back of a length and outside off, no bother to the batsman. Well only because he has not edged it after deciding to fish. And the umpire flicks the bails over and off we go.
11.35 am The BCCI tweet, "And that, folks, was the final inspection of this match. The 2nd #IndvsSA Test, in Bengaluru, has been officially called off." That means it may be the first time in the history of Test cricket in India that four days have been completely washed off. Untimely coincidence that it had to be AB de Villiers' 100th. The match is drawn and India keep their 1-0 lead and the series resets into a three-match rubber in Nagpur on November 25th. Till then, its goodbye.
"We've had about seven days of Tests in 20 in the last four Test matches. Very surprised we have lost four days of cricket here. I really didn't think four days would be washed out," Hashim Amla says, "AB getting 80-odd in his 100th Test was a highlight and we are glad to share the moment with him. unfortuntely we didn't bat very well, but it was still in the balance with the time left. Have had a long lay-off, everyone is keen to get back on the park in Nagpur and play better cricket"
"The bowlers did a commendable job, bowling South Africa out in less than three sessions is something that's very rare. A lot of people were surprised when we decided to field first. All credit to the bowlers, Bangalore is known for its runs, but our bowlers showed their character," says Virat Kohli, "It's a pity that we lost four days when we were in such a strong position. Shikhar is an impact players and he's done the job in the past and its great to have him back in form. Nothing has changed in the series, we took the confidence from Mohali to Bangalore and we had a good day's play. The team is in great mood and hopefully we don't have any interruptions anymore and execute their skills in Nagpur"
11.15 am Karthik reports that the covers are still on, but the puddles on them appear still. So no rain from above to disturb them. That's good news. But the pinch of salt is that he doesn't quite think play will start any time soon.
Sparsh: "Hmm, Zeus must be having a bad week." ---- So he's taking it out on AB de Villiers, eh? That might well be a mark of respect.
10.50 am Coming to you live from the Chinnaswamy stadium, this is your latest rain troll: I'm baaaaaaack. It's begun to drizzle again, with the inspection in about half an hour's time. Just the slightest of sprays, but it still ain't good for this Test
10.40 am Bhaskar: "Strange that the umpires are still pursuing play. What will the players achieve in half a day? They should just call off the match." ---- And it seems we won't be having an early lunch either. So even if the ground is fit to play by 11.30 am, at he moment, play can only resume by 12.10 pm
Balaraj: "As 81 overs are already bowled in this match, who should it be if there is a man of the match awarded? ABD or Jadeja or Ashwin? Or would it be Binny who only got 3 overs to bowl in 59 overs."
10.05 am A few India players had trod onto the outfield, along the with the umpires. There is no rain at the moment, repeat no rain, but it seems outfield has still not recovered. Next inspection at 11.30 am. So might as well nip across to our rolling coverage of the premier first-class tournament in India, the Ranji Trophy. Table-toppers Delhi are on the verge of being knocked over by the newly promoted Assam. Also Jharkhand have beaten Tripura by an innings and 67 runs.
Paval: "Ok, I give up. When is the next Test?"
9.45 am We're 15 minutes away from the umpires' next inspection and I know it's bad luck to post this, but I kinda like creating a bit of chaos. So, shall we enjoy of reminder of the five wettest Tests ever?
Subodh Yeole: "Al, don't talk about bad luck. I'll come to your office and beat you if it rains again!" --- And that's why ESPNcricinfo's location is in a secret bunker off the coast of Antarctica and in an alternate dimension. Ha!
Hoover: "Surely you jest, because yesterday Gnasher revealed he's holed up in Hammersmith with horrible weather." ----- Busted.
"Yes. It's like that Ship of Theseus paradox for Mitch. He got injured, got repaired, came back all guns blazing. Repeat. to the point that although he is now at the better of his health but repaired so many times that he does not feel like the same Mitch of the yore anymore. Steyn will go through this. You, @yash, me, Andrew, Mutthu, Binoy...we will all go through this." Narayan, you're scaring me. I need to go watch my cartoons to feel younger. Outta the way! Also, while I'm lost in cyberspace, why don't you guys catch up with your own favourite Mighty Mitch Johnson memory
Srinivasan Chin: "Good point pf Dale Steyn's [prospective] retirement! he is built no differently than other fast bowlers of the recent era. Wasim Akram - retired at 36, Allan Donald - Retired at 36, Shoaib Akhtar - Retired at 36, Brett Lee - Retired at 36, continued to play T20 until 38. Steyn is currently 32, so I guess he may stick around for another 2 years or so before hanging his boots."
9.25 am "Can see the stadium's light-towers from my workplace. Was hiding behind a veil 20 minutes back. It's clear and visible now. And looks brighter too." Vaidya teases. Although he is right. It has gotten better and I daresay the rain should retreat soon, if it hasn't already. Inspection in another 35 minutes. Just enough time, I suppose, to see if JP Duminy keeps up with his statistics in The Cricket Monthly's latest edition of Think You Know Yourself.
So in other news, seeing as those are the only kind we can concentrate on, Welcome to the post Mitchell Johnson era. He might arguably be responsible for more jelly legs and post-bouncer trauma than any other bowler in this generation. (Shoaib Aktar will obviously have something to say about that, and usually his retorts are very funny so I'm doing this on purpose. But that's beside the point) So if a player, who undergoes the same stress and puts his body through the same rigours as Dale Steyn, retires at the age of 34, how long can we expect Steyn to go on? Firdose Moonda clues us in. Johnson, in his own words, said he couldn't pick himself up on those "difficult days" so he felt his "hunger was lost." Steyn is 32 now, and he's picked up a few injuries recently as well. You can't help but wonder if the same wear and tear weighs on his mind too.
