so we started writing this match report a few hours ago until we asked ourselves what's the big idea writing something that dilip, over at the doosra, will do a predictably evocative job of. and so he has.
dilip has said almost everything that needs to be said about india's gabbaesque record at the kotla. almost. thankfully, he has left us with one or two things more that are worth writing home about, one of which - the sourav show - we will proceed to dwell upon in some detail.
after a typically loose dismissal through the gate in the first innings, a typically chancy contribution with the ball and the bat in the second effort ensured that the 'long in the tooth but far from short on determination' bengal tiger lived to fight another day...and two more test matches. good on him.
luckily for captain kumble and sourav, the latter managed to somehow successfully negotiate shoaib's thunderbolts during a most crucial time of the match last evening. where a more adventurous captain might have considered sending in dhoni at the fall of dravid's wicket, kumble, as is his wont, did what was expected of him.
against a more inventive and better endowed team than malik's pakistan, kumble will have to demonstrate more initiative in order to deal better with challenges involving the likes of brett lee, mitchell johnson and company. it'll be interesting to see how much extra over the ordinary our new captain is likely to be. or not. we think not.
the next test is going to be held at the eden gardens. we wonder what sourav, laxman and dravid, all of whom have fond memories of this one of the world's more dramatic cricketing venues, will serve up for us.
the last time the indian's played pakistan here, it took shoaib akhtar two balls to change the complexion of the game. two magic balls. balls even more magical than the one he bowled to breach the wall's defenses in the kotla test. a feast awaits us.