Courtesy :  NDTV.COM 

When Rohit lofted the part time off spinner Joe Root for a sixer in cow’s corner on the second day at Narendra Modi stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad it was all over for the 3rd Test.  

There are so many comments about the quality of the pitch including suggestions to call it a “ poor pitch “ by ICC.

“I don’t think the quality of batting was at all up to standard from both teams to be very honest,” Kohi said after the match. “I know they got bundled out early but even with our innings, we were 100/3 and hoping to make many more than we ended up with. Just lack of application on both sides.

“England looked like startled rabbits in that second innings. I don’t think it was an 81 all out pitch but this was a much tougher pitch than Chennai.” Naser Hussain, former England Captain on TV Podcast.


Rohit Sharma and Zak Crawley will testify that runs could be had if you played positively and with a plan. Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin and Jack Leach will tell you there were wickets around when you bowled with consistency. 

First it was Zak Crawley who was hitting all round the corners fluently after the early dismissals of Sibley who couldn’t have any clue of the outswinger from Ishant Sharma, who was the only Indian pace bowler to take a wicket in this Test, to edge it to second slip. Jonny Bairstrow was bamboozled by Axar and bowled through the gates.   And Zak in the company of his captain Joe Root tried to steady the ship from wreckage and added 47 runs before Root was plumb in front of the wicket to Axar. Thereafter England players fell like a pack of cards.  Both Axar & Ashwin cleaned the tails with consummate ease. Axar claimed 6 and Ashwin claimed 3.


On the second day, the dramatic dismissals soon turned into a  procession, a Conga Line back into the India and England dressing rooms.

India resuming 99 for 3 overnight were skittled out for 145 with the English captain Joe Root with his off break was the chief wrecker claiming  his career best of 5 wickets just for 8 runs.

And when the England 2nd innings started, it was a bolt from the blue as the their first innings top scorer Zak Crawley was done in by a straight ball in the very first ball of the Innings and castled through the gate,  and “Thanks for Coming” Jonny Bairstrow survived first ball LBW through DRS denying Axar a Hat-trick but very next ball was bamboozled by a straight delivery bowled and Bairstrow bagged a “Pair” and only a little resistance by Root and and Ben Stokes delayed the inevitable and England could never recover and were bundled out for a paltry of 81 runs with Axar again claiming 5fer and Ashwin 4 wickets.  Ashwin claimed his 400th Test wicket when he trapped Joffra Archer.  And India achieved the target of 49 runs without any hiccup and romped home by 10 wickets.  And Axar Patel claimed the MOM award for his 11 wicket haul in his 2nd Test. A great spell of bowling the left arm tweaks. 


England players were all at sea against the canny left armer, Axar Patel, suffice to say a BETE NOIRE  of England players. 

 Switching between his arm and stock ball, combined with subtle variations in release points and pace, he got many wickets.  Fourteen of his 18 Test wickets in both tests are right-handers. More importantly, 10 of those 14 wickets have been either bowled or LBW, suggesting how dangerous Axar is with his arm ball, or the one that slides in straight after landing.

The pink ball might further have aided his case as he revealed in the press conference after day one. “My aim was to bowl wicket to wicket and use the help on offer. In Chennai, the ball wasn’t skidding. But here it was skidding which resulted in more lbw decisions,” Axar had said at the press conference after the first day’s play. 

“Since the ball was skidding, you prefer bowling wicket-to-wicket because if the batsman tends to play on the backfoot, you have a good chance of getting an lbw or bowled. I was discussing the same with Ash that the ball wasn’t turning a lot so we planned to bowl wicket-to-wicket,” Axar Patel

Coupled with a pink ball that possesses a harder seam and skids on as a result, leading to a high number of dismissals to straight deliveries. 

The shiny lacquer on the pink ball, that Axar hinted was a factor in his sliders being more effective, ensured the batsmen were hurried when defending or playing shots. With a wider release point, subtle pace change and immaculate accuracy, Axar was virtually unplayable. His 18 wickets in 2 tests  have come at a stunning 9.44. England have scored at barely two-an-over against him. They’ve really struggled to fend him off and rotate the strike.

“It is impossible to sweep him. It is impossible to defend him,” Virat Kohli said in the post-match presentation ceremony. It couldn’t have been put in simpler terms.


