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The Year 2021: Will You Prefer To be Underdogs

Year 2021 was the year when the underdogs had gained success against the favorites

“Victory is thousand times sweeter when you’re the underdog”.  The proverb could easily spell out how starting second in a race before it actually begins can grow up the joyful feeling after coming on top at the final point. But, is it really that easy to start a series as an Underdog? You just don’t want to start a big series going into a shell, do you? Saying, ’O yeah, we love to start as an underdog’ is not that easy because that could in a way reduce your team moral and increase the opponents.

The of late incidents in the test arena of 2021 after a hugely disappointed last year due to the pandemic is raising the status of two things that the format was missing for quite some time- the “The Effect of Underdogs” & mostly The importance of 5th day. The 5th day was slowly fading away from people’s mind with the introduction of all the shorter and shortest format before few almost back-back to eye-open games that turned the table on its head.

The Gabba Gamble:

As an Indian whenever I speak about it, a shiver runs through my spine, the excitement level reaches its level best. Now, if someone said that he/she had the pride and belief of achieving it before it actually happened, tag that person as a liar. You lost the first game out of nowhere…you lost your best batsman…yes you did win the 2nd and unexpectedly drew the second one but the heroes of the Sydney test were not going next. So, with a pace attack of a solitary test, you are competing with the injured Aussies in the ground where they had never faced defeat in last 33yrs.

So, keeping all those things aside, they kept feet on the ground with self-belief and full confidence. There were so many instances where it seemed like the opponent would run the game away from you; but they had made small comebacks and with 328 to win, the new young blood Indian side went for the chase and you know the rest. With zero chance of winning the match; leave the dream of winning the series, the “UNDERDOGS” had presented the first evidence of something unfamiliar.

Kyle Mayers Writes New History:

For any subcontinent side going to SENA countries and winning test matches on those alien conditions is the hardest job and the vice-versa. Not only longer format, the shorter formats also arranged a big deal to deliver and West Indies’s whitewash to Bangladesh in recent concluded series had painted the clear picture.

But in no time, they had to face the same opponent in whites in the conditions they hated the most as their records speak. They had almost the same condition of the rookie Indian team; with most of the senior players and established captaining leaving the name off the tour because of the bio-bubble fatigue. Now the last thing you can expect is to win the toss and that too took the other route.

The home side posted 430 keeping the Maroons for 150overs. Shakib’s injury meant the Bangla bowlers had to bowl long spells and so many overs. After receiving a handy 171runs, they went with an attacking approach of declaring the innings throwing a target of 395-runs in around 130-overs. Going into the last day, the first dream of the foreigner was to play and play; if possible then think of a win. The overnight partnership of two debutants Booner & Mayers went on for 73.4ovrs adding 216-runs with solid defense against spin, surviving some odd deliveries, hitting bad balls to the boundaries and most importantly taking the singles and doubles. Till tea they were unbroken.

England Stuns Tired India in Hot Chennai:

The former did miss his dream but the world saw the latter went on to carry his team over the line with a dream innings (210*) of the modern age writing the history of the highest successful chase in Asia. “New Heroes Have Emerged from The Ashes of a Team Decimated by Absenteeism.” The man who has seen the team closely, Ian Bishop expressed. Yes, the English team had tasted some sweet over the last few weeks in Sri Lanka but they were aware about the gloried Indian journey. On a flat pitch under the scorching heat of Chennai, the Three-Lions opted to bat first. The captain who was already transferring dust into gold kept on going. Thanks to his 218, England posted 578 keeping the Indians 2days on the field breaking their mental and physical stability. The home side did try hard and could reach 337.

The plan of Silverwood and Root was to give the legs a bit rest and come with a fresh attack. England denying the follow-on sent their batters to add few more on the board. Post tea, with a 375+ lead, the Root-led side was still batting without showing any sign of declaration; and that received so much surprise from the fans and former players. Ashwin’s 6-fer lead Ind to the pavilion with a target of 406 or surviving 100-odd overs. Expectations were on high of an Indian chase; but the man who was getting better and better, Jimmy Anderson, broke the spine of the Indian innings. Kohli did try with some extra-ordinary shots but couldn’t lust either. No one gave this England side a chance especially against this Indian side who also knows how to win abroad now.

What’s Your Takes:

In between this, South Africa tried their level best to beat Pakistan in home; yes, they failed but not without showing fight. England before arriving to India, handed defeat to Sri-Lanka on their home turf. This is what We love to see in future.

What could we expect? Not sure about others, But I will sure expect another mouth-watering Ashes at the tail-end of the year, some upsets in the 2021 T-20 World Cup in India, a new franchise coming up to the rank in the IPL and definitely copy of WC final in Lords in the WTC final (huh! There will be no super over or boundary count). My list is endless, what about yours?

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