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Sight Screen

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Baaz test(-worma)

Rahul Bhattacharya has an interesting preview of the test match that may never happen. All thanks to the cyclone Baaz heading towards Chennai, and more importantly to the application of tremendous foresight from the BCCI Tours & Fixtures committee. And yes I know cyclones can't be predicted, but regular monsoon weather can.
Not a ball has been bowled in the last one-day match slotted here, versus South Africa ten days ago, and the previous one against New Zealand was abandoned after 26.5 overs. The last Test match here, against Australia, ended without what had promised to be a tantalizing final day. The one before that, against West Indies, got a result but was disrupted by bad light and drizzles.
Talk about learning from mistakes.

And if it does start at all...then there's the all important issue (no not 'who will win'...that's a regular..boring questions) of who will find that last spot (batting spot...bowling allrounder notwithstanding). Rahul has this opening argument for both sides
Yuvraj has been batting with increasing impressiveness. After five years on the international circuit, you sense that the time has arrived for him to be given a proper go at Test cricket. Whether or not he will be able to hack is something to watch, but if Indian does not ring in the changes one at a time, there lies the danger of having to perform a complete middle-order transplant in a couple of years. Certainly on current form Yuvraj ought to be played and be given the full series to show what he is able to offer.
The past month he has played match after match in domestic cricket, made two important hundreds to cancel out his pair against Zaheer Khan, and bowled away till the point that on the opening day of the last game he sent down an eye-catching 22 overs (23.2 if you include no-balls). Now reunited with team, he has, according to Greg Chappell said, "Grooved in nicely over the last two days". Does he not deserve a chance to show whether or not he's worked his out? To show whether or not he is committed to giving back to the team what the team gave him over the past five years?
Tough one..isn't it. Unfortunately someone would have to take a call :-)

Then there is the small matter of the pitch itself(although as many of us have debated in the past, I don't feel that Yuvraj should be 'held back' in any pitch, any conditions...if we are looking to him as our future. So, IMO, pitch will *not*, or should not, play a role in the choice between SG and Yuv)
It is hard to know how dampness might affect it, but otherwise the pitch is criss-crossed in breadth and length with little cracks, giving it the appearance of one of those exercises found in children's art-and-craft books where patches are to be coloured corresponding to the numbers printed in them. Spin it will. Let it be known that in the last two opening days here, Anil Kumble has winkled out as many as twelve Test victims, seven of them Australians


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