Fan Following

First-person reports from the stands

India v New Zealand, second Test, Bangalore, 3rd day

Bowlers' day at the cricket

Just the way to spend a Sunday

Santhana Krishnan

Comments: 6 | Text size: A | A
Tim Southee is ecstatic after dismissing MS Dhoni, India v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Bangalore, 3rd day, September 2, 2012
Tim Southee's spell has give New Zealand a chance in the match © Associated Press
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Choice of game
I am not too fussy about the format of the game as long as there is good contest. Though the New Zealand team suffered a heavy defeat in the first Test, they are known fighters and I was expecting a better contest in this game. Also, this probably was the last time Sachin Tendulkar would play a Test in Bangalore. So, I decided that this was something I cannot miss.

Key performer - Tim Southee
If this Test match is still in a balance, it is due to Southee. When New Zealand took the second new ball, India had two well-settled batsmen in Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni and they were threatening to build a lead. He used the new ball well to get rid of both of them and two others to end up with seven for the innings.

One thing I'd have changed about the day
There was a felicitation for VVS Laxman and Sunil Joshi by the KSCA during the tea interval. The event took place on the ground near the dressing room. Fans like me at the far end could not make out anything. The KSCA could have made arrangements to show the event on the big screen. Also, they can improve the PA system by installing speakers in all the stands.

The interplay I enjoyed - Ashwin vs Flynn
R Ashwin had got Daniel Flynn three times on the sweep in this series. It seemed that Flynn was determined not to use the sweep and to play as much off the back foot as possible. He was quite successful and was able to cut Ashwin for three or four boundaries. In the end Ashwin prevailed once again as he got a top-spinner to bounce a bit more and Flynn edged to Sehwag.

Player watch - Sachin Tendulkar
Tendulkar was fielding at long-on for James Franklin (about 20 metres to my right). The fans understandably kept calling out his name. He obliged a couple of times with a hand wave. The partnership between Franklin and Kruger van Wyk grew and the crowd went a bit quiet. Sachin turned around and gestured as if to ask, "Are you guys sleeping? Make some noise." Needless to say, the stand erupted.

Shot of the day - Zaheer Khan
Zaheer is not known to hang around much. The first ball he faced, he backed away a little and smashed a full one over long-on for a beautiful six. Although there were many nice looking shots from top-order batsmen, this one is still fresh in my mind.

Ball of the day - Ashwin to Southee
It was late in the evening and the Indian spinners had the New Zealand team in all sorts of trouble. Ashwin flighted one just outside the Southee's off stump. Southee went for a booming drive and to Ashwin and my delight the ball turned, went through the gate and hit leg and middle.

Crowd meter
There was a very good turnout for the day, but the ground was by no means full. As expected, Kohli's century, Dhoni's fifty and New Zealand wickets were received with thunderous roars. Also, there was scattered applause for some of the shots played by the New Zealand batsmen, a welcome relief from the recent trend of partisan crowds in Indian grounds.

Tests v limited-overs
There are several periods of play during Tests, where things move a bit slowly and the players themselves relax a bit. During these times, they tend to interact a bit more with the spectators than they would do if it were a limited-overs match. As fans, this is what we crave for and so I prefer Tests.

Watching some quality bowling from right behind the sight-screen was a filling experience. The Sunday crowd made it even better. The only blemish was the food offered at lunch.

Marks out of 10

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Santhana Krishnan has been a lover of cricket and a great fan of Tendulkar ever since the famous desert storm innings. He is one of those who talk a lot about the game but are no good at playing it. He blogs here.

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Comments: 6 
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Posted by VJ on (September 4, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

@addicted_to_chaos: I can see nowhere the writer has mentioned the crowd erupted when Southee took wicket rather he has mentioned that the crowd erupted for Kiwi wickets a.k.a whenever a Kiwi wicket fell...

Posted by Wish on (September 3, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

I'm glad the Indians are enjoying winning test matches ONLY at home and that too against the weaker last something to be happy about after getting thrashed 0-8 away..

Posted by Dummy4 on (September 3, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

The longer Tendulkar plays, the longer another young Indian batsman misses out from invaluable Test experience. When will he stop being so selfish? How many more times must you be bowled before your ego finally deflates? Please learn from VVS and step out now instead of accumulating more runs for personal reasons Sachin. You have done a great job for the country but you must now go.

Posted by Addicted on (September 3, 2012, 9:57 GMT)

Dear writer: The crowd went dead silent whenever Southee took a wicket..... you must be in other stadium, I didnt saw crowd appreciating Southee wickets.....

Posted by Balaji on (September 3, 2012, 8:08 GMT)

santhana krishnan unlike you I was in the pavilion terrace just above the players dressing roam, the crowd was pretty good man almost full during lunch, it is hard for people to sit through the entire day so I could see many started to leave after tea, also if india had batted throughout the day it could have been great, it is a shame I got to the ground only by 12:45 pm and the indian innings was over. I thoroughly enjoyed the cricket my first experience in a stadium.

Posted by Faridoon on (September 3, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

You do this for a living! I wish I had a cool job like that.

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