  • The day-night Test match at Motera is now the 7th  shortest completed Test match
  • Ravichandran Ashwin  took 77 tests to gather 400 wickets in Test cricket. Muttiah Muralitharan is the only player to have reached the milestone quicker than Ashwin. The Sri Lankan got to the 400th Test wicket in his 72nd Test match.
  • Lowest Match aggregate 387 runs  in a completed Test match in Asia.
  • England’s 81 runs in second innings is the second lowest Test total by any team against India
  • Joe Root’s 5fer for 8 runs is the second occasion a spinner conceding fewer runs
  • Axar Patel’s 11 for 70 is the cheapest 10 wicket haul for India.


  • At Dunedin (Newzeland) on 24th Feb,  the Kiwis survived a scare in the second T20 International after putting 217 runs thanks to a brilliant 97 by their opener Guptil and Aussies tottering at 113/5 in the 13th over, until the flamboyant  all rounder Marcus Stoinis was joined by another all rounder Daniel Sams and there was a leather hunt by both of them.  It was the “Golden arm” of James Neesham who bowled the 20th over to defend 15 runs.  He had both Stoinis and Sams in the same over to romp home in the finishing line by just 4 runs and go 2 up in the 5 match series.



Photo courtesy : The New Indian Express 

The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly tweeted about the venue, “Lovely to see such a massive, pretty stadium … Ahmedabad .. have great memories in this ground as a player ,captain .. grew up at Eden with hundred thousand capacity.. (not anymore…”)

All the eyes are on the renovated  Sardar Patel stadium at Motera, Ahmedabad and India taking on England for the 3rd Test  today ( 23.2.2021)  in the ongoing 4 Test series.  The 3rd and 4th tests are being played here.

India buoyed with a morale boosting victory in the 2nd Test at Chepauk a week back are ready to face England for a Day-Night Pink ball Test at Motera .


“Tough to stop the juggernaut, predict an India win in 3rd Test,” reckons @MichaelVaughan in his preview for the Pink Ball Test, on #CricbuzzChatter with @bhogleharsha

According to Rohit, debating what kind of pitch is on offer makes little sense. He felt that it would be better if analysis of player performances take place.

“When we travel overseas, they also make life difficult for us. So, I don’t think we should discuss much about the pitches and instead talk about the game and players. Discussion about how a player is batting or how a bowler is bowling are completely fine but not pitches because conditions remain same for both teams and whoever plays the best will win,” he went on to add.

“There is no criticism of the second Test pitch from our point of view. That’s exactly what home advantage is and you are well within your rights to utilize that. Why wouldn’t India play on pitches that turn square and upon which first innings runs are vital? They outplayed us on a pitch that they are very skilled on but one very alien to us,”   Stuart Broad said.

“Playing Ashwin is a challenge for any batsman, not just left-handers,” feels England’s batting coach – Graham Thorpe, England Batting coach


Boasting  with a seating capacity of 110,000, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad  is the largest cricket  stadium overall on the seats. 

And the great  news is that 50% of the capacity crowd will be allowed for the tests.

Lead Architect and Senior Principal, Andrew James, spoke about the vision for the design during the inauguration, with the scale of the project creating the greatest challenge, “Cricket is the biggest sport in India and this stadium has been designed to bring together as many fans as possible, creating an incredible atmosphere for international cricket, IPL matches through to regional and community games.”

Spread across 63 acres of land, the Motera Stadium has three entry points. It also boasts 76 corporate boxes with a seating capacity of 25 each, a clubhouse with 55 rooms, a gymnasium, four dressing rooms and an Olympic-size swimming pool. 

 And all the spectators can watch any shot played by a player from their seats.

The arena is not equipped with floodlights. Instead, LED lights have been installed on the roof. 


Both India and England have not played much Pink ball cricket.  England played 3 tests and lost 2 and India played 2 and lost 1.  

Harsha Bhogle observed that they may leave less grass on the pitch as happened in India’s first pink ball test at Eden Gardens, Kolkata a few years back, where there was 6mm thickness of grass was left on the surface as the norm prescribed by ICC.  He also concurred with Michael Vaughan that unlike Red cherry, the pink balls (SG balls) may not have any shine as it has pigments and lacquer which may allow swing under the twilight.

It is also a new pitch after the renovation in 2020 and this is going to be the first international match.

“It seems to be swinging more than the red ball and doing a bit more for the seamers,” Zak Crawley, England batsman said. “It seems to be a bit harder so the spinners are skidding it on a bit more as well. So it’s going to play differently than the red ball. I expect to see more seam in this game. The spinners are still going to have to play a big role. I’d be surprised if they produced an absolute green seamer. I think it will still spin quite a bit but the seamers are going to have a bit more of a chance than in the last couple.”


