STRATEGY? WHAT STRATEGY?
It is like making waterfalls out of dew drops. Pardon me for imitating the master of gibberish, Navjot Sidhu. Nothing explains the rather foolish decisions of two captains in the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy.
The captain of Sri Lanka, Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and decided to take to the field, stumping the conventional wisdom. When asked about the decision, Mahela felt that the fall of the dew would make the task of bowling and fielding difficult in the second innings. He also seems to be in agreement with the ‘experts’ who argue that batting becomes much simpler under the lights with the ball coming on to the bat aided by the dew on the wicket. Pakistan was able to beat the Lankans under the lights. Probably that outcome weighed rather heavily on the Lankan think-tank. It should be recollected here that the score put up by Sri Lanka was low considering the conditions during the first innings.
The Lankans were outplayed by South Africa who defended a small target of 219. Surprisingly, the dew could not help the team of Mahela.
The captain of Pakistan, Younis Khan won the toss and as with his Sri Lankan counterpart, asked the Kiwis to make the first use of the wicket. Again, the dew factor influenced the decision. New Zealand put up a good score and Pakistan failed to overhaul it. New Zealand bowlers were able to overcome the negative effect of the dew.
So is there any strategy that is worth talking about ? There is clearly no thinking behind the decisions of the two Asian captains. It makes me laugh when Khan was hailed as an aggressive and thinking captain after the unexpected win over Sri Lanka. Mahela also in the books of many is a wonderful captain.
However, the cake goes to the cricket authorities at the PCA ground in Mohali. Some chemical was sprayed on the grass to lessen the impact of the dew. In the end it did not help as dew was well and truly all over the ground. Of course, a few days earlier a chemical adhesive was sprayed on the pitch at Wankhede to prevent the breaking up of the pitch.
Don’t give due to the dew.