No slip, no gully for a fast bowler?
My banging on about why the IPL makes no sense to me isn't having the sort of effect I'd hoped for and feared writes Soumya Bhattacharya.Updated: Apr 03, 2010, 23:14 IST
My banging on about why the IPL makes no sense to me isn't having the sort of effect I'd hoped for and feared.
I have not yet spotted a single placard at a stadium that says: 'Shut up, Soumya, you are a moron'. No one at my daughter's school has looked at me with a mixture of undisguised hostility and faintly disguised pity. And — this is what hurt most — Lalit Modi has not yet sent me tickets for the Tests in the next India v Australia series, with a note that says: “Here, if you think Test cricket is such a big deal, take these, go to the matches, and realise what a twit you are.”
So having realised that I should begin to realise my idiocy, priggishness, cussedness and backwardness, I thought I'd intently watch a bit of IPL action with an anthropologist's eye.
With care, I chose the opening of the Deccan Chargers' innings against the Kolkata Knight Riders: An over of Shane Bond bowling to Herschelle Gibbs. Now this is something that cricket can no longer offer me. This is unique to the IPL.
There was one moment in the over that I loved. Bond tore in and pitched on the off stump; Gibbs played forward; the ball held its line, and then curved away at that magnificent speed past Gibbs's prodding bat and thwacked into the wicketkeeper's gloves.
There wasn't that collective gasp/moan that goes up at a cricket ground when something like this happens at the beginning of the innings. I felt instead that a lot of spectators felt cheated because nothing really had happened.
Gibbs immediately remedied that by stepping out to the man who was till not very long ago the world's most fearsome fast bowler and clobbering him over extra cover and into the stands. This was the
strokemaking lexicon appropriate to the IPL, and the crowd — and the commentator — was suitably roused.
Something kept niggling at me as the over went on. Something felt wrong. I got it in the ad break. A genuine fast bowler in the opening over of an innings bowling with no slips, no gullies, no defence behind the stumps but a wicketkeeper.
You call that cricket?