As there are so many unknown factors involved in this test, both teams will be weighing their options to play the best XI.  There are 11 pitches in this ground.  So which pitch is going to be used is a million dollar question and it is also a moot point how the pitch is going to behave in the course of the match. 

There is a general perception that the home team wants to play its strength and so the clay pitch may be used to aid our spinners.

England may be tempted to use four seam bowlers headed by James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Archer and Mark Wood and a spinner Jack Leach.  And as far as batting is concerned, both Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstrow will be playing with Dan Lawrence and Burns may make way for them.

For India they will go with 3 seamers with Ishant Sharma ( his 100th Test), Bumrah and Siraj or Umesh Yadav and 2 spinners Ashwin and Axar Patel as Kuldeep yadav may be dropped.  So no other change is expected in Indian line up. 



The Trans-Tasman rivalry of the T-20 series is getting underway today(22.2.2021) at   Hagley Oval, Christchurch, Newzeland with the first match of the 5 match series. 


Hagley Oval, located in South Hagley Park, is Christchurch’s premier cricket ground.

Hagley oval

Hagley Oval is a permanent reminder of the earthquake that devastated Christchurch in 2011. The Hagley Oval was developed after Christchurch’s earlier venue Lancaster Park was abandoned due to extensive damage caused by the 2011 earthquake.

The Government’s post-quake recovery plan for Christchurch singled out Hagley Oval as an anchor project, upgraded to host national and international matches and host crowds of up to 20,000 people, and lit to international broadcast standards.

Hagley Park is, without question, a beautiful spot – a popular destination for visitors and an equally desirable meeting point for the locals. Situated in the midst of this and overlooking the Oval is Hadlee Pavilion, the perfect location for events.


The stakes are high in the T-20 series as the T20 World cup is round the corner to be played in India  later this year.  So both the teams want to put their best players in the arena. 


     The CA has already announced their team well in advance before the South African tour, which was since cancelled now.  So the Aussies will be without their main T 20 players like David Warner, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, as well as fringe players Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Alex Carey, Sean Abbott and Mitchell Swepson.  The IPL new millionaires like Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith  and  experienced Kane Richardson and the left-arm pace of Jason Behrendorff form the bowling line up .That gives leverage to look at “Nextgen” prospects like the flamboyant gloveman Josh Philippe and leggie Tanveer Sangha.  And all rounder Mitchell Marsh will be an added advantage, who can bowl in the middle overs and bat too.

Their batting line up with the Captain Finch and the hard hitter Marcus Stoinis open the innings with Phillipe and the pinch hitter, Glenn Maxwell ( who also got a whopping Rs.14.25 crores in the IPL auction) and late order batsmen like Mitchell March, Ben Mc Dermott, Ashton Agar can bolster the batting.


Kiwis with their home advantage can challenge the Aussie juggernaut. With their recent overwhelming performance in T-20 West Indies, Pakistan are in an upbeat mood. 

Kiwi Player has also created ripples in the recent IPL auction, when their new found all rounder Kyle Jamieson going under the hammer for the first time fetched an astronomical figure of Rs. 15 crore.   The tall ( 203 cms) and lanky Jamieson, who’s an all rounder sensation in Tests in Newzeland has not tested water in T-20 internationals.  But his height with startling bounce and fine seam position could make him a good bowler.  And their regular pace bowling unit headed by Trent Boult, Tim Southee and spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi is formidable in their home conditions.

Batting mainstay Captain Kane Williamson with his phlegmatic colours and batting sensation Conway ( the South African born who recently qualified to play for Kiwi team)had Kiwi fans rooting for his batting exploits with John Philips and openers Martin Guptil , whose position is shaky and Seifert form a challenging batting unit.


INDIA Vs ENG 2nd Test (2021) REVIEW

England’s Jack Leach is congratulated after taking a wicket, but was denied more.

England’s Jack Leach is congratulated after taking a wicket, but was denied more. Photograph: BCCI

India romped home  with an emphatic 317 runs in the second test  in a little over a session on the fourth day at Chepauk, and the debutant  Axar Patel collecting a rich  five-wicket haul as England went down and the 4 match series interestingly poised with one all.  The reflections of the test are recounted here.

All the roads lead to Chepauk stadium.  The cheering Chennai fans gathered in good numbers albeit COVID restrictions.