"I dont agree with your comparison of Mitch and Steyn. Mitch was dropped a couple of times, was wayward sometimes and probably doubted if he was good enough and made some spectacular comebacks and that can wear you down. On the contrary, Steyn never had to make a comeback as he was never out and was a mainstay and never in doubt. Apples and Oranges" ------- It wasn't exactly a comparison based on their performance, Yash. Fast bowlers, the lot of them, put their bodies through the most vicious toil. The fact that Steyn has undergone the physicality of it a lot more in his career means this issue needs all the more attention
9.00 am The big tarps are being pulled back on the ground - earlier it was just the pitch - so now the square is being covered as that little spray I was talking about has picked up just enough to be called a drizzle. Inspection at 10 am, remember. The school kids are here, roaring and waving everytime the camera pans on them. Fun to spend a day off school, ain't it? Although is this fun for the cricketers? Bumping work off the while around?
"Aren't they using those bad-ass super-soppers any more?" Ack mutters darkly. As per our mad investigative skills, they are. And there's some new equipment as well.
Pro Core. This is said to make incisions around two or three inches deep, allowing air to permeate and speed up the evaporation of moisture under the surface of the outfield
Seeing as so much time has been lost, and particularly yesterday when it has not rained all morning, and yet the start of the game kept getting pushed back until 2 pm. Predictably, that was when the best laid plans were literally drowned out. Karthik Krishnaswamy was a the ground, moping around with nothing to do, until he chanced upon the Chinnaswamy groundsman, who explained that it wasn't the uncovered areas, but sweating under the covers had been the reason we had a third day straight without play
8.45 am, fifth day I'm gettin' too old for this. Or rather, this is getting too old. We have only had 81 overs in the Test so far. Three whole days have been spent on our bums with twitchy-leg syndrome. We thought we are into the last dance, as it were, but that has been delayed as well. The umpires had taken a stroll around the ground early, and decided they would need another look before committing to play. Next inspection 10 am.
The good news, though, is that it has not rained all night. Presently it is quite overcast, cold as well. And just the slightest little spray. Perfect kind of weather for a nice, relaxing cup of tea and a lazy old day. Except we're here for the cricket and that can't quite happen yet.
"Should this even be considered AB's 100th test???" Satish moans in anguish. As much as the man himself has said that it is just a number, he might not be quite so pleased at the eventual outcome. In this exclusive and in-depth interview, he said he doesn't like playing when there is very little at stake. And the definition of that is this match.
2.30 pm Play called off for the third day running and we didn't even have that much rain today. If fact, the drizzle arrived just as the umpires announced play would resume. The BCCI have tweeted that we will start at 9.15 am tomorrow, which according to forecasts should be dry. Thanks for your company, apologies for the frustration and hope the rest of your day is awesome. Here's a suggestion about that. Play #CricIQ and win. Buh-bye.
2.25pm Looks like the umpires are braving another trudge out to the middle, seeking the groundstaff's counsel. What will it be, gents? Put us out of our misery one way or another.
1.55 pm I don't think we're gonna make it today. We've huffed and puffed and tried to blow the clouds away, but they're clouds and they're like a few thousand metres up so it kinda doesn't work. Covers are still on, and so is the drizzle. Morose faces in the dressing room. Hands on chins, gaunt, 'why is this happening' eyes. Karthik says there are scattered bunches of people around, and a bunch of school kids at one of the square-on stands.
1.00 pm The umpires are out in Chinnaswamy again. Come on, Inspection. Give us good news. And it is. Play to resume at 2 pm. But before we start heaving sighs of relief, the weather wants to put us on notice. There is a slight drizzle now, and the covers are being brought on again.
The afternoon session will go on until 3.30 pm and the final session is scheduled for 3.50 pm to 5.15 pm, with provision to extend until 5.45 pm. Minimum overs for the day is 45.
Vijoy: "With cloudy conditions, SA should feel at home. Expect Morne and Rabada to rip it at 140+ now because we just had Starc clock 160+ the other day!"
12.45 pm Getting close to the third inspection of the day, and bets are that this one might lead to favourable outcomes. It's been bright-ish, without being outright sunny, in Bangalore. The ground had looked quite good from afar and Sanjay Manjrekar, during his own trip around the Chinnaswamy outfield, had mentioned that the cricket could resume quite quickly. All up to the umpires' judgment of how safe it will be for the players. Remember, there are two Tests still left and South Africa are already carrying quite a few injuries.
rahulraman: "what's the point now? Only thing left is for the individuals to better their personal records. Dhawan should try to make the most out of this."
VP: "I think India should declare now, and ask SA to bat. Get them all out and go for the target... Given the confidence levels in SA team, it is a gamble worth taking."
12.15 pm Seeing as we are free of such things as wet outfields and torrential rains, why don't you fellas take AB de Villiers' tips, then my own, and go outside to practice your driving skills. Those who prefer to do so vicariously can tune to the Ranji Trophy blog. Legspinner Karn Sharma has had a grand old time at the Wankhede stadium.
Ayas: "What is the problem if the groundsman covers entire field with plastic covers? I was there at the stadium on sunday and what I felt is they just need 5 more sheets and the entire ground can be covered. Its frustrating to see rain relenting but still no action because of wet outfield."
