Samir Chopra July 17, 2008

Testing times

Be careful of what you are wishing for when you ask for a "good, hard, closely-fought game."
24

On Sunday July 6th, as the Federer-Nadal final moved into the fifth set and into another cluster of deuces, a Federer-loving friend simply stopped watching the television and started doing the dishes instead: the tension had grown to be too much for her. I looked at her and sympathized. While this particular tennis match did not evoke that same reaction in me I knew from past experience, exactly what she was feeling: a tightening of the gut, a nausea whose phenomenology is distinctive, a holistic anxiety that seems to pervade every atom of one's being.

Ever since I started worrying about the ebb and flow of fortunes in the world of cricket, this sensation has been my constant companion during moments of play when it seems the entire fate of the universe hangs in balance. Of all the blessings that cricket has brought into my life, this has been the most mixed one. Without it, the release engendered by the latest development in the match in front of me is not quite as euphoric; when Ponting was caught by Dravid off Ishant Sharma at Perth earlier this year, my yell and air-punch must have woken up my neighbours. But experiencing it is never pleasant; be careful of what you are wishing for when you ask for a "good, hard, closely-fought game."

Examining my past in this regard, I am inclined to say that one truly becomes a cricket tragic when you allow the game such access to your emotions. I suspect it should be possible for most serious fans of the game to point to a cluster of moments in one's cricket-watching career when this became evident. And it is the slow-build up and development of this suspense that marks a Test match as the highest form of the game. Nothing else quite gets into your system the way a Test match on a slow flame does.

Indeed, one of the reasons why I welcome one-day internationals is that it provides a way for me to watch cricket without some of the intense anxiety generated by a closely-fought Test. While the closing stages of a one-day international often provide the kind of drama that triggers such a tension, these moments are brief, the tension has not been sustained over a long period of time, and more to the point, one-day international finishes have become clich├ęd over the years.

Of course, when a great deal hangs on the outcome of the game, like say, a tournament final, the same tension can be approximated; I certainly remember experiencing this emotion when Dujon and Marshall inched their way towards 183 in 1983. And I'm certain South African and Australian fans' stomach linings were damaged during that 1999 World Cup semi-final. But could anything come close to the tension I felt as Tendulkar inched toward what would have been a famous win at Chennai in 1999? Nine years on, and I still feel the pain. But 18 lost finals later, including the latest Kitply and Asian cup fall-downs, I'm relatively impervious to the pain of a one-day international loss. It just doesn't mean as much.

Twenty20 losses and wins mean even less. When Sreesanth was getting underneath that Misbah skier, I did hold my breath, but had he dropped it, and had Misbah smashed a four off the next ball, I would have resumed my long walk down Coney Island Avenue, away from all those cheering Pakistani fans, had a beer or two, and felt just fine. I would have been incapable of such sanguinity post-Chennai.

Kingsley Amis famously wrote of the metaphysical, and not just physical, hangover caused by excessive drinking; a bad Test loss can do just that, failing to provide relief for this most insidious of sporting emotions.

Samir Chopra lives in Brooklyn and teaches Philosophy at the City University of New York. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Maithreyi on August 7, 2008, 8:32 GMT

    Wonderful article. Closely contested Test matches certainly set the heart pumping, and I still remember sobbing after India's Sydney loss earlier this year.

    Being a relatively young fan of cricket, though, riveting ODIs and Twenty20s move me in a similar manner. I still shiver and whimper while watching replays of the last over the Twenty20 final - and then experience that adrenaline-boosting exhilaration of victory all over again.

    Still, I have to admit the effects of Test victories/losses are stronger and linger longer. The recent Bangladesh tri-series final loss made no impression (what an unnecessary tournament that was) and the Asia Cup final loss was marked more by irritation and wonderment that this Mendis character came with a magical performance out of nowhere to deny India a match that seemed theirs for the taking.

  • Madan on July 21, 2008, 10:26 GMT

    Great article. But I am going to take up the comparisons between Test and T20. I don't think that if the Bangalore Test between India and Pak last year had turned out to be a cliffhanger (ha!!) and India had ended up losing, you'd have felt as disappointed as after the Chennai loss. Goes to show the charm of India-Pak rivalry has faded a lot. On the other hand, everybody in the neighbourhood oohed and aahed, shattering the silence of the night, during the India-Aus semi of the T20 cup and I would have been heartbroken if Hussey had pulled off a jailbreak from nowhere. It cannot - as you rightly said - compare with the sense of anticipation on the morning of the fourth day of the Perth Test. But you also feel part of a relatively lonely club as only a minority seems to see the same things in Test cricket as I do or other fans of Test cricket. A T20/ODI triumph on the other hand brings the town down. Different experiences, but I can't choose between them.