After winning the toss India elected to bat on a pitch expected to take spin early on.  And it was an early exit for the promising opener Gill who was done in by the new ball bowler Oliy Stone, who came in place of Jofra Archer and a dodged  Pujara edging a delivery from Jack Leach and first ball duck for the Captain Kohli, it was left to the Opener Rohit and phlegmatic Rahane to repair the damage.  And their 4th wicket partnership yielded 162 runs, which set the tone for a formidable 300 + score in a wearing pitch.  Rohit’s dominating innings was the cornerstone of a big score as he hit a magnificent 161 runs taking on the spinners with lusty hits all round the ground which was witnessed by the crowd of around 15000 in the stadium after a gap of a year in India.  And Rahane also scored briskly with a fine half century.  And of course the day was mired with some controversial third umpire decisions.   

  Jack Leach compared two contentious decisions by the third umpire to the furore over football’s VAR after feeling “a little bit angry” at being denied a third wicket on day one of the second Test in Chennai.

Some typically sharp glovework from Ben Foakes during the final session appeared to have India’s Rohit Sharma stumped off Leach on 159. But the third umpire, Anil Chaudhary, who was slightly hampered by just a couple of available replays, swiftly ruled it not out.

While that call was not entirely clear-cut, there was little doubt an error took place four overs later when England reviewed a catch to short-leg off Ajinkya Rahane on 66 – one that had hit the pad and then went on to tickle the glove – only to have it struck down.

Chaudhary, acting as the third umpire for the first time in Tests, had been looking for an initial inside edge but did not check for any contact afterwards. Even when England protested on the field, the officials went back to check for lbw and did not review footage of the missed contact.

Sharma and Rahane were removed soon after their respective reprieves and England had their lost review reinstated by the match referee, Javagal Srinath, to end the day with two, but Leach felt slightly aggrieved at only accounting for one of the two batsmen and finishing with figures of two for 78.

And India ended the day with a commanding 300/6 after an entertaining knock of the India’s poster boy Pant kept the crowd entertaining.  Of course the Day One belonged to the centurion  “Hitman”  Rohit who lit up the spirit of the starving spectators who were cheering all the way. 

With 300 runs on the board, India couldn’t make much way as the England’s veteran off spinner Moeen Ali cleared the tails with 4 wickets and Stone with 3 wickets ended the indian first innings.

And it was the turn of the Indian spinners to exploit the vulnerable English Batsmen and they did it with consummate ease.  The spin attack was spearheaded by the local boy Ashwin. Ashwin was ecstatic. His 29th Test five-for – back-to-back five-wicket hauls in Chennai put India 249 runs in front at the end of day two of the second Test against England at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday. India was 54 for 1 in the third innings at stumps with Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara at the crease. As many as 15 wickets fell on Sunday. This was the sort of pitch where deliveries bounced calf-high after one gripped and kicked. No matter how well you batted, no matter how long you had been at the crease, you couldn’t prepare yourself for what was next – as Ben Stokes found out. Five overs after the lunch break, Ashwin drifted one in to clean-bowl the high profile all-rounder and become No. 2 on the list for most Test wickets in India next only to Harbhajan Ashwin had bowled unchanged from the start of England’s first innings and his first spell read 16-3-33-3. Meanwhile, as England’s batting imploded, Virat Kohli egged the crowd on like an animated conductor rousing his orchestra to a crescendo. 

The third day again belonged to the local hero Ashwin this time with the bat. He drove, cut, sweeped, pulled much to the chagrin of the England bowlers.  The crowd were cheering him for his every shot.  The pundits of the game say cuts, drives, sweepshots were the fruit of hundreds of hours spent on conditioning your brain and strengthening of muscles in an environment designed for practice. That’s what Ashwin practiced.  In fact in his TV interview he credited Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour of the change in his approach towards batting.

England tried everything including Stuart Broad bowling his leg cutters at 130 kmph with Foakes standing up to the stumps. However, Ashwin remained unfazed. He had good fortune too, having been dropped twice on 28 and 56 and surviving a stumping chance on 70. Ashwin’s best shot of the day came off the last ball of the 71st over when Broad bowled a length ball and Ashwin stood tall to hit it straight past mid-on with the full face of the blade.

The morning belonged to Ashwin and Rishabh Pant. After taking two  catches of one handed blinders in the first innings, Pant pouched a  Ashwin delivery  that nutmegged  an advancing Dan Lawrence, ( Ronaldo would have been proud of this nutmegged) before whipping the bails off.

