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Diary of the 17th Man – Mar 18

Day 5 – Third Test – Mohali

The match dragged on to the inevitable result, with a slight hint of drama near the end masking the fact that we had managed to throw this one away in under 4 days of play. Coach was encouraging when we came off, saying we fought well at the end.  “Pity about the start and the middle,” Prof said under his breath. He took his whites off and scrunched them up in his kit. “No point in even having these washed. The Condemned will all be back in next match.  Where’s that Reject Club t-shirt?”

The LBW stats for this series are a bit mysterious, given how many straight balls Plopper and Gipper have attempted to slip in.  One thing the umps haven’t said to either side is “spinning too much”. Make of that what you will.

There is a rumor going around that you have not been able to get a business class seat on a flight to anywhere near Delhi for days.  The Condemned Who Is Not Firing Blanks is on the way back with his entourage, which will be a relief to us all.  Apart from that, apparently every player who thinks they’re on the fringe of test selection, and is not playing in the Shield final, is trying to get to Delhi so they can send the selectors an email saying “I’m here on holidays if you need me.”  The only thing that prevented an unseemly rush to Sydney airport at the end of the Blues v Redbacks game was that the game finished early, so the Blues players had to wait until the other games had finished to see if they had done a Bradbury into the Shield final.  That and the fact that their fringe players are already in the squad, me included.

I guess one thing we can be thankful for is that there are no pollies on their way over here to catch a publicity shot with us being presented with the Border Gavaskar trophy.   They won’t even be sending a junior ministerial assistant to the airport to meet us at this rate, unless their polling indicates a large degree of sympathy for us among swinging voters in marginal seats.  Judging by the emails and chat on twitter, there would be more votes in gleefully dancing around on our graves.

No-one is game to say it out loud, but there is a feeling that that was as close as we’re going to get, on a pitch that gave just a little help to the quicks but with Rocket Man on detention.  Back to playing in dust on Friday by all accounts.

India by 6 wickets

© 2013 Dave Cornford & Jeremy Pooley


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