Vijoy: "If our prayers of no more rain are answered, we could have about 140 overs left in the match. Both teams need to play this like an ODI and get a result out ! Any day better than a dull draw."
Sandeep: "A challenge to Rain God from the game of cricket: We are not gonna let you spoil two games on same day! Either spoil this match or ruin Mitch Johnson's see-off spell. "
11.30 am Inspection time. The umpires stride out to test the outfield, putting in as much weight as they could onto the wet patches. Let's see what they decide. "This one spot near short extra cover/short square leg seems to be under the most scrutiny," says Karthik Krishnaswamy at the ground. Apparently it has not passed the test. Wet outfield remains our scourge. Next inspection at 1 pm. "The bowlers' run up is not an issue, between the wickets is not an issue. Nowhere does the water come out when I press my boot down into the field," says Sanjay Manjrekar, "So it's really up to the umpires. If they say, 'Okay lets play,' we can. The concern though is parts of the outfield which are admittedly damp, but not wet"
Karthik Reddy: "The umpires will keep on postponing the play and by the time they decide to start, the rain will come back from the power nap." ---- Well, the forecast has improved since yesterday. It's actually quite a big brighter and I am going to tempt fate and say it doesn't look like we will get any rain today.
11.00 am Things have gotten rather more bright in Bangalore, and since I'm talking literally, the figurative chances of the Test resuming have also become more bright.
MA: "Am I all alone on this page? Is anyone hear with me? Anyone?"
10.00 am We hear that the inspection is on and the covers are off. Ajinkya Rahane was getting out for a little hit in the nets as well. Cross your fingers, fellas. Ah, seems our collective will wasn't enough. There will be another inspection at 11.30 am, which means we have lost the seventh session of this Test. The bowlers' run-up appears to be causing the major problems. Also a little spot at cover-ish that looks dicey.
Also, there is no news yet about lunch, which as per schedule was at 11.30 am. Wonder if they'll pull it forward. Otherwise, play, if it is possible, can only begin after the ensuing 40-minute break. Also, let me reiterate, there is no rain, at the moment.
So spend the oodles of time you have wisely and spam us. Do you have a favourite Mitchell Johnson moment? Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you could even WhatsApp us on +919900590636.
krish: "I live close to the Stadium. The good news is that my dog Jimmy who forecasts the weather by curling up in his bed is out in the open and looking at the sky optimistically. "No more rain till my lunch," he says..."
Sundar : "@Krish: My cat also is roaming outside, predicting no rain! Since your dog and my cat are predicting the same, even if it rains, at least it won't rain cats and dogs!"
Shaleen: "The little black pane on the right side of this page says "End of a Drought." Looks like the Rain Gods took it a little too literally."
Ramakrishna: "In the past, I had seen helicopters being brought on to dry out the cricket pitch. Was hoping KSCA could do that... Of course, without blowing out the age old roof tops at the stadium"
9.30 am So far so good. There is no rain yet. Conditions are rather overcast though. Seems like the skies can open up anytime, but lets hope we can sneak a bit of play before they decide to have their fun.
The only cover that is in use currently is the one on the pitch. So perhaps there won't be too much change in character. The outfield, though, is still a little soggy. So fielding on the edges of the boundary will be tricky. Sawdust is being strewn around, the supper sopper is trying its best. But the news from the ground says that there is no wind, nor is there any sun. That doesn't help in drying the ground.
Ack: "My clothes haven't dried these last 2 days inspite of being under the fan. If the field manages to dry up, I am coming there with my clothesline."
Oh, if anyone would like a change of subject, there's a pretty big one. Mitchell Johnson has retired from international cricket. One fearsome fast bowler less in the world. millions of batsmen smiling in their sleep. Could he be called a contemporary great? Well, only Warney and Lillee had more wickets than him for Australia so there is that argument. And I'm wondering how much Mitchell Starc's fiery spell on the third day, where the speed gun clocked him at 160.4 kph, would have contributed to this decision. Anyways, well played. He produced some of the most captivating sights in cricket, as is the wont of a fast bowler.
Glenn McGrath: ""Well, only Warney and Lillee had more wickets than him for Australia so there is that argument." Umm, could we have a word please?" ---- Ooops, my bad, Pidge. But you have to admit, watching you at the All-Stars wasn't the greatest advertisement of your greatness.
Harish Poddutur: "How about a very quick 150 odd runs in 25 to 30 overs and put SA back. If they get out then indian will have a great chance of winning. If they dont get out it will be a draw. Definitely more exiting then dull play out game."
8.55 am, fourth day Viva la freeeeeeedom.... from, you know, cabin fever. After two days - that tallies to 180 overs - gone down the drain, because ironically the drainage at the Chinnaswamy hasn't seemed the greatest, we have a rain-less morning. The early news from the ground is that there will be an inspection at 10.00 and a call taken thereafter.
11.30 am Play has been called off for the day, early call taken, probably with a view to the weather - it is still raining, and will do so well into the afternoon and the Chinnaswamy outfield looks like the worst piece of soggy toast in the world. Would have taken ages to drain out. So two entire days washed out without a ball bowled. Another early start, at 9.15 am for tomorrow but that is with weather permitting. And the forecast doesn't look good again: drizzle from start to stumps.
Parag: "Doesn't seem there will be anymore meaningful cricket in this match. Weather forecast is bleak for rest of the days as well. Albeit, NZ vs Aus is turning out to be a nice game.
