<An imaginary, yet realistic possibility of text commentary for the 2nd test between India and Australia>
Welcome to the live commentary of the 2nd test between India and Australia, live from the Sydney Cricket Ground, somewhere in Sydney, Sydney. The first test was heading to a gripping draw, but the Australian captain suddenly forfeited the match and handed India the win because Clarke thought Zaheer Khan’s hair-style deserved the win.
10.00 am: Toss : Mahendra Singh Dhoni wins the toss and elects to field first on a cloudy morning.
10.05 am: There is a bit of a delay here. The toss is being reviewed. The two captains, referee and Ravi Shastri have no idea if what they heard was right, so they have gone for the review. The match referee’s assistant calls up the Royal Australian Mint in Deakin/Canberra, feeds them with the details of the coin to confirm the heads and tails part of it. Ultra-motion replays have been played on the giant screen to figure out the outcome of the toss. It seems Dhoni had called it right and India will come on to bowl.
10.30 am: We have our first viewer comment here – “Hey, Sachin, please score that century in this test. I need some rest.”, and it comes from a person named Santa Claus.
10:55 am: Players are strolling into the field after the delay. Australian openers, debutants Steven Cazzulino and Wes Robinson make their way to the middle.
11.00 am: Zaheer Khan with the new ball. Three slips, and a gully to start the proceedings.
0.1 Khan to Robinson, no run, a good ball, shaping away from the left hander after pitching at good length outside the off stump.
Umpires have taken out their wind meters to check if the wind velocity is right for play to continue. Zaheer is standing behind Ishant Sharma to prevent the wind from affecting his hair-do.
After five minutes of discussion, we are good to go.
0.2 Khan to Robinson, no run, 108.6 mph, that ball came into the left hander Robinson, who was cramped for room, flashed at it, and it misses the inside edge by a whisker.
Replays show that because the ball had moved off the seam, it had missed the inside edge. and had it not, it would’ve taken the inside edge onto the stumps. The Falcon Eye showed how well the ball had come back in. Robinson in for some really fiery bowling, now.
0.3 Khan to Robinson, OUT, right as I say it, Zaheer Khan pitches this one on the off stump, the ball swings away from the driving left hander, takes the outside edge and Dravid completes a diving catch to his right to pluck the ball an inch or two above the ground. Robinson is leaving the ground dejectedly… Oh, wait.
The umpire has asked Robinson to wait, as he checks with the 3rd umpire for a no-ball. Robinson is waiting three-fourths the way to the pavilion, having a loud chatter with Shaun Marsh, who is padded up and waiting near the fence.
11.08 am: The 3rd umpire is checking the no-ball using the normal replay from all angles, Falcon Eye, hot-spot and ultra-motion cameras. This might take a while. I will be back in a few.
11.34 am: Folks, I’ve had a nap, walked my dog, solved today’s Sudoku, and the umpires are still on their walkie-talkies. Oh, the fourth umpire is on the field there, he might have sent some news. Sorry, he is just giving the umpires new sets of batteries to replace the ones that just died out. And the umpires are chatting again.
11.44 am: 3rd umpire is also checking for an edge there. The world seemed so sure about it. Nevertheless. And we have Tony Greig on air too – “Aowrrwrwrwrrw, wowwwwrrrrr! This is so wunderfullll…. That’s a white spot, that’s a black spot. That black spot is a glass of beer, that white spot is a hot-dog. Hot-Spot is awesome! BCCI don’t know where their head is. The Indians fans arrrrrre…”. Sorry, apparently, Greig snapped the cables in the commentary room when he flapped his hands around and tried to hi-five Mark Nicholas.
11.54 am: Seeing how pointless the wait is, let’s take a look at what’s happening in the ground – There’s a football match going out there. From here, it seems like one team is the Dilli Boysz, against a team of Zaheer Khan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav and MS Dhoni. Not sure why THAT play is held up, from here, it looks like Zaheer is holding up his hamstring. Again. Oh dear, this might be a very sad news for the Indian team and fans. I’m also avoiding a call from Mr Sunil Gavaskar right now. I think I know what he wants to tell.
At the far end, There is a huge crowd, silently listening to Rahul Dravid, who is reciting his Bradman Oration again for this lovely crowd.
Robinson is now having a video call with his mother. This 3G mobile phone video call is brought to you by Vodafone. Vodafone, our network follows you, out or not. Cazzulino is probably typing the next article for his creekinfo column. we’ll put it up during the tea break.
Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman are playing “Poles of a Magnet“. Tendulkar goes to one section of the boundary, and attracts a huge crowd from across 4 stands in that arc. Then Laxman walks to where Tendulkar is standing, and the crowd, largely Australian, gets scared and runs away helter-skelter. Laxman and Tendulkar share a laugh.
12.14 pm: News is in that Zaheer Khan has recovered from his hamstring injury and is fit to continue in the match. Also, he has also a new(er) hair-do. You all can watch it in a minute or fifteen.
12.22 pm: Great news – The umpires have arrived at a decision. Robinson has been given out after what seemed like eternity.
Zaheer is back to the top of his mark, Marsh marks his guard. Portions of crowd, panting after running, and those who were emotionally shaken by the speech gather themselves up and realise that there is a game going on, find their seats and await the…errr… 4th ball of the day.
0.4 Zaheer to Marsh….
Over-usage/dependency on technology for trivial issues just to buy time on air seems such turn-off for a cricket lover. If speed off the bat, length of the six and degree of spin mattered to me so much, I would’ve rather been a mathematician.
We are nearing the day, when bowlers have to appeal even when the batsman is bowled, castled, stumps sent cartwheeling and bails flying. You never know what the umpires want to check. An utter waste of time, and completely meaningless frequency of checks.
“I know he is bowled. But is he out?”
– B.S. Chandrashekhar (during a New Zealand tour)