  • Ganga on July 18, 2008, 22:17 GMT

    Great Article. I don't know how many times i experienced this. I still don't understand why i am unable to control this tense feeling. Thanks to you, i recall why exactly i switched off TV for federer-nadal match. I also, say, if you emotionally attached to something, really it is difficult to control emotions. In my case, my heart always beats higher when sehwag comes for batting.

  • siddharth on July 18, 2008, 12:32 GMT

    I remember the 3rd test inthe AUS tour of WIndies in 99( the lara series), lara was battling with the last 2 fro support and when ambrose got ou, walsh came in to bat. it was early morning in india, and i was at the edge of my seat with mcgrath bowling to walsh. this and proabably the WC99 sf were the two most tense cricketing moments for me...

  • Subramani on July 18, 2008, 9:44 GMT

    I was there and experienced the best and worst moment... Chennai 99 ...I cried I was mourning for 3 days Chennai 2001 oh what an elation it was...i walked my way back home jus laughing (it was 6km walk)...i had some much energy after such happiness...

  • Michael Jones on July 18, 2008, 9:26 GMT

    I'm reminded here of Keith Miller's comment "Pressure is a Messerschmidt up your arse - playing cricket is not." By all means enjoy a tense finish, just keep it in perspective.

  • Sreecharan on July 18, 2008, 7:59 GMT

    Exactly, and this is one possible area where I believe soccer scores over most other international sports and probably thats why it is more popular. Football provides for many more compelling close matches than I have seen in both cricket and tennis or any sport. The sudden death rule in extra time few years before and there probably is none to match it. the Arg V Eng match of 1998 world cup and nothing beats it as simple as that. Infact we had a few close shaves in this years Euro aswell.

    And much contrary to the author's impression I believe its the smaller formats of the game which produce these emotional moments much more often than the test cricket, though test cricket might produce one gem once in a while but one has to wait many years for that and quite truly the last one of that kind was the Sydney test but before that one you need to go as far back as Ashes -05 to find a compelling test match

  • ISHTIAQUE on July 18, 2008, 7:45 GMT

    Yes I can easily remeber the nervous moment when my memory dates back to 1988. Pakistan was playing against the mighty West Indies in Barbadose. It was the last test and Pakistan was leading 1-0. To level the series, West Indies were given a target of 260 odd. I was listening to the live radio commentry and hoping Pakistan could wrap things up. Indeed West Indies were 7 down for 180. Then few close decisions turned down and West Indies won by 2 Wickets. Viv Richard even cried after that victory. A truly great match and series. Perhaps the only occasion the Windies in 80s were challanged in their home soil. I still feel my dissapointment for Pakistan not wining the match and series. One must say that this 1988 series was a exhibition of quality and hard faught series. After that hardly any series matched that series. You can say 2005 Eng V Aus, 2001 Ind V Aus. But trust me that I was series that I enjoyed most.

  • Ashwathnarayan on July 18, 2008, 7:19 GMT

    Looks good, maybe that's the beauty of test matches!

  • Dnyanesh Nadkarni on July 18, 2008, 7:08 GMT

    Nice piece...One thing you could have elaborated on is the quality of commentating that is also so important. Who can forget the excitement in Tony Greig's "Its a sssssssix...". Also when watching capsules at a later stage on one of the sports channel...the mixing of music (typical one is of heartbeats)takes it to a phase where sport and entertainment mix. Remember watching one capsule where Sachin in his majestic "desert storm" form against the Aussies was interrupted by a Sharjah "desert storm"...The shot showed Sachin waiting outside the boundary as if willing the storm to subside...The voiceover had Ravi Shastri saying "As long as there is Sachin...there is hope". Got goosebumps just typing this mail...

  • Maithreyi on August 7, 2008, 8:32 GMT

    Wonderful article. Closely contested Test matches certainly set the heart pumping, and I still remember sobbing after India's Sydney loss earlier this year.

    Being a relatively young fan of cricket, though, riveting ODIs and Twenty20s move me in a similar manner. I still shiver and whimper while watching replays of the last over the Twenty20 final - and then experience that adrenaline-boosting exhilaration of victory all over again.