Ashwin then shifted his focus to Ben Stokes, bowling 35 dots to him before inducing a thick inside edge that went to Virat Kohli at slip. Stokes fell for an uncharacteristic 8 off 51 balls. This was also the 10th time Ashwin had got the better of the talismanic English all-rounder in Tests.

And when Ben Foakes swept Kuldeep Yadav straight to the man at midwicket, just two minutes before lunch, the chinaman left-armer had his first wicket since the SCG Test in 2019. This was after Mohammed Siraj had dropped Joe Root off Kuldeep’s bowling.

Axar Patel then dismissed the England captain Root enticing him for with a flighted delivery and Olly Stone after lunch to carry with him a defining 5 wicket haul on his debut. Moeen Ali with his lusty hitting delayed the inevitable before he tried another heave only to miss and Pant doing the rest. The visitors folded for 164 in the second innings. India sauntered home with a very big margin of 317 runs.

And Ashwin deservedly won the MOM award for his all round performance.  In fact this was the first time at Chepauk that a local cricketer got a MOM award.


And at Mirpur, Dhaka West Indies in the 2nd Test  created history with 2-0 win (blackwashed) over Bangladesh with an under-strength team led by Kraigg Braithwaite toppled them in their own backyard with a nail biting 17 runs win.  The burly West Indies off spinner Rahkeem Cornwall with a match figure of 9 wickets was the MOM .  West Indies last week in the first test  made a sensational win over the Bangla Tigers after a scintillating  double hundred  at Chattogram by the debutant Kyle Mayers.



As Gundappa Viswanath who turned 72 yesterday ( 12th Feb.2021),  a reminiscence of a fabled career unfolds here. 

“ A sport so gratifying, for those who played and those who watched it “ Scyld Berry, famous author in his  book  “Cricket The Game of life “.

And it was always a pleasure to watch Gundappa Viswanath’s fine art.  Hewas  a Piccaso of Indian cricket.


The diminutive Right Hand batsman from Karnataka  made his international debut in 1969-70 series ,( a series marred by crowd disturbances in Bombay, Calcutta and Bangalore )  in the 2nd Test at Kanpur, U.P.  against the visiting Australians. And in the very first test he showed his batting prowess hitting a century in the second innings albeit his first innings duck. Though the Test was drawn, a new cricketer was baptised  with high quality batting in Gundappa Viswanath. Here is a batsman who had broken the hoodoo of the Indian who scored a century in his first Test,  never to score another but he did not make runs in the quantity his style and ability suggested he could.  Now, for the first time, Vishy made his class tell : an Indian batsman not only defended his wicket, but was able to take charge of the bowling.


After a disastrous tour of England in 1974, the selectors have sacked Ajit Wadekar as Captain and recalled Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi to carry the mantle of leading the Indian team for the West Indies series of 1974-75.   This series also witnessed so many controversies including dropping of Bedi for the first test at Bangalore as he failed to appear before an Inquiry committee into the team’s dismal performance in England.  The selectors also compounded the selection of players and Captain when regular captain Pataudi was injured.  And we also saw so many openers during the course of the series. 

This series saw so many injuries to both sides, especially India and it was Vishwanath and Farouk Engineer & Prasanna  who have only played all the 5 tests in the series.  And so it was  Vishwanath who had to do the major chunk of batting  and he rose to the occasion well.

After India were down with 2-0 in the 1974-75 series with West Indies ( with defeats at Bangalore and Delhi) , India fought back brilliantly in the 3rd Test at Eden Gardens and Vishy didn’t disappoint the cricket crazy Bengali’s  played a patient knock of  a half century in the first innings and a sparkling century in the second innings , his first century against the Windies in the second innings. And the spin trio of Bedi, Prasanna  and Chandra steam rolled the mighty west indian batting line up and set up  the first  victory of the series here.  His take on Andy Roberts was a bolt from the blue for the West Indian team.    

. ( Eden gardens in 1974-75 series))


All the roads lead to Chepauk stadium and the stadium itself was resplendent with a festive look as the “Harvest Festival” Pongal ( those days”Pongal” festival was synonymous with a Test match at Chepauk) was round the corner.

