Friday, February 5, 2010

Warm-Up game for whose sake?

Every tour be it anywhere in the world is preceded with one or two warm up games, reason being one, to help the visitors get an idea about the playing conditions in that country and two, to help the lesser known players by giving an opportunity by exposing them to some international standards. But, if the recently concluded warm up game between South Africa and Indian Board President's XI is considered, it is just not understandable as to why was the game played? Usually, if the warm up games are considered, it is worst come a three day affair unlike the 2 day match that was played.

The Indian Board President's XI, which were expected to have some match practice, were seen making a fool out of themselves after their top order batsmen had a highest score of 43 that came from the blades of Manish Pandey. The highest scorer for the Indian Board President's XI was a number 7 batsmen Abhishek Nayar who scored 100 and that was followed by Shikar Dhawan who scored 70. On the other hand, the visitors did make good use of the match with half centuries from Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla. It is not to be disputed that their experience in international cricket have made them do that feat.

It was fascinating to see the South African captain bring in as many as ten bowlers to bowl, with the wicket keeper Mark Boucher being the only exception. This is the first time that I had seen any team bowling 10 bowlers. I wonder as to what was Greame Smith trying to prove by tossing the ball to all ten bowlers in his team. I wish Smith had made even Mark Boucher remove his wicket keeping kits and come on to bowl as well. This is one such match where the top scorers of South African innings-Kallis and Amla get out retired hurt.

But, the million dollar question is why was the warm-up game held and for whose sake? If one goes by the warm-up games held all over, it is either a three day affair and there are more than one warm-up games played. If the recent past is considered, the Australia-Pakistan had a warm-up game with Queensland that was a 3 day match. The reason that can be guessed here is that the BCCI wants to fit the IPL and so for that they wanted to terminate the home tour of South Africa as soon as possible. Else, why would the entire tournament last for just 21 days?

No comments: