What can you say about a series in which 2,133 runs have been scored in 19 sessions for the loss of just 25 wickets? What can you say of the 10 centuries scored already, of a bowler as accomplished as Muttiah Muralitharan being carted all around Green Park? And is Test cricket in India really on an intravenous drip if more than 25,000 take up vantage points in the dilapidated concrete stands in Kanpur?
Over the past 24 hours, I’ve fielded calls from two radio stations, one in the UK and the other in Australia, both wanting to know why pitches in India are so placid, and whether they are responsible for the decline in popularity of the five-day game. Sunil Gavaskar quipped during the Ahmedabad Test that the surface was like a road and, apart from the opening hour of the series when four wickets fell, the contest between bat and ball has been as unedifying as Muhammad Ali reducing Ernie Terrell’s face to pulp while hissing: “What’s my name, Uncle Tom?”
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