Indian captain “Nawab of Pataudi” called it correctly at the toss and elected to bat.  Indian openers Eknath solkar and Farouk Engineer were removed very early by medium pacer Bernard Julien and the diminutive Gundappa Viswanath arrived and immediately he indulged in his penchant square cut shots taking on the “Silent Assassin” Andy Roberts who was breathing fire into indian batsmen with his lethal deliveries.  And on the other end the wickets were tumbling like packs of cards to  the guiles of  Andy Roberts,  Vishy fought a lone battle.  He stood like a rock of the Gibraltar and steadied the innings in the company of tail-enders from 91-7 he carried the mantle of batting and shepherded the team with a respectable score of 190 while remaining himself unbeaten on 97.  His brother in law ,Sunil Gavaskar in his book “Idols”  eulogises Vishy’s batting effort  as “ His square-cutting meant that Clive Lloyd had to keep two fielders on the third man boundary, and the way Roberts was bowling that day, it is a tribute to the quality of batsmanship. The moment Roberts bowled on the leg side, Vishy flicked him past square-leg and past mid-wicket. And the moment there was an over-pitched delivery, he drove it through the covers with elegance.”

After Vishy’s heroic knock, it was the turn of the Indian spinners who ran through the mighty Windies line-up and set up a victory and as the series was tied up with a two all with the final test at Bombay.


Throughout his career, Vishy always rose to the occasion and played significant knocks when the situation demanded.

Vishy’s Century in the first innings   at M.C.G  affectionately known as “ G” (Australia) in 1980-81 series was  a memorable one considering the fact that when other players couldn’t even reach 25 in the first innings , Vishy played a truly gritty knock. Gundappa Viswanath was passing through a bad patch. Garfield Sobers, then living in Melbourne, advised him to play straight and not attempt any shots square of the wicket until he was on 40.

Following his advice, Viswanath scored 114 in the first innings. Vishy heeded the advice of the great all-rounder’s advice and it paid off.  And the match and the Test series would have been in limbo, but for the intervention of the Indian team Manager Wing Cdr. S.K. Durrani, who asked Chetan Chauhan to continue the match.  After given out LBW, a dubious decision, Sunil Gavaskar the then captain, when he was on 70, a fuming Gavaskar asked his batting partner, to return to the pavilion.  Chauhan was reluctantly leaving the field.  But near the pavilion, the manager asked Chauhan to continue the innings and India went on to win the Test thanks to excellent bowling by Kapildev, in spite of his illness as India defended a paltry 143 as Australia were bowled out for just 83 runs.  And Vishy was  rightfully declared the Man of the Match for his excellent century. (at MCG in 1981)


India’s greatest run chase in the Caribbean islands came as a rude shock to the West Indies team led by Clive Lloyd.  In fact it was then the highest chase in a Test.  The drama happened at Queens’s Park Oval, Port of Spain in 1976 series.  It was the third Test of the series and West Indies already 1 up in the series.  Clive Lloyd set India 403 runs in the fourth innings expecting his spinners would run through and would win.  But his calculations were proved wrong.  First it was the turn of the “Little Master” Sunil Gavaskar, whose favourite hunting ground started the proceedings with a well made century.  Then it was his brother-in-law Gundappa Viswanath who put up 159 runs with Mohinder Amarnath.  Viswanath matched his supple grace with the bold outline of Amarnath’s strokes in a stand of 159 to carry India to 292 for two by tea. Driven to despair by the failure of his spinners, Lloyd claimed the second new ball. It fared no better than the old, as 37 came from the eight overs shared by Bernard Julien and Michael Holding – who limped off the field after his opening stint. Viswanath gained his fourth Test century but lost his wicket when there were 70 runs left, as he responded instinctively to Amarnath and lost the race to the stumps to Jumadeen. Then Brijesh Patel polished the innings with a well made 46 runs and India romped home with 6 wickets and it was a great upset for the Windies. 

And there were his other useful knocks like

  1. century in 1978-79 against West Indies in Chepauk, which helped  India to win the Test and the series by 1-0
  2. Century in Bombay in 1972-73 series against the visiting England team and in fact after the knock, Tony Greig cradled him in his hand like a baby and the test ended in a draw
  3.  His valuable 83 & 79 runs Vs Newzeland on a bouncy track. India reached 270 in the first innings  mainly through Viswanath, who applied himself with much more purpose than all his colleagues save Mohinder Amarnath. Viswanath stayed nearly three hours and hit ten 4’s in a courageous and cultured performance.


Viswanath captained India in the one-off  Golden Jubilee Test against England in 1979-1980. During that match, Viswanath had recalled English player Bob Taylor to the crease when he had felt that the umpire had made a wrong decision. This decision went on to cost India the match as Taylor went on to score crucial runs, but earned Vishwanath accolades from everyone. For him, the spirit of the game always remained paramount.