    Still, I have to admit the effects of Test victories/losses are stronger and linger longer. The recent Bangladesh tri-series final loss made no impression (what an unnecessary tournament that was) and the Asia Cup final loss was marked more by irritation and wonderment that this Mendis character came with a magical performance out of nowhere to deny India a match that seemed theirs for the taking.

  • Madan on July 21, 2008, 10:26 GMT

    Great article. But I am going to take up the comparisons between Test and T20. I don't think that if the Bangalore Test between India and Pak last year had turned out to be a cliffhanger (ha!!) and India had ended up losing, you'd have felt as disappointed as after the Chennai loss. Goes to show the charm of India-Pak rivalry has faded a lot. On the other hand, everybody in the neighbourhood oohed and aahed, shattering the silence of the night, during the India-Aus semi of the T20 cup and I would have been heartbroken if Hussey had pulled off a jailbreak from nowhere. It cannot - as you rightly said - compare with the sense of anticipation on the morning of the fourth day of the Perth Test. But you also feel part of a relatively lonely club as only a minority seems to see the same things in Test cricket as I do or other fans of Test cricket. A T20/ODI triumph on the other hand brings the town down. Different experiences, but I can't choose between them.

  • Ganga on July 18, 2008, 22:17 GMT

    Great Article. I don't know how many times i experienced this. I still don't understand why i am unable to control this tense feeling. Thanks to you, i recall why exactly i switched off TV for federer-nadal match. I also, say, if you emotionally attached to something, really it is difficult to control emotions. In my case, my heart always beats higher when sehwag comes for batting.

  • siddharth on July 18, 2008, 12:32 GMT

    I remember the 3rd test inthe AUS tour of WIndies in 99( the lara series), lara was battling with the last 2 fro support and when ambrose got ou, walsh came in to bat. it was early morning in india, and i was at the edge of my seat with mcgrath bowling to walsh. this and proabably the WC99 sf were the two most tense cricketing moments for me...

  • Subramani on July 18, 2008, 9:44 GMT

    I was there and experienced the best and worst moment... Chennai 99 ...I cried I was mourning for 3 days Chennai 2001 oh what an elation it was...i walked my way back home jus laughing (it was 6km walk)...i had some much energy after such happiness...

  • Michael Jones on July 18, 2008, 9:26 GMT

    I'm reminded here of Keith Miller's comment "Pressure is a Messerschmidt up your arse - playing cricket is not." By all means enjoy a tense finish, just keep it in perspective.

  • Sreecharan on July 18, 2008, 7:59 GMT

    Exactly, and this is one possible area where I believe soccer scores over most other international sports and probably thats why it is more popular. Football provides for many more compelling close matches than I have seen in both cricket and tennis or any sport. The sudden death rule in extra time few years before and there probably is none to match it. the Arg V Eng match of 1998 world cup and nothing beats it as simple as that. Infact we had a few close shaves in this years Euro aswell.

    And much contrary to the author's impression I believe its the smaller formats of the game which produce these emotional moments much more often than the test cricket, though test cricket might produce one gem once in a while but one has to wait many years for that and quite truly the last one of that kind was the Sydney test but before that one you need to go as far back as Ashes -05 to find a compelling test match

  • ISHTIAQUE on July 18, 2008, 7:45 GMT

    Yes I can easily remeber the nervous moment when my memory dates back to 1988. Pakistan was playing against the mighty West Indies in Barbadose. It was the last test and Pakistan was leading 1-0. To level the series, West Indies were given a target of 260 odd. I was listening to the live radio commentry and hoping Pakistan could wrap things up. Indeed West Indies were 7 down for 180. Then few close decisions turned down and West Indies won by 2 Wickets. Viv Richard even cried after that victory. A truly great match and series. Perhaps the only occasion the Windies in 80s were challanged in their home soil. I still feel my dissapointment for Pakistan not wining the match and series. One must say that this 1988 series was a exhibition of quality and hard faught series. After that hardly any series matched that series. You can say 2005 Eng V Aus, 2001 Ind V Aus. But trust me that I was series that I enjoyed most.

  • Ashwathnarayan on July 18, 2008, 7:19 GMT

    Looks good, maybe that's the beauty of test matches!

