I watched The Princess Bride on Friday night, which, incidentally, was also the night after the first day of the 2nd test between New Zealand and India. There’s a recurring gag where an arrogant character is being pursued, and unable to escape their pursuer. At each turn, the chaser overcomes the obstacles that have been set in their path, to which the pursued cries, ‘Inconceivable!’
Of course, the next day was an atrocious one for the New Zealand cricketers. Going into the day in a bad position, they steadily and comprehensively dug themselves into a deep deep hole. By lunch Sunday, the situation was even worse. From a series lead of 1-0 up, New Zealand were set to throw away their advantage in spectacular, typical fashion.
Of course, the plot turned out very differently. As McCullum and Watling ground their way through first one session, then two, then three, it became clear that something previously thought to be inconceivable was happening. But perhaps that was not as unexpected as it seemed, because after all, this has been a summer of cricket that that constantly exceeded expectations.
Inconceivable that New Zealand should dominate the West Indies so utterly in the first test series of the summer.
Inconceivable that Anderson, barely into the team, should hit a record century, in a match where Ryder also almost did the same.
Inconceivable that Williamson should hit 50s in such a clockwork fashion.
Inconceivable that Southee and Boult have been able to maintain their heroic form for such a long period.
Inconceivable the Ryder and Bracewell would once again fall off the wagon, well, perhaps this one could be expected.
Inconceivable that India should come to New Zealand and not win a single match.
Inconceivable that the first person from New Zealand to score a triple century would be Brendon McCullum. I mean really, did anyone actually think, of all people, he would be the one to do it?
Inconceivable that the Basin Reserve would be full at 11.00 on a Tuesday morning.
Of course, all of those events did happen over a remarkable few months of cricket. But they did, showing that perhaps, as a New Zealand cricket fan, it is possible to hope for the best. That situations seemingly so hopeless can be salvaged.
So to paraphrase the Spaniard from The Princess Bride, I keep saying the word inconceivable. But perhaps that word doesn’t always mean what we think it means.