Vishy was a lucky mascot. Whenever he scored a century in a Test, India didn’t lose that test.  He hit  14 centuries and India won 11 tests and 3 were drawn. 

cricket in High, cold places


“It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a cricket lover desperate for a game will play anywhere- Jane Austen , Author of “Pride and Prejudice” and also familiar with Cricket.

Island of Igloolik, Canada.    Photo courtesy :


In 1823, Captain William Parry’s expedition had to winter near the Island of Igloolik at latitude 3 degrees north of the Arctic circle.  CaptainWilliam Parry encouraged the crews of HMS Fury to play cricket, football etc.  Igloolik island is situated between Canadian Mainland and Baffin Island.

At the other end of the world, In the year 1985 cricket was played athe field camp of United States ANTARTIC Field programme at 83.30 degrees south during the course of an international workshop.  A tennis ball was used as it was feared that the harder ball (cricket ball) would get lost in the snow.  Bad light was not an issue as the sky remained bright until midnight.

CRICKET AT MOUNT EVEREST  (cricket at Mount Everest video )

In 2009, a T20 game was played at 16,945 ft. up Mount Everest setting a new world altitude record for a cricket game and raising funds for a charity. The two teams, Tenzing and Hillary, named after the first two men to climb the Everest, played the game at 16,945 ft.

Team Tenzing were led by Haydn Main (29), a lawyer from South London but it was Team Hillary, skippered by a New Zealand Glen Lowis, that won by 36 runs.

Both sides took 15 players for the game, besides the medical staff and groundsmen, all of whom made the nine-day trek to reach the pitch.

Both sides celebrated their feat with a giant bottle of champagne and several cups of tea. They raised 250,000 pounds through the game for Lord’ Taverners and the Himalayan Trust UK.

On the sandbank at SOLENT

The Brambles sandbank in the Solent, midway between Southampton and the Isle of Wight (England) occasionally emerges above sea level but only for about an hour.  This very short period is just enough time for the Royal Southern Yacht Club from Southampton and the Island Sailing club from the Isle of Wight to rush in their boats to play as much cricket as they can before the bank is again submerged. (CRICKET AT SOLENT, ENGLAND) 


Photo courtesy : Meridian ITV.COM

Credit: PA

Annual Bramble Bank cricket match in middle of Solent


The teams gathered for a 6.30am start

Credit: PA

The annual Bramble Bank cricket match has taken place in the middle of the Solent.

The sandbank near Cowes, off the Isle of Wight becomes visible once a year at the lowest tide.

The event has been taking place since the 1950s, although on different dates depending on the tides. The sandbank is only visible for about an hour.

IND Vs ENG Test Review


And when the world’s Numero Uno Pace bowler Jimmy Anderson cartwheeled the woodwork twice in his first over on the fifth day with his finesse art of Reverse Swing, he dented India’s semblance of hope for a victory.  As the well set rookie opener Gill didn’t have any clue of the unknown art of Anderson stunned only to see his stumps uprooted and India’s vice captain the phlegmatic Rahane followed suit in the similar fashion in the same over after surviving a confident LBW appeal.  Rahane didn’t disturb the scorers.  It was all over. 

England broke the hegemony of India at home.  Joe Root, the leader par excellence of the Pommies led from the front and his bowlers delivered it.  And Kohli staring  at the defeat for the fourth time consecutively. After a resounding success at Down Under, Indians were expected to be brimming with high confidence to take on the English team which won the series in Srilanka, in their own backyard.   But, alas, they were done in by England by their excellent professionalism on the field.  

Joe Root’s juggernaut continued his fine batting display after a wonderful series in Srilanka, hitting a double century in helpful conditions of the pitch at Chepauk , Chennai and his top order and middle order batsmen helped to pose an imposing total of 578 runs in their first innings. 

 Joe Root picked up his form of taking on the spinners right from the word go as he played the sweep shot with consummate ease. His paddle sweep and reverse sweep were the hallmark shots of his batting in the first innings.  He didn’t allow the spinners to settle down and his vice captain Ben Stokes also had a go at indian spinners. 

