Daredevils from Delhi Dare The Dance
For every game the musicians perform right through till the time the toss is done and when the Daredevils did their running and stretching exercises today,, I swear it seemed like they were moving to the beats of the rhythm. Awesome ! So the devils can dance too !
Raina's little encounter
I don't know why it is so but the Chennai team always have their warm-up close to the Cognizant stand where I am present for all the games. The opposition team always does their warm-up on the other side. Today I had an up-close look at Raina as he was hitting out. Boy, he hits the ball hard. His strokes are really crisp. Today however, as he struck one ball, it bounced off the boundary rope and landed flush on the face of a policewoman who was patrolling the fence. Raina was visibly aghast and apologized immediately. The cop brushed it off and put up a brave face (pun unintended) but it was evident it hurt her as I could see her holding an ice-pack onto it for several minutes afterwards. The incident seemed to have shaken up Raina a bit, and it seemed some of his later strokes lacked that punch.
Stephen Fleming - Key Man
Fleming also had his hit out and I was very keen for Fleming to do well. I believe he is going to play a key role in our campaign. He didn't go on today but hit a couple of delightful boundaries. More importantly, he was very active on the field, encouraging players and guiding Dhoni. Having a world-renowned captain to assist MS on the field can only be great news for the Superkings.
When teams practice high catches at their warmups it makes for very interesting viewing. This is because you can get a double view of the action - one live of course, and the other on the big screen. Make no mistake, unlike television picture which has a good 2-second delay or so in the feed, this picture on the big screen is near-instantaneous. So you can see the coach hit the ball live, follow it go up on the screen, watch it come down, both on the screen and off simultaneously and finaly watch it land in the fielder's hands live. Interestingly, this is only possible with the high catches because that is the only piece of action which gives you that much time to soak it in.
The Game Waits For No One
Talking about double viewing, at times I made the effort to follow the action on the TV screen to see if I could spot myself in the crowd. On a couple of occasions, this made me miss part of live action. The game truly waits for no one. We talk about the game being dictated by TV, but at this level, once the bowler is ready, the game is on.
Glenn McGrath - Friendly Man, Masterful Cricketer
McGrath patrolled the boundary at our end for long parts of the day today. He immediately endeared himself to the crowd by waving at us first up. But McGrath bowling was a sight to behold. Having been to the stadium for three games now and for the test match last month I have seen a wide spectrum of great bowlers bowl - fast and spin - from Oram and Ntini to Pollock and Ishant, from Kumble and Harbhajan to Murali and Karthik. The sight of the lanky McGrath taking his steps and delivering that white object from that height beats all other by miles though. It was truly a privelige and I got my money's worth.
Sangwan and Yomahesh were highly impressive, esp Sangwan with his bounce and Yomahesh with his yorkers. In fact it was their spell that was the suprise weapon and took the game towards Delhi. Gambhir's innings was not bad but the game was all Sehwag today. Of course after seeing his record breaking epic 319 in the Test match at the same place last month this might appear to be a mere limerick. But the quality of the strokes was just as astounding. Naturally since he was in the opposition today, some of his strokes were greeted by stunned silence. That was to be a great blessing because the cracking sound his bat made appeared to come from less than a few feet away. Such was the quality of his strokeplay today.