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
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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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • BINU.J on November 15, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    Plz Check the Fixture.! Test Matches:- 1.SUN-WED, 2.MON-FRI, 3.TUE-SAT.. One dayers:- TUE,FRI,MON,THU,SUN. 20days of matches with only 3 holidays in between tells the full story.

  • Sautrik on November 15, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    how could you possibly schedule a test match where not one of the five days is a weekend... you cant expect people to skip work and come watch the match.. furthermore, one could see some of the people coming in after two, as schools end near that time...

  • chandau on November 15, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    isnt it funny that the world's richest cricket board still has to charge people to watch cricket . especially test cricket! seriously people, u earn millions of dollars in tv rights and sponsorships and what not - cant u just open the gates and let people walk in with the cursory security chks of course. at least it will make the players happy to have some cheer around :)

  • harshalb on November 15, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    People are not coming to watch the match because they are disappointed with how India played in England and were exposed on true wickets. NOT because it is a test match but such a convenient conclusion will be drawn by BCCI to push more ODIs and T20s. The fact is Test cricket is the ultimate form of cricket as it tests the skills of the players to the fullest and offers the best stage for various possibilities of skills and strategy, provided played on true wickets.

  • dummy4fb on November 15, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    indians dont watch... well itsj sut that theres been too much cricket i for one m only 18...i always watch every test watch india plays ya one days... thats diff story

  • gitapat on November 15, 2011, 2:15 GMT

    Let us be realistic.The poor spectator turnout for Test matches is the direct result of too much cricket particularly the number of 50- over ODIs and the Twenty 20 games played by India particularly the IPL.Spectators throng at cricket stadia only for the entertainment provided by these games.The poor turnout for Test cricket is no reflection on the interest in Test cricket as the true lover of Test Cricket id watching the game on TV from home or office.The Associations who own these stadia are making enough money on the shorter forms of the game and they have nothing to complain.

  • InnocentGuy on November 15, 2011, 1:49 GMT

    A, it's vs West Indies, B, it's day 1 of the test match, and C, it's a Monday for heaven's sake!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 15, 2011, 0:33 GMT

    So, what was everybody expecting? That people stay away from their offices on Monday and come to watch cricket? Lol...

  • Stevo_ on November 15, 2011, 0:07 GMT

    Indians just don't like cricket, it's as simple as that. They just like cricket highlights and the majority of social Indian cricketers are "highlight" cricketers, trying to take a wicket with every ball or trying to hit every ball for six. They just don't get it

  • pk_brisbane on November 14, 2011, 23:11 GMT

    @Nampally - which game were you watching. they are 350/5 (one wicket being night watchman) at stumps on day 1 and you say 'hopefully others play responsibly'. it is part of the balance of the side that guys like dravid play anchor, and guys like sehwag etc attack the bowling. its because they attack that dravid is able to play anchor role. with very few people left watching test cricket, by taking the cavaliar away from the game, the format will completely die. bad enough we have character less pitches. yea they got out playing loose shots, but they tried to entertain, and laid the platform for guys like dravid to play steady.

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