Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yesterday's Victory against England

Yesterday's victorious chase against England was amazing. Facts will tell you that it is the fourth highest chase in the history of the game. More than the magnitude of this victory, the fact that we actually won chasing in a fourth innings itself is great. We haven't done that all that many times. Now, if you consider the past 15 years, about the time I have been following cricket, going into the 5th day chasing a target has been the nightmare for India. We have traditionally lost those matches and we did it with amazing regularity.

The following are our 4th innings, 5th day chases that were successful over the past 15 years:
As you can see, we haven't achieved a win like this of significant proportions in a long long time. These statistics does not even go into the many many matches we lost trying to get into a 4th innings chase on the 5th day.

More than all this, I think the greatest achievement was for Sachin to close out the victory. There has been significant criticism, and rightly so, that he hasn't closed out 4th innings chases for us. The Chennai test in 1999 against Pakistan is just one of such many instances. For a cricketer of such stature, such a glaring absence of 4th innings chase is bound to be noticed and talked about for years to come. With this victory, he has essentially closed that chapter. Agreed that its just one victory, but thats good enough for me, for now.

Congratulations to the Indian cricketers. It was a pipe dream of mine to see India win a 4th inning 5th day chase and to do it with such a emphatic chase was amazing. You made 2008 for me.

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