The Genius of Michael Clarke and the beauty of Test Cricket

With lot of emphasis on this years IPL, I am sure most of us forgot what was happening in the cricket world before the same. There were couple of real bad foreign tours for India (England and Australia) and same was the fate for England in Pakistan. But what's worse was India not even reaching the finals of the Asia Cup 2012. Bangladesh and Pakistan played the finals in which Pakistan won the match and Bangladesh won the hearts.

In the middle of all this hype, Australia quietly played a spectacular series against West Indies. No one expected Windies to even give a fight, but they way they played was a treat to watch. They drew the one dayers 2-2 and the T20's 1-1. Then came the 3 match test series. If I am not wrong, Australia won it 2-0. But it was really lot more closer than the results showed. But one phase of play was really an intriguing session. It was near to the close of the third with around 7 overs left. West Indies were 9 down and their wicket keeper Baugh was on crease with Fidel Edwards I think. I was watching the match live at 3.00AM in India and I was thrilled how Michael Clarke attacked the West Indies batsman. Suddenly after the fall of 9th wicket, I saw clarke bowling. First I thought he was trying his luck to get a wicket. But he was bowling flat and outside off. Then even for the other bowlers, he kept long fields for Baugh and just had a slip for Edwards. Here are the commentary bits courtesy ESPNCRICINFO.;page=3;view=commentary

For few overs I began to think, Clarke had become Dhoni or in fact like most of the modern day captains, contend to reduce runs. Then came the final over of the day and after a delivery, suddenly Clarke started attacking. And that's when the light dawned upon me. Clarke had infact managed to make all of us believe that he was not attacking, but he was doing was making sure that the Australian batsman were not made to face a nervous 4-5 overs towards the end of the play. Stroke of a genius.

I remembered this because yesterday England were in a similar position against West Indies. But Strauss was not so tactically aware and they were made to face 5 overs in which they lost the captain Strauss himself and a night watchman Anderson, luckily for them Ian Bell and Alistair Cook finished things off, but it was another example of the beauty of Test Cricket.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this.


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