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This post will be irrelevant an hour from now. Day 3 of the gripping test match between India and Australia at Chennai would have commenced then. And the anticipation and predictions in our head would have either been disproved violently or validated indelibly. But for now I want to talk about the anticipation and how it is the very best thing for me about test match cricket.

Indian ace batsman Sachin Tendulkar raises his bat

Going into day 3, India are 198 runs behind Australia with seven first innings wickets in hand. They have the present and future of Indian batting walking out to resume a great-looking partnership. The optimistic fan in me (and millions of Indians) sees the storyline where the present god and future leader bat into lunch and beyond as familiarity of conditions and depth in the line-up take over to grind the young Australians to dust. The images of beleaguered Aussies wiping a gazillion liters of sweat off their brows as local heroes walk back to standing ovations after a Sachin 100 seems very very possible. This real possibility and this anticipation is unique to test match cricket. Whatever’s transpired so far is great. The anticipation of what is about to transpire is even greater. I am savoring it….

pattinson

Going into day 3, Australia are 198 runs ahead with seven first innings wickets to get. But they will know that they really only are one fallen bail away from taking the series by the horns. Young, lean and fast is James Pattinson. He will get about 30 cracks at Indian batsmen his morning. And if he can knock off Sachin/Virat early on, this will be a completely different ball game. The optimistic Australian fan can taste it already. Indian glory boys knocked over by killer pace and Aussie batsmen sucking up precious time and scoring precious runs as the knowledgeable madding crowd starts withering in the afternoon sun. This real possibility and this anticipation is unique to test match cricket. Whatever’s transpired so far is great. The anticipation of what is about to transpire is even greater. I am savoring it….

The city of Chennai, a Sunday full house, Peter Siddle, Chennai’s very own MS Dhoni and a pitch of variable bounce are all crucial and interesting characters to the main act. The anticipation on how these will affect or be affected by the protagonists is exactly the sort of thing that makes test match cricket unique and great. Too many words have been written about the death of test match cricket. For six hours today in Chennai, test match cricket will be less dead than any sport will ever be. I anticipate it…….

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