Thursday, August 23, 2012

ton ton well done...

It is a brilliant and heartening performance from Pujara. He looked completely a different batsman compared to what we saw him against Australia couple of years ago. His posture is changed. He does not crouch like he used to. His back lift is reduced. Overall, he looks very poised at crease and plays the ball late only to make his batting look poetic. Mind you, he is not done yet with his batting. At the same time a well set Kohli disappointed by wasting such a wonderful start. When these two batsmen were going, it appeared as though they were set to bat all day for two days. I know I was ambitious when I made those imaginations. Unfortunately Kohli attempted to punch a ball that was away from the body only to be caught in the slips. A free wicket for the opposition. Then the way Raina got out today must be heartbreak for even Laxman after his early retirement call.

Unlucky Kiwis for not having the decision in their favor when a Chris Martin delivery brushed Pujara glove before landing on keepers hand before the end of play. I think the DRS issue will surface again only in vain.

At 307/5, if India managed to play until tea tomorrow or even an hour after lunch, a total of 450 pretty much on cards. Then the formality of Indian victory is likely to be completed by Day 4. More than the brilliant performance of Pujara, it is nice to see the team management taking the initiative to send Pujara at No.3 instead of Kohli. Though I wanted this to happen, I never expected Dhoni & Co to do it. I would have been happy if Dhoni preferred Badrinath ahead of Raina in the XI. Anyways, it is interesting to see if Raina will be picked for second test, if India or Raina don’t get to bat again in the second innings.

New Zealand were pretty much behind on the over rate today. In all they bowled only 87 overs despite the extra half hour of play. Their bowling chart included 31 overs of slow bowling between Jeetan Patel and Williamson and still did not suffice. There was an interesting discussion in the commentary regarding the slow over rate issue in general happening around the globe. Ravi Shastri suggested, the no of overs per day should be reduced to 84 overs (14 overs an hour). Simon Doull countered that the paying public is deprived 6 overs of game per day for their money. Doull recommended the bowling teams should be penalized by handing 10 extra runs to the opposition for every over not completed in the day. Sourav Ganguly said this was already tried in Ranji Trophy (unsuccessfully) were the batting teams were awarded extra runs based on their run rate (basically no of overs not completed in the day multiplied by batting team run rate). However, the batting teams used to take advantage of the rule and deliberately delayed the game so as the opposition team don’t bowl their quota of overs in the stipulated time. Some of the gimmicks adopted - make someone walk behind the side screen regularly to cause delay. The interesting point Sourav Ganguly mentioned, when teams rush to finish their quota of overs, they tend to bowl with non regular bowlers that take away the charm of the test match. This portion of commentary was very interesting. For the benefit of friends, who did not watch the match, thought I shall share this info.

Personally, I always like when the match goes for the extra length of time.

Cricket Lover

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