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Monday, March 14, 2005

Cricket: Media Reports Suggest a Fast Pitch at the Eden Gardens

Media reports suggest a green-top (pitch that helps fast bowlers) for the 2nd test between India and Pakistan starting this Wednesday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata (Calcutta).

If the pitch helps fast bowlers then India should persist with Irfan, Balaji, and Zaheer with Ganguly to bowl a few overs of medium pace, and Harbhajan Singh should come in for Anil Kumble (a tough choice) as he has always performed at the Eden Gardens.

Let's hope for a batting masterpiece from VVS Laxman. It is March and it is the summer of 2005. It was March and it was the summer of 2001 when VVS Laxman set the Eden Gardens aglow with his sublime strokeplay that dazzled the world. How can one forget those magical cover drives against Shane Warne and those wristy flicks off Jason Gillespie.

(Start digression)

Let me go down Memory Lane and recollect some gems from VVS Laxman's batting.

Eden Gardens, Kolkata. March 2001. India v. Australia.

1. In comes Shane Warne bowling round the wicket, pitches wide outside the leg-stump.
VVS Laxman takes two steps forward meets the ball in flight (now this is magic), waves the bat like a magic wand and playing with the spin hits it past cover and mid-off, the ball running all the way along the carpet for another four. Amazing shot and there were so many of them on that magical summer afternoon at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata when VVS Laxman played the innings of his lifetime.

2. Jason Gillespie bowling right arm over to VVS Laxman, ball pitches outside the off-stump, VVS moves on the front foot picks the length and with a flourish of the wrist sends it to the mid-wicket fence. Amazing!

Normal batsmen would have played the first shot for the second ball and the second shot for the first ball. Ball pitched on leg would go to mid-wicket and ball pitched on the off would go to covers.

VVS Laxman's wristy batting made those kind of impossible shots possible and that earned him the nickname of Very Very Special (VVS) Laxman. His real name is Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman.

VVS has it in him to produce one more masterpiece and what better occasion to show his class and display his magic than the cauldron of Eden Gardens against Pakistan.

(End digression)

Come on VVS Laxman. One more sublime innings at the Eden Gardens. Wish you all the Best!

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I'm so happy when I write about cricket. I'm not unconcerned with the corner place, with no space to stretch my left hand, with the heat outside, and the slow and dull afternoon.