Doing it with 'Pomp'

Published: Tuesday, August 19, 2003, 15:49 [IST]
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Bangalore: The third Test in the ongoing England-South Africa series was special for two reasons - the way in which Nasser Hussain surmounted the odds and for the way in which England turned the tide. Just when the vultures were circling around intending to fill their bellies, Hussain and his team England rose from the grave. Boy, the third Test was a thriller from ball one!

Dead & buried - so one thought - England seemed to be plummeting when in strode Hussain with the proverbial sword dangling over. For a man who had been through the grind and a lot of emotional stress, walking in with England in distress was the last thing he would have needed.

True to the man, he dug deep and facing every ball with courage & conviction pulled England out of the mire. And when he reached that magical figure of a hundred the 'pump of his fist' said it all.

Yes, the man has done it and done it in style.

Even in the second innings his knock of 30 was most crucial to England's fortunes with every run worth its weight in gold. And when England won there would have been no happier man than the former England captain Nasser Hussain.

Truly a story of Strength & Character

So much for Hussain and his strength in adversity...talk about England.

Just about everybody had trained their guns against England, talking about their state of hopelessness against a relentless Smith & Co.

Yeah, England pulled a rabbit out of the bag and now all & sundry are putting their hands together for a team that had been hounded just a few days ago. I always believed this was an evenly matched series, but for some reason England started off on the wrong foot - amongst others, I believe some dropped catches cost them dear.

The reason I believe this is an evenly matched series is because England have got some potential match-winners in Michael Vaughan, Andrew Flintoff and quite a few world class players in Mark Butcher, Marcus Trescothick, Nasser Hussain and James Anderson.

If England can work as a unit then I am positive they are a match for any side - they are not as bad as they are portrayed.

I, for one, was elated when James Kirtley snapped Paul Adams - for that I thought was the last hurdle in England's stride - and the joy was untold. Not only had England resurrected themselves but had succeeded in keeping the series alive. That to me was most important, for cricket was the ultimate winner.

The remaining two Tests, now, will be the focus of all concerned and that is what cricket wants.

May the best team win.


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