11.15 am Fifteen minutes left until the morning session is done. But it is "still drizzling steadily," reports a rather frustrated, and hungry, Karthik from the ground. "The puddles haven't had a moment of stillness all morning."
Aacrit: "What would they be doing? I bet they would be making videos for #BatLikeAB after the reception ABD got from the first day Bangalore Crowd!"
Rajesh: "I dreamt of Murali Vijay scoring a patient double hundred and ending up not out at start of day 3. Some part of the dream has come true..except that he's still on 28*"
Saket: "Don't think there is daylight after KW. KW, Joe and Smith all three have been pretty amazing. Maybe a daylight after these three and then Kohli. Only if KW can manage his this year's average for long then you might say he is on top than others."
Jagath: "Talking about the best young batsmen. I think QDK should get some chance to prove himself. Is he denied the SA opening post because he is the wicket keeper."
RKM: "I think it's important to judge Root and Smith after they have played at least 10 tests in sub continental conditions like the other two have, before we rank them. How did Root perform in their most recent series? On the other hand, Williamson has a good record to show in SL and India, as does Kohli in Australia and SA. Kohli's black mark is his poor show against Anderson, but Williamson scores well there as well. So for me its Kane, Virat, Smith and Root in that order"
Prady: "If there was ever to be an apocalypse for Bowlers, then Joe Root, Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli and Steve Smith would be the four horsemen. As for the apocalypse itself, that would be AB"
Vaidya: "Chill guys. Rains are a part of the game. Not the first time a game is getting washed out, neither will this be the last. People are struggling in Chennai because of floods and we are worried about a cricket match being washed out." ---- Time for a change of subject then? What do you think the players would be doing to while away all this time? Playing Candy crush? Watching movies? A spot of Texas hold 'em? I bet at least one of them is peeking in at comms here. Yeah, you. I see you.
MA: "If I'm not wrong, India and Australia had an impromptu TT tournament when two of the seven ODI matches in the winter of 2013, were washed away. "
Vaidya: "What would they be doing? Hope its not as awkward as Chandler getting stuck in an "ATM vestibule" with Jill Goodacre.."
Deepak: "They can't be online, Al! ACSU will have them by their.... Ahem..."
aman: "People are conveniently saying that we should have a backup stadium ready but they are forgetting that the ranjhi trophy is also being played for what about that? There are 27 teams in the ranjhi trophy won't they need the stadiums? Think about bcci before saying such things,This is the problem people (audiences in India) are least bothered about ranjhi trophy they don't even care about it, and it is because of these people that performances in ranjhi trophy are not noticed, only if the Indian team is failing miserably is when they say we should hunt for talent in the ranjhi trophy"
tanmoy: "Let's start the debate till match resumes. Who is the best young batsman in test cricket today? For me the order is 1. Joe Root 2. Kane Williamson 3. Steven Smith 4. Virat Kohli For you?" ---- KW up top. Then daylight.
10.40 am "This is weird!!! when did the weather/rain started to love SA team? Rain gods..please don't stop..continue to pour down..." Perhaps nature has finally caught onto the law of averages, Mindreader. Anyways, the wet weather continues. I daresay it's been raining non-stop since very early this morning. For the moment it has eased to the slightest drizzle, but unless it stops, it's going to be a pretty hard task getting play in the later sessions.
RKM: "If you should change a venue overnight, then you must keep two grounds ready at the same time. And whatever be the case, one set of organisers will be aggrieved because their efforts will come to naught. And what about the fact that Bangalore saw a significantly larger turnout than Mohali? Can any other location give that as well overnight? Easy to say. Respect nature, always. "
10.10 am Dushyant Uppal: "It has been raining in Bangalore since last week. When will BCCI be more proactive? Can't the match venue be changed so that we get uninterrupted 5 days of test match? If its about the tickets sold, even then the BCCI is going to refund yesterday's play tickets anyhow because no ball was bowled yesterday. Cricinfo, your views?" ---- I suspect logistical issues would also play a part. Besides, the board's been rather busy with their AGM and resolving issues of conflict of interest and trying to redress their image overall. Have they done so? Perhaps to some extent. More is expected of them, as is amply clear from Dushyant's comment. Sharda Ugra had her take on it a while back. Worth a read this: The giant broom of the BCCI
Prasad: "Rain is not in anybody's control. But every ground should have a mechanism to be covered fully if in case there are rains. Wet outfield is just not exciting to see and can be further minimized. Moreover, manual effort of drying the ground when it stops raining can be minimized. By the time the Super Sopper does its job it starts raining again.. we can have this time used to get some overs in."
Taljinder: " no need to keep myself awake in canada...and there is no chance there there will be any play... guys take a samosa party with tea... thats the best thing to do in rainy season.... "
9.45am One of our readers enjoyed himself on the first day and sent us this report: great weather, spinners running riot and a fighting knock from a modern great. Pity the rain has ruined things since.
9.10 am There will be no play till lunch because of a rather scary cyclone bashing the Southeast coast of India. Been raining like someone wants to create Atlantis in India. And the ripples have reached as far as Bangalore. At the Chinnaswamy, it's only the square and the bowlers' run-ups so there are plenty of puddles forming on the edges of the covers and in the outfield. Add to that the forecast - steady, persistent showers till around 2.30 pm - getting the ground ready will take some doing.
