just outside off stump again and again and again. And batsmen being batsmen want to score runs, so eventually you hope they are drawn out into attempting shots they don’t need to, because they are impatient. And that is when natural variation in the bounce of the ball, or its movement through the air, lead to the batsman misjudging the shot and edging it to a fielder.

    I have to be honest, that kind of play is what I love most about cricket. The cat and mouse, the patience, the building of the pressure on the batsman.

    It is hard to compare cricket and its different forms with other sports. In some ways it is easier to compare it with literature.

    One-day cricket is the short story. T20 is a comic book. Neither of those descriptions are criticisms, they are hugely enjoyable and respectable forms of the game.

    Test cricket is a sprawling novel at its best that drags you in several different directions before hopefully coming to a denouement. And if it doesn’t then that is because it is what it is - sometimes frustrating. But often utterly compelling.
    Last edited by Mibbes Aye; 25-10-2019 at 12:14 AM.
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  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    I totally get why Test cricket is boring for some.

    There can be long passages of play that feel very boring, because nothing seems to be happening.

    Sometimes that is because nothing is happening, and it is boring.

    To win at Test cricket you have to take twenty wickets. There are a bunch of variables - the weather, the pitch, the state of the ball, your fielding positions. They all interact.

    And for me that is the beauty of the game. You can watch a couple of hours with nothing seeming to happen. But it might be because it is a flat pitch, offering nothing to your bowlers, with dry conditions that donít offer swing.

    You have to take twenty wickets. So you are patient and try to keep throwing the ball down just outside off stump again and again and again. And batsmen being batsmen want to score runs, so eventually you hope they are drawn out into attempting shots they donít need to, because they are impatient. And that is when natural variation in the bounce of the ball, or its movement through the air, lead to the batsman misjudging the shot and edging it to a fielder.

    I have to be honest, that kind of play is what I love most about cricket. The cat and mouse, the patience, the building of the pressure on the batsman.

    It is hard to compare cricket and its different forms with other sports. In some ways it is easier to compare it with literature.

    One-day cricket is the short story. T20 is a comic book. Neither of those descriptions are criticisms, they are hugely enjoyable and respectable forms of the game.

    Test cricket is a sprawling novel at its best that drags you in several different directions before hopefully coming to a denouement. And if it doesnít then that is because it is what it is - sometimes frustrating. But often utterly compelling.



    The capacity for a 5 day sporting rollercoaster is what makes it.

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