  • Dnyanesh Nadkarni on July 18, 2008, 7:08 GMT

    Nice piece...One thing you could have elaborated on is the quality of commentating that is also so important. Who can forget the excitement in Tony Greig's "Its a sssssssix...". Also when watching capsules at a later stage on one of the sports channel...the mixing of music (typical one is of heartbeats)takes it to a phase where sport and entertainment mix. Remember watching one capsule where Sachin in his majestic "desert storm" form against the Aussies was interrupted by a Sharjah "desert storm"...The shot showed Sachin waiting outside the boundary as if willing the storm to subside...The voiceover had Ravi Shastri saying "As long as there is Sachin...there is hope". Got goosebumps just typing this mail...

  • saurabh somani on July 18, 2008, 5:49 GMT

    couldn't have put it better myself... the chennai test still evokes passionate anguish, and yes, although i too held my breath, and moved to the edge of my seat, had sreesanth not held on to misbah's catch, i too would have hardly felt devastated.

  • Kishore Sharma on July 18, 2008, 2:59 GMT

    Yep. The Chennai test loss still rankles. I'd like to mention two other tests where India couldn't bowl the opposition out after having set a target. The Jo'Burg test of '96 - Cullinan & rain saved 'em Proteas and the Wellington test of '99 - Azhar & Sachin made brilliant 100s in the 1st and 2nd inns respectively. Set 210 odd to win, NZ scampered home with 4 wkts to spare. These are two tests that left with me with a profound feeling of uneasiness.

  • Noman Yousuf on July 18, 2008, 1:59 GMT

    Very well written. Evoked so many great memories. But I would have to say it's just not your home team that brings its due share of tension; in a closely contested match you're ought to take sides, often with the underdog, which may lead to utter joy in the end. e.g NZ vs Eng 4th ODI. Though I agree that the best of the worst comes from the home side in a Test match.

    Cheers! NYD

  • NS on July 18, 2008, 0:45 GMT

    Two such moments. The tied test in Chennai. You could not believe the literal 'pin drop' silence. We were all shocked and actually did not know the result until it was declared 'tie'. After 5 days of amazing cricket nobody won. Look out for the videos in Youtube. Priceless. The second such moment was Chetan Sharma's full toss to Javed Miandad in the final. He should be the first guy to get a billion (give or take a few millions) galis on that day. I swear he still gets those nightmares afterall Indian team could not come out of the nightmare for a decade.

  • JK on July 17, 2008, 23:13 GMT

    Excellent article Samir! I can remember numerous moments (cricket related and otherwise) where this particular brand of nausea (as you suggest) had gripped me....I recall the 92 wimbledon final between agassi and goran..I think I actually broke into a tear then..cricket wise, I think I have to say the most tense moments were the final morning's play at adelaide in 2003/04 when India was positioned to beat the Aussies..I could feel my heart get heavier when gillespie got chopra lbw..Thanks to RD, there was no familiar collapse

  • Vivek on July 17, 2008, 22:20 GMT

    Chennai '99.Thank you Samir for reminding me of what has to be my worst cricket-related memory ever.......I still cant get over Mongia's and Joshi's dismissals. Its interesting to note though, such moments/tests are gut wrenching as you point out correctly, but its such moments that truly makes it worth being a fan. Not just of test cricket but sport in general. Eventually such moments come to be treasured and every single moment is remembered. Fond memories usually have a habit of being very short/fleeting. I personally, cant think of any arena other than sport that throws up such an interesting situation.

  • Kaushik on July 17, 2008, 18:57 GMT

    Nice one. I remember the Sachin innings in Chennai. I also remember the awfully close India-Australia 2001 series. McGrath given out for padding and Bhajji hitting those two runs in Chennai were the tensest I have been in a Cricket game.

    And you were right too, about the part about ODI losses not hurting much. The only time I had been really tensed about ODI's was the India-Pak Toronto series (and that too mostly because of the hype)

  • Muhammad Ali Sajjad on July 17, 2008, 18:42 GMT

    I do agree test losses do hurt more , maybe that's the beauty of test matches!

  • Kishore Sharma on July 17, 2008, 17:23 GMT

    Yes, I agree - absorption in anything can be a mixed blessing. My first experience of this was way back in 1979 - when I was growing up in the UK - when I watched the series between England and India. The final test, when Gavaskar scored 221, produced one of the most thrilling and nail-biting draws ever. I remember being reluctant to even change my seat in the living room lest it brought bad luck - everything else ground to a halt. This provided a mixture of tension, discomfort and sheer excitement - and I was only a kid then !

