Tuesday, November 30

Kolkata Day 2

Many maids all in a row, and the Mozz, Indian style

17:00 IST
An interesting day at Eden Gardens, but at the end of it all you realise there have still been only 230 runs scored in the day. It was a good gritty cricket from both sides, but I guess we have all been spoilt by the pace and excitement that the Aussies have brought to the longer format.

Shaun Pollock has reached the (easily missed yet much talked about today) milestone of 1000 maiden overs in test cricket. He is the 11th bowler and 5th paceman to do so, though in these 11 he leads the pack with the highest percentage of maiden overs from career overs bowled. That's about 30 something percent, as is Glenn McGrath. The spinners are Warne, Murali, Lance Gibbs and I think Kumble and Bedi. There was extended conversation and in depth analysis of this stat, and while I must say I sort of enjoyed it (why, I wonder), I guess it was also a reflection of how exciting the match was. Especially at that point there was a slew of maiden overs as Laxman and Karthik settled in.

Talking of which. Sanjay Manjrekar, I have always maintained, has been one to put some sort of a hodoo on batsmen when they are going well, or promising to. Ravi Shastri was another one, but he seems tohave improved over recent times. I learnt not so long ago that this is called 'mozzying' in Australia. To 'put the mozz' is to talk about the batsman doing well, playing well, looking set etc, and in doing so ensuring he is out soon.

At any rate, Manjrekar had barely settled into his commentary position, and he began on the special relationships players share with grounds. He was referring, of course, to a Very Very Special relationship with Eden Gardens that a certain wristy batsmen enjoys. Except, the said batsman was on 38 and only starting to look a little fluent. I immediately jerked my head towards the score and confirmed that his innings was just about settling down, and far from being the sort (even potentially) that Eden Gardens has inspired in him. I often mute the commentary when I hear possibly dangerous comments such as this one, but I guess I was too lazy this time.
Manju dear, of course, had not had enough. How different the body language has been, he said; how relaxed the man seems. It really is amazing, he informed us, how some grounds and some batsman share something so special.
It was special enough for Laxman to smash the next ball down point's throat.

Hey, thanks there, idiot. (& not even so much as an "oops, I really put the hodoo on him there".)

But anyway, Pathan and Karthik have ensured there would be no sudden Day 3 collapse; and while the lead may not be anywhere near what India mayhave hoped for (to bat only once), it might still be good for pressure on the Proteas come the second round of batting.

Smith, by the way, has used the same ball for 125 overs, choosing not to take the new ball just before tea. Then he chose to not take the new ball even after tea, when he had refreshed bowlers and batsmen coming in from a break. Of course a new ball would go off the bat quicker and all that, but it seemed to me that he would rather be safe and stifle runs with the old ball then take shiny one and with it, take the chance of buying some wickets.
Which means No.6 and 7 will (surely?) have the new ball to contend with tomorrow morning in conditions that will help Pollock and "Entini" (how the hell is his name pronounced anyway?).

Should be some good stuff, and the bottom half better be as prolific as they were against Australia. Then, the bolwers will really look forward to another shot at the S'Africans on a slow but cracking pitch.

1 comment:

kappax from Oz said...

at lunhc on Day 4, 52 runs in 25+ overs.. lead is 106 runs..

need to shoot these guys