Friday, January 27, 2012

A Beautiful Illustration of Brain-dead

It is curious how in all sports bad sporting performances routinely metastasise into horrible mental mistakes.

It was 162 for 5, chasing 500. No, chasing is the wrong word. Whatever curious enterprise India were engaged in out there, it was definitely not chasing totals. No, it was much more relevant that five wickets were down in the 4th innings, with another day to go and an unfathomable number of runs behind, with the last remaining specialist batsman already out there and the number 7, playing in his second Test, slated to walk out. India send out a night watchman !

Several questions come to mind: Who were they trying to protect? That legendary hall of fame middle order that was about to follow? And what was the point of protecting anything? I must have missed it, was there a game hanging in the balance? Or maybe it was the first day of a Test, waiting to be blown wide open the next day?

I really, really wish someone from the media would ask them to explain this decision as a cricketing matter. I say this more out a deep curiosity than anything else, because I found the decision to be quite impossible to understand. The only way I could justify it was nobody was thinking, they had all switched off. With 15 minutes to go or whatever, Ishant pads up. Because that's just the way it is done.

Inevitably, another ugly mental mistake followed - Kohli ran himself out protecting the night watchman. Perhaps he is so used to desperately trying to prolong an Indian innings by now that the sight of Ishant Sharma triggered some muscle memory of shielding his No. 10.

Modern professional sport is played at such a generally high level, and the cost of mistakes correspondingly so high, that it is not too difficult make fools of oneselves. It is certainly not true that a team with hundreds of Tests between them know nothing about the game, but India sure looked like clowns yesterday.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree. Absolute dumb decision to send a night watchman in. It became a joke when Kohli tried to protect the person sent in to protect the other batsmen (which in itself is another joke as all the main batsmen were already out!)