  • Arun on July 17, 2008, 15:56 GMT

    To me the 'hangover effect' lasts a couple of days after a tense/great match no matter what the format is. I remember walking around announcing to all and sundry that India won the B & H World Series back in 1985. My dad reminded me that they already knew or they didnt care and either way, I was wasting my energy. In recent times the 2001 Ind-Aus series (particularly the Laxman test) and the 2002 Natwest Finals had a similar effect. But the worst (or the best) was when I was in an emotionally inebirated state for almost 3 days after Tendulkar's scintillating 98 against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup. I just didn't have anything else in my mind for a few days. The upper-cut sixer of Akhtar and Shastri's over-excited commentary played over and over in my head. I walked around dazed. I wrote a lengthy article in tribute to that great innings. I experienced a more muted form of that state when Ishant Sharma troubled Ponting and picked up his wicket at Perth. The feeling's almost orgasmic!!

  • Pavan on July 17, 2008, 15:28 GMT

    yes, the tension that we feel when not only watching a test match, but also waiting for the next day of a text match, thinking about the scenarios, is very thrilling and exiciting. And when you reach the end of a test match, when you are trying to win or draw a test match is worst period with regards to tension. As an Indian cricket fan, you feel such tension and pain quite a lot but still you cannot give up watching because that is beauty of test cricket.

    Just to illustrate the final day of the sydney test was a such a thrilling day, and you had to keep your fingers crossed and tension was going up as the wickets were falling and overs were reducing and finally when India lost the match, you could not get over it for atleast a week and you do not want to watch the news, for the fear of going through the agony again. But the beauty is when the next cricket match starts you are again ready to watch and hope for the best!!!!

  • SR on July 17, 2008, 14:12 GMT

    As an Aussie cricket fan, I have always debated if the 99 come from behind world cup win was more memorable or the 2003/2007 wins where we crushed the rest. 99 always brings back the fondest memories but it probably took a cpl of years off me especially the greatest ODI ever (the SF). I have watched that last over about a 100 times and even now I break out into a cold sweat after the first 2 balls. Still have no idea how we escaped that. Other memories of real tension is the 2nd test against SA in 97 which I heard on the radio. From a position of strength with 5 to win and 5 wickets in hand (approx) it quickly became 5 to win, 2 wickets in hand. As Healy hit it in the air, my heart was in my mouth, but as it crossed the boundary, I felt the exhileration that comes with the sweetness of victory.

  • allblue on July 17, 2008, 14:04 GMT

    Ha! During the fourth morning of the second Ashes Test in 2005 I did the male equivalent to the washing up - I went and had a shave! Tension simply too much! I agree that when a five day event comes to a nail-biting conclusion the tension levels reflect that, and in that series the last four matches all produced stomach churning heart thumping excruciating nervous tension. The beauty of cricket is that so much can change with one ball if a wicket falls, and that is every ball of course!

    In those situations being there is best, watching it on TV next, but worst is listening (as i was). There is that fractional moment between the commentator's frantic urgent tone and the words actually coming out - it'll be the death of me one day!

  • Homer on July 17, 2008, 13:49 GMT

    Domestic cricket has provded its share of gut wrenching moments too.The 91/92 Ranji Trophy finals between Bombay and Haryana was one such instance - the only time I felt physically sick when the match concluded.

    18 years on, the feeling lingers.

    Cheers

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  • Homer on July 17, 2008, 13:49 GMT

    Domestic cricket has provded its share of gut wrenching moments too.The 91/92 Ranji Trophy finals between Bombay and Haryana was one such instance - the only time I felt physically sick when the match concluded.

    18 years on, the feeling lingers.

    Cheers

  • allblue on July 17, 2008, 14:04 GMT

    Ha! During the fourth morning of the second Ashes Test in 2005 I did the male equivalent to the washing up - I went and had a shave! Tension simply too much! I agree that when a five day event comes to a nail-biting conclusion the tension levels reflect that, and in that series the last four matches all produced stomach churning heart thumping excruciating nervous tension. The beauty of cricket is that so much can change with one ball if a wicket falls, and that is every ball of course!

    In those situations being there is best, watching it on TV next, but worst is listening (as i was). There is that fractional moment between the commentator's frantic urgent tone and the words actually coming out - it'll be the death of me one day!

