About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

20 February 2010

Second Test: India vs South Africa

Test cricket is apparently dead. Yet, within the last few months we have seen some matches that have been better than any 20-20 or ODI; not only in the manner of scoring runs, but in the tension and skill exhibited. There was the Pakistan-New Zealand match where Bond showed what Test cricket has missed out on and the emergence of Umar Akmal. There was Shewag's 290 odd runs in one day of battin against Sri Lanka, and then there was South Africa vs India, in the recently concluded test match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, where I am currently.

Eden Gardens is trully a different atmosphere for test cricket - both to what I have seen and experienced in Durban or Cape Town. While the (current temporary) capacity of 70 000 was never reached on any of the 5 days, there was still a sizable crowd; with each day's crowd probably exceeding 5 day combined crowd numbers at most other grounds, and if nothing else Eden Gardens showed that there is a paying public willing to watch test cricket (and makes a good case for why certain cities should just not get test cricket matches). The atmosphere was electric featuring a few interesting characters - especially the man painted in the Indian flag, carrying a massive flag and blowing a conch shell (used mostly for Hindu prayers) for either showering blessings on a 4, 6 or wicket, or to usher wishes to the bowler or batsmen.

But the noise and the crowd would be meaningless without good cricket - and there was tons of it. Amla and Petersen provided great batting on Day 1. Khan and Harbhajan caused one of the biggest collapses, also on Day 1. Shewag, Tendulkar, Dhoni and Laxman showed their respective skills while Amla stole all the glory and praise for his technique and patience as he almost single handedly saw South Africa home.

I had tickets for all 5 days; but I only went to days 1, 2 and 5 - and I wished I was there for all 5. It was definitely one of the best matches in recent history; and a great showcase for test cricket.