The Indian contingent (and of course everyone interested) might do well to take a peek at our rolling coverage of the premier first-class tournament here, the Ranji Trophy. Suresh Raina, who is captaining his state Uttar Pradesh, is on a half-century and would be pushing for a lot more. Shreyas Iyer, the young Mumbai sensation, is racking up the runs again and proving his mettle in long-form cricket.
Avinash: "After a long long time... Longest opening partnership for India in terms of time... :)"
Amit Bhatnagar: "Since most test matches in India are over in 3 days it's fine if we lose 2 days to rain anyways. The real trouble will be if we lose >2 days."
"Just curious ... would the pitch on which Aus vs NZ match is going on be termed flat batting pitch if it were in subcontinent? I mean like 1200 runs have been scored for less than 20 wickets and that too at a decent pace against some quality bowling." ----- Fairly certain it's being called that even now, Jignesh. Edges were not carrying to the slips. Solid, proper, batsmen pushing at the ball wit hard handed edges. The WACA is ending up making a case for its own exile. But then again, we have a Test-match 300 on the horizon for Ross Taylor. He's just gone past VVS Laxman's 281, he is almost the highest score by a visiting batsman against Australia in Australia. Plenty worth looking out for.
Sanjay B: ""Unlikely that we will be getting our 9.15 am start" - that's rather mild. I've been a Banglorean for over four decades and I don't recall experiencing such gloomy weather. It's unlikely that we will get a start today at all! Given the forecast, I doubt we'll get even a couple of sessions over the next three days." ---- The fifth one is expected to be dry, I think. Then again, there are many things I shall risk doing. Predicting the weather and curbing myself from lame jokes are not on that list.
8.55 am, third day I'm late. Oh I'm so late. I'm so very late. But unlike the Rabbit in Carrol, Lewis' imagination, it ended up being inconsequential because my tea party has a party pooper hogging all the fun since yesterday. It's raining again and it is rather unlikely that we will be getting our 9.15 am start.
2.00 pm We might be getting the baddest of bad news, folks. Brace yourselves. And there we go: Play has been called off for the second day. Not an over bowled. So the BCCI tweet, "Those who purchased the tickets for Day-2 of Bangalore Test, will get refunds at the KSCA ticket counters on Nov 20, 21 & 22."
To make up for that, we'll be back on the park at 9.15 am, that's 15 minutes early than the normal start to the day. Thanks for sticking around and making things fun over here. But I'm afraid we have to part ways now. Hopefully tomorrow's weather might be a little kinder and that the good people predicting it are all wrong: Forecast is for rain deep into the afternoon. This is Al Muthu yelping, 'say it ain't so.' and signing off.
1.55 pm I spot some movement of the white shirt variety. The umpires are treading onto the field to spy on things.
1.30 pm "From where I'm sitting nothing is happening," tweets Firdose Moonda, out SA correspondent, "And I mean nothing. No super soppers, no sweeping, just nothing. This day looks gone." ---- Seeing as we're all in a foul mood, why don't we pick on someone. Say the SG ball? Seems things aren't well with it. Ashwin said the seam might not be as prominent and helpful as it was five or six years ago.
So seeing as cricket is frustrating us, how about we indulge in a little bit of baseball and some music from the Nawab of Najafgarh.
But if you are adamant that you want more of this lovely sport, catch up with Mitchell Starc breaking into the 160kph club in Perth. Fierce, head-turning, future-defining spell form the left-arm seriously-quick. (Others in the club are Shoaib Akhtar, Shaun 'the wild thing' Tait, Brett Lee, Jeff Thommo and Mitch Johnson, whoa, five Aussies!)
Divakar: "Strange there's no South African in the 100 mile barrier list. They've produced some awesome fast bowlers. But none of them were tear away I guess. Steyn was tear away when he first started. But then moulded himself to become the best bowler in the world." ---- Morne is their fastest and they have someone aspiring to the 160 kph mark, meet Kagiso Rabada
nick: "On SA pacemen - I don't think anyone timed Mike Procter at his fastest c.1970. I think he must have come close to 160, but the low arm and wrong-foot action made it hard to tell (ask the Aussie batsmen like Ian Chappell who had to face him that year). "
Vaibhav: "A Sunday break for the players then like the usual office goers. Do you think there will be any Monday morning blues tomorrow?"
1.10 pm So technically lunch is done. We're back to waiting on the rain. It's not been apocalyptic as it had been over the last week in Bangalore. But this is the rain that is just steady and is a nag. The outfield must not be looking pretty right now. Unless it feels solid underfoot, it won't be safe for the players. Looks like we're all going to have to sit tight and figure out the antidote to all the raindances undoubtedly being performed.
Maulik Sheth: "This is the only session so far which South Africa hasn't lost."
Paapi Ghoda: "The roles of Kohli and Jadeja (the batsman, not the bowler) now become critical as India will be battling time in addition to the opposition. These two are the only ones who can turn it on." ---- I've seen Vijay take spin on. Rahane played the swashbuckler in the World Cup. India's batting can be quite strong so long as they are confident (and not cocky)
12.30pm The lunch break - scheduled for now- has been taken. Unfortunately, it is still drizzling and the suppersoppers are doing their thing. The wait continues, folks!
