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Thursday, December 17, 2020

India survives day 1 at Adelaide .. .. know .. ‘Dianthus plumarius’,

Are you the one who would ask – what is there in a colour ?  . .. how fast would you select your apparel.  For many of us – there are only a handful of colours – Red, Blue, Green, Orange and Black & White, if you can add them too. Rest are only shades !   Can you identify the flower ‘Dianthus plumarius’, a species of   in the family Caryophyllaceae.

The much awaited Border-Gavaskar Test Series was off to a start at Adelaide today. Remember this is a Day-Night match test.  Both captains wanted to bat first and it was Kohli who had the choice,.  Disaster was to strike sooner as Starc, found the sizeable gap between bat and pad into the stumps via an inside edge. One of  pre-Test debates was Prithvi Shaw vs Shubham Gill and the second innings of this match may dictate how much that dominates the build-up to the second Test. Cheteswar Pujara walled for long without scoring much but his presence was intimidating enough.   The team recovered well thought kept losing wickets at regular intervals.  Virat Kohli was well set, and was forging a good partnership with composed  Ajinkya Rahane.

Then came another horrible mix-up.  Rahane regrettably offered when he called for a run to Hazlewood's left at mid-off, only to reverse his decision when he saw the fast bowler was neither slow nor clumsy in getting to the ball and sending a return in perfectly to Lyon at the non-striker's end. Rahane's exasperation was clear in his reflexive f-bomb and immediate apology to Kohli, but the damage had been done.  TV camera crew, commentators and everyone else expected Kohli to react badly and let out some expletives BUT he walked way simply shaking his heads. 

The First Test, first Session or first innings is very important and I somehow had some innate fears that India could fold below 150.  In 1977 at Brisbane, India opened with Chetan Chauhan and Sunil Gavaskar.  At 15 it was two wickets down with Gavaskar and Mohinder Amarnath out of ducks ! – India recovered to make 153 !;  in Dec 2007, in the First test the could muster only 196.   In Dec 2018, Pujara made 123 and recovered India from deep trouble as they were 86/5 at one stage but reached 250,   It was :   1-3 (KL Rahul, 1.6 ov), 2-15 (Murali Vijay, 6.6 ov), 3-19 (Virat Kohli, 10.3 ov), 4-41 (Ajinkya Rahane, 20.2 ov), 5-86 (Rohit Sharma, 37.3 ov), .. .. .. So a score of 233/6 at Stumps looks reasonable enough .. and if India could reach 300, it would be great !

South Africa face a potential selection headache, with 10 members of their 16-man squad to play Sri Lanka involved in domestic first-class matches in which positive cases of Covid-19 have been detected.   It is not yet known which, if any, of the 10 are infected or are deemed close contacts of those who are infected. If any of them fall into these two categories they will need to isolate for 10 days from December 16. The first Test against Sri Lanka starts on December 26 and only Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Temba Bavuma, Anrich Nortje, Kyle Verreynne and Glenton Stuurman are confirmed as available. De Kock, du Plessis, Bavuma and Nortje did not play in this round and Verreynne and Stuurman played in the Cobras-Warriors match, which was unaffected by the virus. The latest round of domestic first-class matches saw the first franchise cricket match called off because of Covid-19 in South Africa. The top of the table clash, between the Titans and the Dolphins, was abandoned after the first day when a Dolphins player tested positive. At least three more players from that franchise have also been infected.

On day 1 at Adelaide, it was an engrossing opening day  - but at 206/6 it looked worser that what is now as the expected threat of Australia's quicks with a pink ball under lights was staved off. Starc and Josh Hazlewood made the incisions before Wriddhiman Saha, who was preferred over Rishabh Pant, and R Ashwin did well to remain intact, carrying India's hopes of 300-plus with them.

Before concluding :  Dianthus plumarius, also known as the common pink, garden pink, or wild pink, is a species of pink-coloured flower in the family Caryophyllaceae.  Pink is a pale tint of red that is named after a flower of the same name. According to surveys in Europe and the United States, pink is the colour most often associated with charm, politeness, sensitivity, tenderness, sweetness, childhood, femininity and romance.  

Cricket Australia have unveiled an updated pink Kookaburra ball, featuring a completely black seam, and announced it will be used in the day-night round of Sheffield Shield matches next week.  Calling the red balls "rubbish", Shane Warne has said that they don't swing or do anything after 25 overs of use. Test cricket's second-highest wicket-taker Warne further stated that Pink-ball Test matches look "fantastic" on the TV. "I've been saying this for the last few years. I believe the pink ball should be used in all Test matches. Day games, not just day-night games," Warne said on 'Fox Cricket'.

"The pink ball, you can actually see the ball easier, crowd can see the ball easier. It generally does more than the red ball and it looks fantastic on TV. So why not use a pink ball the whole time? "Maybe change it at 60 overs because it goes soft, but I'd be using the pink ball for every Test match so more of it I would say.  A cricket ball is not a perfect sphere. The seam of the ball is the circular stitching which joins the two halves of the cricket ball. Hence, the seam joining the pieces of leather is circumferential and the stitching is noticeably raised.

Interesting and hope you are in the pink of your health. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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