  • SR on July 17, 2008, 14:12 GMT

    As an Aussie cricket fan, I have always debated if the 99 come from behind world cup win was more memorable or the 2003/2007 wins where we crushed the rest. 99 always brings back the fondest memories but it probably took a cpl of years off me especially the greatest ODI ever (the SF). I have watched that last over about a 100 times and even now I break out into a cold sweat after the first 2 balls. Still have no idea how we escaped that. Other memories of real tension is the 2nd test against SA in 97 which I heard on the radio. From a position of strength with 5 to win and 5 wickets in hand (approx) it quickly became 5 to win, 2 wickets in hand. As Healy hit it in the air, my heart was in my mouth, but as it crossed the boundary, I felt the exhileration that comes with the sweetness of victory.

  • Pavan on July 17, 2008, 15:28 GMT

    yes, the tension that we feel when not only watching a test match, but also waiting for the next day of a text match, thinking about the scenarios, is very thrilling and exiciting. And when you reach the end of a test match, when you are trying to win or draw a test match is worst period with regards to tension. As an Indian cricket fan, you feel such tension and pain quite a lot but still you cannot give up watching because that is beauty of test cricket.

    Just to illustrate the final day of the sydney test was a such a thrilling day, and you had to keep your fingers crossed and tension was going up as the wickets were falling and overs were reducing and finally when India lost the match, you could not get over it for atleast a week and you do not want to watch the news, for the fear of going through the agony again. But the beauty is when the next cricket match starts you are again ready to watch and hope for the best!!!!

  • Arun on July 17, 2008, 15:56 GMT

    To me the 'hangover effect' lasts a couple of days after a tense/great match no matter what the format is. I remember walking around announcing to all and sundry that India won the B & H World Series back in 1985. My dad reminded me that they already knew or they didnt care and either way, I was wasting my energy. In recent times the 2001 Ind-Aus series (particularly the Laxman test) and the 2002 Natwest Finals had a similar effect. But the worst (or the best) was when I was in an emotionally inebirated state for almost 3 days after Tendulkar's scintillating 98 against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup. I just didn't have anything else in my mind for a few days. The upper-cut sixer of Akhtar and Shastri's over-excited commentary played over and over in my head. I walked around dazed. I wrote a lengthy article in tribute to that great innings. I experienced a more muted form of that state when Ishant Sharma troubled Ponting and picked up his wicket at Perth. The feeling's almost orgasmic!!

  • Kishore Sharma on July 17, 2008, 17:23 GMT

    Yes, I agree - absorption in anything can be a mixed blessing. My first experience of this was way back in 1979 - when I was growing up in the UK - when I watched the series between England and India. The final test, when Gavaskar scored 221, produced one of the most thrilling and nail-biting draws ever. I remember being reluctant to even change my seat in the living room lest it brought bad luck - everything else ground to a halt. This provided a mixture of tension, discomfort and sheer excitement - and I was only a kid then !

  • Muhammad Ali Sajjad on July 17, 2008, 18:42 GMT

    I do agree test losses do hurt more , maybe that's the beauty of test matches!

  • Kaushik on July 17, 2008, 18:57 GMT

    Nice one. I remember the Sachin innings in Chennai. I also remember the awfully close India-Australia 2001 series. McGrath given out for padding and Bhajji hitting those two runs in Chennai were the tensest I have been in a Cricket game.

    And you were right too, about the part about ODI losses not hurting much. The only time I had been really tensed about ODI's was the India-Pak Toronto series (and that too mostly because of the hype)

  • Vivek on July 17, 2008, 22:20 GMT

    Chennai '99.Thank you Samir for reminding me of what has to be my worst cricket-related memory ever.......I still cant get over Mongia's and Joshi's dismissals. Its interesting to note though, such moments/tests are gut wrenching as you point out correctly, but its such moments that truly makes it worth being a fan. Not just of test cricket but sport in general. Eventually such moments come to be treasured and every single moment is remembered. Fond memories usually have a habit of being very short/fleeting. I personally, cant think of any arena other than sport that throws up such an interesting situation.

  • JK on July 17, 2008, 23:13 GMT

    Excellent article Samir! I can remember numerous moments (cricket related and otherwise) where this particular brand of nausea (as you suggest) had gripped me....I recall the 92 wimbledon final between agassi and goran..I think I actually broke into a tear then..cricket wise, I think I have to say the most tense moments were the final morning's play at adelaide in 2003/04 when India was positioned to beat the Aussies..I could feel my heart get heavier when gillespie got chopra lbw..Thanks to RD, there was no familiar collapse