12.00 pm My math is getting awesome. I can now categorically say we have lost two and a half hours of play already. That's about the time it takes for an AB double-century, maybe. Or me to score three runs off the inside and outside edges. South Africa will be kicking themselves for folding so early and for so little yesterday, but the longer play is delayed the longer they will be able to stay in it. And India would feel an unnecessary pinch. They'll need to play against time to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in this series. By the way, the forecasts for tomorrow and the day after aren't pretty. But this certainly is. Cricket+winter in the subcontinent equals one mighty fine photo feature on the Cricket Monthly
11.40 am Doesn't look like play will start anytime soon. I won't be surprised if the umpires choose to call lunch to try and see if play can start after the break sooner. As of now, no such call. So for now lunch will be at 12.30 pm. No changes in that. No change in the weather either, still raining, puddles forming on the outfield. Chinnaswamy's drainage is going to be put to the test.
Anshul: "I saw a statistic "Zero 100 opening stands by SA in Tests since 2014 - only team without one from 10-plus inns. SA's 1st wicket has averaged 29.94". This can be broken in the very next match if AB de Villiers comes in the opening slot with even Elgar." ---- Here is confirmation from Statsguru. South Africa are bundled up with their neighbours Zimbabwe on zero. India have just one and Australia have racked up 11, and are the only team to average more than 50 in that period.
Deon's the culprit (predictably his email id says he's from South Africa): "let it rain, let rain! Let it rain for three days" --- it could be fun for their quicks bowling in overcast conditions, mate.
11.10 am Not sure what to make of it, but I just saw a picture on twitter that had the South African slip cordon doing some practice on the edge of the boundary. The skies overhead looked very ominous. Oh, for those keeping an eye on on the All-Stars game, Shane Warne has sealed a 3-0 sweep with a six over Sachin Tendulkar in Los Angeles. Yeah, there's cricket in Hollywood country.
11.00am We're at the point where we might be losing an entire session's play. Karthik says, "Pretty heavy rain now." But just in case you don't go into withdrawal, catch up with all the action from the top tier of Indian first-class cricket at the Ranji Trophy blog. Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh are playing this round for Punjab, Delhi are being overrun by the newly promoted Assam. Lots of that and more being covered.
Tariq: "Just to make it to BCCI's list, can Afghanistan play as one of the Rajni trophy team. This will be a great boost." ---- Hey, that'd be nice. Kinda like how Ireland and Scotland would gain from playing in the English county championship
Prathab: "I would suggest 3 teams out of UAE, Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Nepal for all 3 groups of Ranji..!!! That would make it even and interesting"
Ananthamurthy: "@Prathab and Tariq : Even the weakest teams would have a field day, I dread to think of what teams like Mumbai, Karnataka and Delhi would do to them. The Ranji Trophy is not for such teams at all, if you watched just one game between, say, Tamilnadu and Karnataka, you'd know that." --- But how else would they learn? You need to play tougher teams to grow.
10.40 am Not good news, folks. "All manner of covers are coming on now," says Karthik from the ground. Earlier it was just the square and the run-ups. Now they're coming on in other parts of the ground too" ---- It was expected that rain might take up a front row seat for AB's 100th, but this is getting ridiculous. It's just been drizzling enough to keep play off the minds of the umpires and work on the mind of the groundstaff. Hope it becomes the other way around soon. Or something to that effect.
Ananthamurthy: "The Indian Meteorological Department has a website called "rapid", which is awesome, its here rapid.imd.gov.in, and you can see a blob of cloud the size of England. I have tickets but I'm not going, because I'm pretty sure there will not be much play today. " ----- And just like that it's maybe mildly begun to wreak havoc at the Chinnaswamy. Much stronger downpour now
nick: "England touring teams used to have a reputation for bringing rain to SA. It seems SA might be getting the same reputation in the sub-continent, with the recent Bangladesh series and now this... " ---- And I'm on commentary so there's that to. Been trying to spread my Rainman moniker for a while now. Maybe now it'll take
Harish: "I can see the area of the stadium from my balcony. Doesn't look good at all. Rain is getting more persistent and the clouds are a lot more darker."
While we wait for day two of the #INDvSA Test to begin, you can play #CricIQ and win with @maruti_swift pic.twitter.com/ypheWL2oGS— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 15, 2015
10.25 am The weather's trolling us. The players were all set to resume, and it's been clear all the last little while, but just five minutes from start of play, it's raining. The covers are back on. Hands on chins and gloomy old faces in the stands. Four India players are out playing a bit of football, Ashwin and Rahul among them.
Manny Dorrison: "Since its raining and we got some time... Can you answer my question. Did AB edge the ball he got out to yesterday and did Saha collect it cleanly? There are videos going around in social media which show edge was doubtful and catch wasnt clean. " ----- No doubt about the take. Saha had the time and the agility to make it and get the gloves underneath. And it was glove again, when AB ran down to try and block a ball. So yep, I think that was out.
Chandra: "AB was out, but I still have my doubts regarding Faf's dismissal. Although the replays showed some hand beneath the ball, it looked as if ball had touched the ground :("
hitesh: "Soo many questions on faf Catch....can you tell us the rule # so and so....and all so it clears any doubt. .please..from my understanding. ...if finger was under ball.and it didn't bounce before he had his fingers under ball it is OUT..." ---- I'm sorry, I'm not aware what rule it is specifically. But from the visuals that were broadcast to us, it seemed some part of the ball was not under Pujara's fingers. Now, it may not have touched the ground because Pujara whipped his hands up quite quickly to prevent that from happening. The soft signal was out from the on-field umpires, and the third umpire ended up not having conclusive evidence to overrule that call. I thought it was massively tight.
