Day 2:
Day one wasn’t perfect and gave the crowd all the more reason to show their disappointment with Dravid for depriving them of watching Sehwag and Sachin’s batting on a fine Sunday. Every mistake committed by the captain was followed by chants of ‘We want Dada or Saurav’. And believe me that was not music to Dravid’s ears.

India began day 2 in the hope of making amends for the mistakes done on day one. One over from Munaf to Flintoff though proved that nothing had changed. Two regulation catches went down on successive deliveries. The first by Sehwag in slips and second by Kumble in the gully. First you let off Strauss and if that wasn’t good enough you give Flintoff two lives! Is that pardonable?Fortunately he didn’t make us pay with a hundred. England kept losing wickets at regular intervals once they crossed the 320 mark and India looked good to pull the plugs before the side hit 400 but the tail wagged a bit and England just managed to get that psychological advantage.

India needed a steady start, time was not an issue and if they applied themselves there was no reason to not achieve the 400 mark on a wicket that was still playing the same as day one. Well I had mentioned in one of my posts that Sehwag will have to face the music once the oppositions begun to figure him out. This is exactly what happened. For heaven’s sake he is also going the Ganguly way. Either gets bowled through his gate or is out fending a short-pitched delivery. If he does not sort out his problem we will see him more in the pavilion than outside! Tell me why is his place not in danger? If Laxman can be dropped I see no reason why Sehwag is still playing!

Then came in Dravid to partner Jaffer and I thought now is the time for a good a nap. But it was no to be as Jaffer to got out and Jones pulled of the first of his brilliant catches. In walked Mumbai’s hero and lad and the Wankhede stadium had gone berserk at his arrival. What we saw then was the most unsettling batting display. Not once did Sachin look comfortable and though I tried to convince myself that he will somehow see the day through and come out blasting the ext morning it was not to be. And what followed later was a sad day in Indian cricket. Sachin Tendulkar being booed out of the ground.

Honestly having been to the stadium for the last 13 years, this is the worst crowd I’ve seen in terms of its attitude. Yelling abuses at all players has become a habit and must do to fit into the crowd. They care little for the influence they have on the young kids around and the embarrassment they cause to the elderly. Respect to age and ladies is long forgotten and am not being biased when I say these youngsters are from the rich-hip crowd with little regard for anyone else. I was shocked to see a ten year old behind me mouth abuses like B******with his dad being around simply to follow the other group. And abuses like Ch***** and Freddie F&*^ O** went on and on. Is this what we have come to? And are hurling abuses impressive? Cigarette in one hand and Indian flag in another, chanting the national anthem like any other slogan, are these signs of showing patriotism? Disrespect to elders and creating a nuisance for one and all in the stands, is this the way to enjoy matches? I’ve never seen such a degraded crowd and that too in one of the most decent well behaved stands in Wankhede, the Garware Pavilion! What a shame they have brought on to the rest!

And on the other hand I met a few Britishers who have exemplified great sporting spirit and I have had some fine cricketing discussions with them. They are courteous enough to greet every policeman and security when they enter the stands, a warm morning handshake to one and all around them and enjoy every moment of the game; appreciating everything about the Wankhede despite its shortcomings. I know there will be a bad apple everywhere but the behavior I’ve seen from a section of the crowd is indeed shameful!

Anyways back to the match, Yuvraj walked in at the fall of Tendulkar’s wicket and brought the crowd alive with some fine shots on the offside. Dravid and he held fort till end of day but England had clearly dominated the day though my moment of the day was Munaf’s Patel ball that yorked Hoggard. What a lovely sight that was!

Day 3:
All that India needed to do was show some patience, a lot of resilience and common sense. The wicket was not devilish. Dravid and Yuvraj started well but after half-hour of the morning play Yuvraj lashed out at a delivery outside off-stump and was on his way back. Then Dravid and Dhoni had some what weathered the storm but Dravid was out again to a brilliant catch by Jones on the leg side, this after being let off at gully in the previous over and it was the sign that this would not be India’s day.

Dhoni and Pathan offered some resilience but it did not continue like in Multan and Pathan gifted his wicket to Udal. Dhoni then started to take things in his own hand and after a calm 50 went back to his old days. 3 fours of 3 balls and instead of simply playing the next one ran for a non-existent single! At 217 I thought it’s all over but Shreesanth who is having a great match walked in with other thoughts. The young lad hung around with Kumble to take the score past 275 at a time even when 250 looked impossible. One particular moment will stay etched in my mind. Flintoff knocked him up and the next over what does the little kid do? Dance down the track and hit him for a four. No one expected that and Flintoff was stunned

India’s innings wrapped up few minutes after tea. England’s tactics were perplexing when they bowled Udal and Panesar in tandem at a point when India was under tremendous pressure to void the follow-on. Some things can never be explained!

Having conceded a 121 run lead, India has some chance in the game provided they bowl out England under 180. A chase of 300 in 100 odd overs could do the trick for India. India have begun its fightback well with sending back the openers and well could have sent back Udal had Yuvraj not dropped a catch again! I just hope it does not prove too costly for us. Night-watchmans have always done well against us.

All and all interesting day’s play and the next two days will be interesting enough.

Will keep you all posted!