What an end to the year...
India beat England 1-0 in the two test series (that FINALLY happened). India won the match at Madras ( Chennai) after England controlled the match for 3 days 2 sessions to be exact. After that was something no one would've expected... India had to chase down a total of 387, if my memory serves me right. Sehwag tore apart the English pace attack and gave India a big chance to win on last day. Gambhir caressed on. Then came the man and the hour. Sachin guided India to victory in the company of strokeful Yuvraj. Rightfully, Sehwag was the man of the match for literaly taking the match away from England... One up, going to Mohali for the second test, England brought in Broad for Harmison. Panesar was still not at his best. India went in unchanged. The second test saw fog, more of Gambhir, return of Dravid, switch hit of KP, another episode of Flintoff vs Yuvraj, ft. KP, more fog, some more Indian batting, more fog, some more Indian batting, a HUGE target under the circumstances and then the draw... India won the two test series 1-0. With this victory, India moves to number 2 spot on the test charts after displacing South Africa. Australia and South Africa locking horns down under presently.
Australia beat New Zealand 2-0 in the two match home series. New Zealand sent another cold thorn into the stumbling Australian side which was trying to get back its form after being drubbed 2-0 in India. After a poor first innings batting erformances by Australia in the first test, their bowlers put them back on track and there was no looking back. New Zealand continued their search for an opening pair. Jesse Rider and McCullum came good with batting at times, but ran out of help from the other end... In the end, it was an easy series for Australia.
West Indies were in the beautifuls Isles of the Kiwis for a two test series. First test was just a match for the count, nothing much happened in it, as Dunedin was under rain clouds more often then not... The series moved to Napier, and though both teams tried their best, result ws not to come and the series was all square. This series saw brilliant performance from the new face Tim Mcintosh for the Kiwis, who filled in for the dropped Redmond. Chanderpaul tutored Taylor to a century while he was moving along in a style of his own. Gayle was superb with both bat, ball and also with captaincy. Iain O'Brien had some good spells to remember.
WI will be playing a five match ODI series in NZ after a couple of T20s I think. South Africa and Australia are fighting to end the year on a high, testing each other in the 4 match test series prior to the one day series (hey, no more jan-feb tri nation series down under, remember!!!). Sri Lanka are touring Pakistan in January '09 after India pulled out. SL are presently playing test series in Bangladesh.