India v West Indies, 2nd Test, Kolkata, 1st day November 14, 2011

Eden the empty theatre

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the first day of the second Test between India and West Indies in Kolkata

The shout
Sachin Tendulkar had eased to 25 in no time when he looked to sweep Devendra Bishoo. He missed and the bowler went up immediately, convinced that the delivery that hardly turned after pitching on middle and would have gone on to hit the stumps. But Rod Tucker, who gave Tendulkar out for 76 in Delhi, was unmoved. Replays suggested he was wrong.

The catch
Each of the first three wickets to fall could be put down to unforced errors. The one that silenced the sparse crowd most dramatically was the fall of Tendulkar, who managed to whack a short ball from Bishoo to the man at midwicket when pretty much the entire leg side was at his mercy.

The unkindest cut
Rahul Dravid has played some memorable innings at this venue and he looked set for a big one after batting with fluency through the day. But on came Kraigg Brathwaite with his part-time offspin and an attempted cut cannoned into the stumps off the bottom edge in the penultimate over of the day. The look of disgust on his face as he trudged off said it all.

The decision
Dravid departed with the close of play looming, and instead of Yuvraj Singh it was Ishant Sharma who strode out to face Kemar Roach and the second new ball. Steve Waugh, much-loved in these parts, was never a fan of the nightwatchman, and three balls later, you knew why, with Ishant edging one behind. Yuvraj walked out anyway, even if he hadn't reached the middle before the umpires decided that the light was too poor to continue.

The empty theatre
"It's sad, but that's the way it is," Dravid said when asked about the poor turnout. "It's tougher for people to come and watch Tests these days." When India won the Test that he and VVS Laxman will forever be remembered for, there were more than 80,000 in the stands. Today, there were just huge swathes of cream and light-green plastic seats. "There was a magic about this place when there were 80,000 or more in," Dravid said.

It's fading.

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