Dead pitches, Dying hopes


Mahendra Singh Dhoni - Test MatchAs I write this, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are fighting it out in the pre-lunch session on Day 3 of the final test match between India and England. The duo is battling hard to save the test and thus the series. But with Monty and Swann turning the ball and Jimmy Anderson working some reverse swing, things are not looking too bright for the Indians.

First things first, considering that India lost four early wickets last night, Kohli’s and Dhoni’s foremost task here should be to take India to safety. It is to take themselves as close as possible to England’s first innings total and stay positive during the course of the play. Because, like we know, cricket is a funny game and test cricket is even funnier, so expect anything.

In this series, we have had three results from three games and that sounds exciting. In fact the pitches which were prepared for these three tests were seemingly very home side friendly. And like I said in my post last month, England during initial part of this tour looked as if they would be challenged hard on such pitches. But it has been a dramatic turnaround with England using these pitches better than Indians and scoring two very convincing wins.

Come the final test match at Nagpur and accidentally or otherwise the pitch on offer here doesn’t seem good enough for test match cricket. It is slow, it is low and it is definitely heartbreaking for a cricket fan. Dead pitches suck life out of the game and whatever be the result in the end, the journey to that result isn’t enjoyable and you would agree: that defeats the whole purpose of the actual result, be it a win or a loss.

If test cricket has to stay a form which can pull fans to the stadiums, pitches need to be re-looked at and more than the pitches, what needs to look into is that ‘thing’ which results to such pitches. Is it the soil or something else? Whatever it is, the reality is: dead pitches are horrible for cricket. The hopes of revival are not dead though!

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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Unmukt Chand – Has he arrived?


(Photo Credit: zimbio.com)

He saved his best for the finals. After an ordinary tournament with the bat, he produced the innings of his life, just when it mattered the most. Unmukt Chand, man of the moment has arrived and this kid is a man for the future.

Indians were looking down the barrel and were under tremendous pressure. But Unmukt has a liking for batting under pressure as he has shown in some of his previous innings too. Much like his name connotes he played with freedom and Aussie had no answers to his shots. Half way into the Indian innings, what looked like a formidable target to chase was surpassed with ease and India won their third ICC U19 Cricket World Cup.

Australians were eyeing their fourth ICC U19 World Cup win and would’ve been disappointed to lose at home. But Unmukt outplayed them, completely. He didn’t take much risk while he was building his innings and nicely did the repair work with Samit Patel and when the game was under their control, man did he cut loose. His sixes were worth watching; especially the one over extra cover that kept going forever.He was the real difference on a day when it was so evenly poised between the two sides.

He is being compared to his Senior Delhi player, Virat Kohli. Well, it is good to appreciate the talent but such comparisons are funny. I mean, why can’t a player be loved for what he is and what he has achieved, why can’t he enjoy this glory and not being subject to some benchmark. I absolutely fail to understand.

He and his team has done the country proud. He and his team deserve all the applause and we can definitely do without unnecessary comparisons.

India loves you Unmukt !!!WW6PXY4QQTKV