India were struggling at 73/4 in the first innings when the fledgling Rishab Pant joined Pujara  all the hell broke as they played freely especially Pant taking on the English spinners.  Jack Leash, the left armer bore the brunt of the brutal attack of Pant and the England’s offie Dom Bess who already claimed the vital wickets of India’s captain and vice captain cheaply, broke the 119 runs partnership for the 5th wicket with a clever delivery which spun viciously and Pujara’s defensive shot only lobbed up by shortleg fielder.  And the unlucky Pant again missed his century when he holed out to Bess at the deep mid off fielder.  Of course another rookie Sundar with his lusty hits together with the veteran Ashwin did add 80 runs for the 7th wicket, India conceded an imposing 241 runs lead for England.

And though India did well in the second innings of England by restricting them with just 178 runs with the India’s ace spinner Ashwin picking up 6 wickets, it was an herculean task for India to chase 420 runs on a turning track. 

In the second innings it was the turn of the left arm orthodox spinner Jack Leach of England  turn who bowled like a man possessed and got the initial break through of breaking the defence of Rohit sharma and claimed 4 wickets and it was Jimmy Anderson’s fine spell of reverse swing ended India’s hope and England romped home with a massive win of 227 runs in the first test. And England captain hailed his premier bowler Anderson as”GOAT” in the game.  

In spite of the criticism that the SG Balls seam was coming out even in 40-50 overs was bizarre according to Ashwin and the same sentiments were expressed by the Indian Captain Kohli in his post match meeting , England played better game and won the test.  And the pitch also played truant on the 4th & 5th day and it became like a “ dustbowl”.


* It was Joe Root’s 100th Test and what a great moment to score a double century. Incidentally , he made his debut against India in 2012-13 series at Nagpur.

*           Ashwin’s first ball wicket in the second innings of England is a world record ( he had England opener Burns snapped up by the slip fielder) in Test cricket

*           It was also Root’s 26th win as England Captain and he joins with Michael Vaughan for most test wins for England as captain.



Photo courtesy : Circleof team fielding) (indian team fielding)

After the young turks stupendous performance  in the tumultuous victory in Down Under in their own backyard recently, the India-England series gets curious.  Now, with the arrival of seniors into the act, the equation changes.  The indian team think-tank cannot gloss over the veritable claims of the debutants in the all assuming England series at home.

The host of Indian youngsters personified an unflappable mind, meaning that they ultimately marched to a historic triumph at the Gabba. Unsurprisingly, a lot of positive furore surrounded the victory.

In the light of the above circumstances , the upcoming series against England has been looked upon as an assignment that the Men In Blue should simply win. After all, isn’t that what the Indians almost always do against the Three Lions, especially at home?

Nevertheless, the rubber against England also offers plenty of fringe players a chance to prove that their heroics Down Under weren’t just a flash in the pan.

The opponent, the Pommies after a roaring success in Srilanka in their backyard recently cannot be taken lightly especially their Captain Joe Root’s tons of runs and other players chipping in including their spinners Dom Bess and Jack Leach.  And their ace spinner Moeen Ali joining the ranks poses a serious challenge to the Indians.  Their veteran speedsters, James Anderson and Stuart Broad  and Jofra Archer are raring to have a go at Indians.  With the workload management task in force with England team management, it is to be seen what will be their final XI.  The video clippings of ECB media team of the fielding rigours of English men at Chepauk ground speaks volume of their serious preparations .

The indian dispensation should start with the opening slot batsmen.  Of course Rohit, the senior pro gets a nod and the young Gill with a gritty performance in Australia should be an automatic chance to open with Rohit.   The bulwark Pujara, King Kohli ,  Phlegmatic Rahane form the fulcrum of the middle order batting.  With Pant firing all the cylinders in the recent outing at Australia, there shouldn’t be any thinking by the team management to retain him and of course his glovework still circumspect and hope he improvises his wicket keeping especially in the turning tracks of India.  And the exuberant all rounder Hardik Pandya will be a good choice, though he’s not ready to bowl now.

And the Bowling attack will be strengthened with the arrival of lanky Ishant sharma,effervescent Bumrah,  the ace spinner Ashwin who’s to lead the spin department in the absence of Jadeja, and the other spinner will be a toss between the greenhorn Washington Sundar, who proved his mettle with both cherry and willow in his debut match and Axar Patel or Kuldeep yadav.  

And India is hosting an international match in the aftermath of Covid-19 pandemic after nearly a year will be interesting to witness sans spectators at least for the first Test at Chepauk, Chennai , starting on 5th Feb.2021.  All the eyes are on the pitch with the new curator V. Ramesh Kumar who promises a green top.  And with the opening of I, J and K stands the full stadium is available and it seems the second test being played again at Chepauk may see 50% of the capacity of 40,000.