After years of waiting, finally I got to see a test match live! Actually, the only sports I’ve ever seen live were the inter hostel matches in my college, so I had no idea what to expect. And I almost missed out on the action. Thanks to some spectacular inefficiency on the part of ticketpro, I didnt get my ticket until 5 minutes before start of play on Saturday, and even then we had to look hard to get seats that didnt have a huge pillar blocking the action (most of it, you could still see the solitary fielder in the deep).
The start of the day was really exciting for me. I had vaguely imagined that the figures on the field would appear as stick figures, so when I could could make out faces, I became highly excited (“Thats PONTING!”), and had to be calmed down by a worried friend. But after that phase, Saturday became a bit of a bore. I mean the crowd was behind India, so there was a fair bit of cheering, which I joined in with gusto, but India was doing pretty badly, so the cheers were more encouraging than appreciative. I spotted an Aussie chick in my stand and for most part of the day was checking her out. Apart from her, the kid in front of me made for an interesting watch. He started off by shushing my friend whenever the crowd made any noise, but somewhere along the way they became rather chummy and proceeded to play intricate games involving the guy’s hat.
And then Harbhajan Singh happened! The tail ender began swatting boundaries and the crowd went wild. The ‘Singh is King’ anthem rang across the stadium for a long time, and finally died down only when an over enthusiastic section tried to sing it to tune rather than just shout their lungs out. This was the wildest part of the day, and though Harbhajan got out, we went home quite satisfied.
The next day started with us determined to get better seats. A well meaning but ill informed auto driver tried to convince us that the match had got over the previous day, and almost caused us to be late, but we managed to get some good seats anyhow. Although there was no Aussie chick to be seen, the view of the ground was better, and more importantly it was an easy section for the camera to capture (we could be on TV!).
The run of play was intriguing for most part. Some good Indian performances had the crowd on its feet. Mexican waves kept making their way around the ground. Some modern derivative of the conch kept blaring periodically. The only unfortunate part was when the cameraman tried to focus on the crowd. It had everyone doing the craziest thing so he would focus on them. A friend I’d gone with grabbed a hand drum, climbed his chair and began banging on it and dancing as well. A physicist witnessing the feat would have been astounded. As might have an acrobat. But for me, it was the last thing I wanted to be captured next to if I was going to be on television, so I tried to put some distance between us. Oh and thought you might like the pic.
Overall, although the test is probably heading for a draw, it has been a good match. Goes to show test cricket’s not dead as yet. In fact there just might be small chance of a result tomorrow. Maybe I could skive off work and go catch India winning. Lets just hope my boss doesnt watch cricket.