Congratulations to Rahul Dravid and the Indian team for pulling off a series victory on foreign soil! That too, in Old Blighty! This series win is especially good because it had an all-round contribution from a vast majority of the players, throughout the series.And that, in the context of Indian cricket, is a rare phenomenon, given that we rely on a handful of great champions to contribute more often than not.
It was with great interest and spirit that I watched Dinesh Karthik. His 91 in the first innings' of the Oval test was quite a sublime performance, what with his ability to read the swing very well and cover for it. Infact, there were occasions when I noticed that he was able to hit through the line in seaming conditions and that spoke volumes about his confidence. Great shot, Dinesh!
But, for me, despite the entire team's performance, what stood out was one gentleman called VVS Laxman. That guy is pure magic, when on song. He may not have scored a century in this series, but his sheer stature, presence in the middle, ability to make batting look ridiculously easy, decimate the opposition with style and panache rather than brute power just amazes me no end. He is quite a magician for me, and I just hope that he is able to accelerate a bit more in the later half of his career and do better justice to his talent. Not to mention, his terrific catching abilities. Quite a magician, who I would watch all day long, if I had the time. Seriously, magical!
Of course, the fact that four legends - Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly - might have played test cricket for the last time in the Old Blighty. And it was great to see the spirit in their enjoyment of the victory, as if it was a school kid being given a lovely chocolate that he has longed for. Such is the spirit of thrill and effort that has made these four wonderful artistes the great men that they really are. Of these four,as a fellow Bangalorean,I couldn't feel more proud than I did, when Kumble knocked off Glenn McGrath's record and went on to win a 'Man of the Match' award for his first(and I guess, last) century in test cricket. Great job, Jumbo! And the Indian captain, hails from my college in Bangalore, just another feather in his great cap! He was just the same in college too - quiet, but steely! It shows that he meant business at a very early age!
Next stop, the masala of one-day cricket. But, I must confess, the thrill of watching good old-fashioned, hard-nosed test match cricket, in England, with its aura of tradition had a thrill of its own. The Indian victory, just added the cherry to the pudding!