15 June, 2021

Pitch Invasion

They won the bout 4-0. But will the IPL generation retain its moxie?

Pitch Invasion

He was at the crease for six minutes, faced five balls and scored eight runs. Not particularly impressive, you’d say, if you looked at Ravindra Jadeja’s second-innings stats in the third Test between India and Australia in Mohali in the just concluded Border-Gavaskar trophy, where India duly ‘brownwashed’ the visitors. But statistics never tell the full tale.

At the start of their innings on the last day, India needed just 133 runs to win in over two sessions, including the 15 man­datory overs. No sweat in this day and age of instant cricket nirvana. Sure eno­ugh, at 42 runs in nine overs, the openers seemed to be cruising. But just then, an old jinx see­med to pop up out of the Mohali sky. Very quickly, Sachin Tendulkar and Dhoni were at the crease. The overs started drying up, and the asking rate crept up to ODI levels. Sachin huffed and puffed his way to 21 from 71 balls. At the other end, Dhoni was in one of his inexplicable strokeless phases, the batsman’s version of the writer’s block, groaning at a strike rate of...

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