So, how about it? Can India bat like AB? Serene and untroubled and brilliant. Can you #BatLikeAB?
10.10 am Amended session times: Morning: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Afternoon: 1:10 pm to 3:10 pm and Evening: 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm. The players are already out on the field, stretching their legs and making sure they're ready.
Saurabh Chordia: "It hasnt even rained near my place and i live two kms from the stadium. Whats with the rain gods and cricket in Bengaluru? Lets get the game started." --- Competition for four-seasons-in-a-day Melbourne?
Pratik Gourav: "The person who has scored maximum international runs for India is not playing this match. When that person didn't score runs everyone asked the question why he was in the team! Now when he is scoring runs no one speaks of it! What a life Rohit Sharma is having." --- Pujara was in that same boat until that century in Colombo. All Rohit needs is weight of runs. Tough runs. Runs when conditions are against you and the team needs you to ignore them. That's the difference between Test and ODI specialists.
9.50 am That cover is off now. And now the tarpaulins covering the pitch are coming off too. If it doesn't rain further, play will start at 10.30 am
9.45 am So that's 15 minutes lost now. We've already been using the extra half hours under normal conditions so I suspect it's a good chance we won't be getting the full 90 overs today. But good news from the ground: "It's brightened up," says Karthik, "And though I can't trust my eyes, I think the drizzle has stopped. The groundstaff are coming out to get the covers off. Huge cheer." ---- So the Sunday crowd is here.
Mohan: "Getting a little too caught up in your new found fame Al....tone down the indulgence...please..." ---- Nevah evah. And this is just to spite you (and maybe give a little insight in to the household of the world's best batsman) Happy family at AB's 100th, featuring an exclusive interview with his three-month old son.
Aashu: "The price you pay for being a sports fan is that you get spoilt for choice on a day like this. India v SA, Aus v NZ, Sachin v Warne, Brazillian GP and ofcourse Rousey v Holm (although that gonna be a 30 second affair i am afraid). Boring sunday to say the least."
Abhishek Jha: "@aashu. You forgot the China open badminton superseries premier final.. Saina is gonna play the Olympic champion in there.. Pumped up for that!"
Any time to rest must be splurged on being lazy. I know, I know. Don't look at me like that. You know it's coming. You know I'm going to give you all some homework. It'll be the fun kind though. And I think it should have been something that most batsmen should have practiced before the start of this game. How not to get caught at short leg to a spinner. Aakash Chopra might know a little more than I do in that regard, so I'll let him take over.
9.25 am It is still drizzling and play will not start on time (which is five minutes from now) But the drainage has been good. The outfield is top-class in Bangalore. It shouldn't be that long a delay. South Africa will be eager to get out there and regain lost ground. Oddly enough, it was the same eagerness that has led them to lose so much ground. Check out Firdose Moonda's take on their batting yesterday: SA fight spin with fire and burn again.
soma: "I wouldn't mind delay in start of play as long as KW bats there at Perth. So deightful !!" ---- Don't say it out loud, but I do too. Simply amazing to see how he can get on top of the bounce of almost every single ball.
Rather similar to Sanjay Manjrekar's as well, although he takes to the video medium. See, we've got everything for everyone. So stick around until play begins.
ak: "O Lord! Dhawan has finally come to form and you are trying to wash it out...." Shameless plug of a video on the man. Hey, it's raining and I have my rights to spam this page!
"Sometimes it only rains in some streets in Bangalore," Peeyush tends to our morale. "There is no evidence of rain 8kms away from the stadium nor could see anything coming in next couple of hours"
9.20 am"Expecting a delay," tweets BCCI. The umpires are out on the field conducting an inspection. Stay tuned for updates. But if you are impatient for some first-class cricket, do pop over to Perth where Kane Williamson has struck back-to-back hundreds or just next door to the Ranji Trophy blog. (Delhi fans, don't look! They are three down already)
9.13 am Oh, it's raining. Not terribly, since the broadcaster is still conducting interviews on the turf. However, it is enough for the groundsmen to cover the square. Any bets on a stop-start day?
Ramaneesh Goyal: "Hey Al, are you and Deivarayan Muthu related?" ---- Yep, he's my kid brother, and he's enjoying the Cricket All-Stars, where Sachin Tendulkar has hit a rollicking fifty and Virender Sehwag auditioned for Indian Idol: sings while hitting sixes.
I'd agree that a lot of South Africa's troubles were self-inflicted, but it would be a disservice to India's spinners to say that was all it was. The flight and dip and control that R Ashwin for one has been getting - not just in this Test, but since the Bangladesh tour in June - has been riveting to watch. It's difficult to think of an offspinner in the current game who has as much confidence and skill as he does. An example of it was the field he had bowled to yesterday to the right-handers. No cover. Nobody. And that was a first-session pitch which had as much chance for spin as I had of scoring a century on it. Imagine Ashwin's mindset to employ such a field and then succeed with it - he got two wickets in his first six balls, remember. Well, if you don't, Karthik Krishnaswamy sure does. A lovely piece, that unfurls like a magicians hanky. You're left wanting more and more and more.
"Don't downplay your batting ability, Al. We all know you narrowly missed out on the opener spot in the Cricinfo commentator's XI." Ack, Deepak has been spying on me. On a different note, I'm a proper celebrity now.
