09 March, 2021

Inning Winning

Some firsts are already beginning to happen. Like an Indian crossing 300 runs. Like a Test win Pakistan. Can we dream of more unthinkables?

Inning Winning
On All Fools' day, in a deserted stadium, India won a Test match in Pakistan for the very first time. Though Alexander the Great was from a non-cricketing nation, had he left Multan on the first of April 2004, instead of leaving the town a long time before the match, he would have remembered to honour Yousuf Youhanna for Porus-like valour in the face of certain defeat, and recruited Virender Sehwag for future entertainment.

Sehwag's 309 from 375 balls is another reminder of the fact that batting, even in Test cricket, is about scoring runs and not facing balls, that five-day cricket is best when it is not parallel cinema. Old notions that straight-batted stonewalling is superior to free strokeplay have only helped bores pass off as historical figures even as Test cricket reached the brink of death. The difference between Australia and the rest of the world in any given Test is usually not the balls faced but the run rate. That defensive batting increases the chances of survival of a batsman is a perilous argument-for by that logic, Akash Chopra must often stand in the middle...

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