Monday, November 22

Kanpur Day 3

18:00 IST
Finally there was some cricket which was *exciting* for the spectators/viewers.

As if yesterdays’ irritatingly over cautious approach was not bad enough, South Africa did not declare even today, despite the delayed start. 20 runs in the last 16 overs yesterday was nothing short of irrational caution. After dominating (if through attrition) for most of the first 4 sessions, somewhere through the fifth, or at least the 6th session of the match, they should have upped the tempo. There was no such move.
This morning’s bizarre weather (heavy fog across the ground with virtually no visibility) did nothing to affect that irrationality. At 450 odd, you’d think that was enough to ensure they did not lose the match. Of course there are hypothetical (read: miraculous) situations, like Kolkata 2001 and Adelaide 2003, when even such a high score would have let you lose, but you cannot seriously consider them as factors that affect your decision. Also, I agree that theirs is a young team, inexperienced and one that may let slip an advantage a more seasoned side may not. But I do believe that after losing an entire session to weather this morning, it was time to declare. Also, SA’s innings had taken so long that there was (is) too little time for there to be a result aside from India losing or a draw.

Anyway, I do not want to harp on this too much, but adding this strategy to the low, dull (albeit effective and justified) cricket played over the first 2 days, it is a bit much for the way cricket is played (for the fans). At any rate, it may not mean much if the Indians can bat the way they did this afternoon, and play out a high scoring draw.

I did not see al of India’s innings, but there was some positive intent from the openers that was refreshing. The pitch looks to be still a good one to bat on, despite the slow nature and low bounce. There is still very little unpredictability, so the batsmen can breathe a little easy. I must say a draw looks most likely, despite talk of India scoring as rapidly through the innings as they have in the last part of today, and getting a lead by early Day 5, and inserting SA to put them under pressure, and anything could happen then. The likelihood seems as wearisome as the length of that last sentence.

The fog in the morning was really out of the blue. It is common in North India once winter sets in- usually late December and January. At this time of the year, and not in conjunction with genuine cold conditions, it was really strange.

Well, at least the Indian batsmen and fans have something to look forward to- we can hope that not only the openers, but majority of the rest of the side play themselves in as well. Sehwag and Gambhir have gone amazingly concurrent with each other in terms of runs scored, hardly being far apart from the other’s score for to long. Despite the easy pitch, I do hope they get their tons cause it will be a good confidence booster, especially for Gambhir.
Till tomorrow then, unless there are any surprises, sleep well.

No comments: