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Paul Collingwood - True Stroke

Chennai proved that Test cricket is still alive and kicking, writes Paul Collingwood



Friday, December 19, 2021
Our pacers should do well

While it was devastating to lose after setting a target of 387, I know that the Chennai Test match is one I will never forget.

When we have the time to sit and look back at this series, I am sure that it will give me great satisfaction to have played my part in this wonderfully contested Test match. We are proud of the way we played after having hardly any time to get into Test cricket mode, because of the extraordinary events that preceded the Test. India of course saved their best for the last day, and to see Mumbai boy Sachin Tendulkar lead India to victory must have given all the Indians a lot to be proud of. However, the momentum of the game was shifted on the fourth day itself, when Virender Sehwag tore into the bowling and made the hosts believe that they could win the Test, when conventional wisdom would have suggested that a draw was the best result they could hope for. The loss hurts a lot at the moment, but full marks to India for constructing their chase so well.

It's also great to see that Test cricket can hold its own in a time when there is so much hype over the Twenty20 game. On the fifth afternoon, the atmosphere at the Chepauk Stadium was electric and I will never forget how each dot ball played by Yuvraj Singh, when Sachin was nearing his century, was received with a roar of appreciation truly magical stuff.

The teams arrived in Mohali on Tuesday, and the weather was cold and dull. Fortunately, the sun has come out the last couple of days, and the conditions are just right for Test cricket at the moment. The wicket in Mohali is the most pacer-friendly track in India, and I am sure that Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff will be looking forward to bowling here. Stuart Broad is also in the reckoning, and since all these guys are all way above six feet, they will be able to extract good bounce from the track.

It is very important that we go into the Test remembering the positives from Chennai. Many of us are in good touch at the moment, Andrew Strauss played exceptionally well and I have also been feeling good about my batting. Graeme Swann bowled a first over he will never forget and a team effort propelled us into a very good Test match position. If we manage to keep our performance levels up at Mohali, there is no reason why we will not be able to turn the result this time round.

(Gameplan)


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