Sunday was heaven for a thwarted cricket ambition such as mine.
The Aham-udai-yaaL (Tamizh for owner-ess of the home) was away for the afternoon, the children were nominally in my care, but in reality were happily engaged in activities involving mud and water in the backyard, and I had a choice of two cricket games involving India on the widescreen.
India v Australia at the SCG on Channel 9.
India v England at the Kinrara Oval in the U19 World Cup on Foxtel.
And I kept flicking between both, with extended sojourns at Kinrara particularly when Ponting was brutalising the attack.
The Indian U19 lot are top dogs in this tournament. Dav Whatmore’s charges are an aware lot. In addition to having all the skills (fielding in particular) a lot of them move with the mien of future stars and have the hairstyles to prove it.
Some names to watch for.
Packed as the side is with spinners, watching him keep to them is particularly pleasing. Light on his feet, he rises with the release and moves in early anticipation. (Parthiv, are you paying attention?) Therefore, he is in position early for leg side takes.
And athletic too. This episode is from the previous game v WI. Mid on (Srivastava?) threw into the gloves. It was a spectacular dive-surface and release effort, so a degree of waywardness was forgivable.
What stood out was Goswami’s acrobatic dive outwards, his collection and rapid underarm release-while airborne AND blindsided-to hit the stumps.
His century against the WI was urgent and a captain’s knock that I think put the match out of WI’s grasp. Unless he’s been coached, he seems to have mastered the soundbite as well. His post match interviews are crisp and to the point.
George Binoy writes that at the previous edition, Indian media interest swelled as India progressed, and he expects the same this time around.
Given the quality of the cricket on display I’d suggest that we, the great unwashed, tune in as well.