Monday, December 19, 2005

Contrasts

Watching cricket being played in India brings a different set of visual impressions than watching cricket in Australia. The light is different for one. Indian games are played in the winter, and typically start under the heavy, hazy light so typical of that time of the year. Australian games are played in the summer and take place in bright, bleach-your-body-bone-white kind of light. Indian games end in poor light, typically with multiple checks by the umpire, much conferring with batsmen, and the final walk-off an inevitable occurrence. Australian games rarely end in poor light - it is the summer after all. Despite all the talk about the liveliness of Indian crowds, it is the Australian crowds that are more lively for most of the day (and certainly more balanced - its hard to get an Indian crowd to clap for boundaries by the opposing team's batsmen!). Australian crowds fade late in the day as the beer and heat kicks in. At that point, dehydrated legions of young men sink to their knees in the stands and can only summon the odd hoarse "onya Warnie!".

But perhaps the biggest difference is watching Indian spinners go at it late in the day. Multiple fielders clustered around the bat in the gloom, (but not backed up by large crowds because those don't seem to go to watch test cricket any more), appealing on every second ball, hoping to trigger off yet another collapse. Doesn't seem to happen on Australian grounds (the Indian spinner bit that is).

Ironically, of course, I've seen more test cricket live in Australia (on more grounds, against more teams) than I have in India. Thats what I get for not living in India (or in Australia for that matter).

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