"Considering the prospect that rains may make this effectively a 3-day-Test, it will be interesting to see how the two captains handle it, from this point," Jose P reminds us all. "India had the better of the 1st day, partly from the not-so-discretionary strokes of SA batters barring AB. Indian batsmen are equally adept in lapsing into the short format mindset, including the captain & some of his key men. One thing is certain. Neither team is keen in throwing in the towel. Any comment to that effect will be misplaced. The morning session will give an indication about the adaptive capabilities of the two leaders and their troops. Waiting eagerly. Hoping to see a keen contest."
9.00 am Can ya feel it in the air? Crisp and inviting and, lemme spell this out for ya, o-v-e-r-c-a-s-t. It's a new day, it's a Sunday and its shaping up to be like a morning that should test batsmen and excite bowlers. So long as South Africa's don't look up at the scoreboard and remind themselves of the horrors of yesterday. Not the most thoughtful present to AB de Villiers, the beast from Pretoria - being bowled out for 214 and losing eight to spinners on a pitch that wasn't all that difficult to bat on - but perhaps they can make amends today.
It won't be easy though. Those heavy clouds ended up being decoration yesterday morning no matter how much Ishant Sharma pleased them by bowling full. It'd be great to see some swing and seam and the batsmen battling it out. And the two in the middle have done well - M Vijay has shown exemplary skill in bowler-friendly conditions before and Shikhar Dhawan would love the opportunity to prove he isn't a fair-wicket player. Incentives for everyone this morning. And all we needed was a cloudy old Sunday.
5.00 pm India haven't lost a single wicket. South Africa have gifted away the lot of theirs. Bangalore was largely expected as the place where the visitors might not have to worry about the spinners. And yet R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took eight wickets between them largely because of some poor shot selection. It's been made more apparent because Vijay and Dhawan have eased through the final session, put 80 runs on the board and have placed India on course for a pretty large first-innings total. Oh, what could have been had Imran Tahir just taken that dolly at square leg. Join us tomorrow to see if that happens, or if South Africa get the second wind they so desperately need.
South Africa fans, cheer yourself up after that tough day with this epic from Jarrod Kimber on AB de Villiers, the only man who looked in any kind of control for them. Made the sweetest 85 you'll see. His knock in the second innings could still prove the difference in this Test.
Siva : "Clearly it's India's day, Every team struggles when touring other countries (though SA are fairly better)...Not a good sign for test cricket, gone are days where legends would dominate opponents on their own backyard.."
Amrut: "India are in a brilliant position to go 2-0 up in the series. Might even force an innings defeat. Just hope the rains hold up enough to give us enough overs to see a result. This series has seen good attacking cricket by India and would hate to see rain spoil the party."
Kapil: "Not sure why SA don't play QDK in Tests. He can play attacking cricket in Gilchrist mode and get some useful runs for SA. Any justification for leaving him out especially given his record in India for SA A, just before this tour doesn't make sense. Remember him getting 100s as well"
Mohammed Bashee: "Just understood the black hole paradox, solved the Bermuda triangle mystery but still can't figure out how my comment get published in cricinfo ...." --- That's how
Ram: "@Mark going by the typos and length of description for a slow bowler (Morkel) vs a quick bowler (Jadeja), it's obvious that the prefix "X to Y, z run," is computer generated and the rest is the commentator. Slow/Fast refer to over rate, not bowling speed."
Mark: "Question for Alagappan: How does Cricinfo commentating work? do you have to type the entire "sentence" of commentary from what over it is to describing what happens in the delivery? or is the computer programmed to generate a few things?" ---- Nope. No AI (Artificial intelligence) on use. Just all Al
good length ball on middle, pushed to mid-on
stays a touch low so keeping the ball full and straight is a good idea. Except Vijay blocks solidly and then walks away to square leg to take a little time out.
short of a length on off stump, defended
full on the base of middle, blocked into the off side
weaving away from the angle into the right-hander, and that's why Vijay is beaten on the defensive push
flighted down the leg side, Vijay clips it away
beautiful little late cut. Nothing better than a batsman playing spin on instinct. Waits on it, backs that front leg away to get some room and then taps the ball at the latest possible moment to beat backward point.
bursts down the track, to the pitch of the flighted legbreak, and thumps it to mid-off
looped up on middle, takes it on the full and whips it to long-on
flighted on middle and leg, Vijay defends the straightish delivery.
flighted on leg stump, tapped into the leg side
Less than ten minutes to stumps
Aniruddha: "Now It is identical career batting average for Dhawan and Vijay."
overcompensates by bowling way outside off, Dhawan is happy to leave it
vicious! Tries the short ball but it does not rise too high. Dhawan shifts his weight back and nails the pull to the square leg boundary. Top shot
back of a length and outside of, no shot offered
Tharique: "What do you mean!! great effort from Morkel late in the day.. He is just balling his 6th over of the day that too after a injury break" ---- Maybe I was projecting my feelings onto him. Been a loooong day at the comp for me
South Africa working hard on the ball to try and hasten reverse swing into existence
takes it off his left side and turns it to long leg
full, asking to drive, Vijay says okay and finds the man at cover
a little swing into the right-hander, who stays back and blocks solidly
drops it a tad short and Dhawan cuts to point
loopy delivery outside off, driven into the covers
|M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore|
|Toss||India, elected to field first|
|Series result||India led the 4-match series 1-0|
|Match number||Test no. 2188|
|Hours of play (local time)||09.15 start, Lunch 11.30-12.10, Tea 14.25-14.45, Close 16.45|
|Match days||14,15,16,17,18 November 2015 - day (5-day match)|