‘Agression knows no gender’
I’ve always liked a bit of aggression in cricket. Instances when players go head-to-head in a heated exchange, when a batsman takes the bowler for a ride (and for the same bowler to get him out and celebrate in his face), when players dive in the field and get direct-hits are my favourite.
Considering that most of that is curbed in the men’s game for fear of some match-fee being deducted, one doesn’t expect the ladies to really partake in it.
But, you are wrong. These ladies are aggressive.
Jhulan Goswami’s vengeance-laced ‘Hatt!’ was great to watch, as a flustered Lydia Greenway made off after hammering the Indian bowlers.
Take into consideration Deandra Dottin’s 22-ball fifty (5×4, 4×6), Stefanie Taylor’s 171 from 137 (18×4, 2×6) and Merissa Aguilleira’s 47 from 24 balls against Sri Lanka today and Charlotte Edwards brilliantly hit century seems meek.
While Dottin now holds the record for fastest fifty in T20 and ODI cricket, Edwards became the highest run-getter in women’s ODI cricket — celebrating with a punch in the air before cradling her bat like a baby.
But the Indians, however bogged down by the partnerships the English batters put on, were pretty aggressive in the field too. The fiery Nagarajan Niranjana dove to collect off her bowling before aiming a throw back at the batter’s end, only to not throw it (she did it twice). I’m sure there was a bit of eye contact there, as was some every time Jhulan got a dot ball. With her towering frame, I suggest you never pick a fight with her.
And of course, there were three run-outs after some top-class fielding from Jhulan, Amita Sharma and Niranjana Nagarajan.
If Don would be watching, he’d be happy with these ‘Junglee Billees’.
Dhols, vuvuzelas and trains
Sunday morning 9 am start? Yes, so, technically, you’ve got to be at the ground at 8.30 AM for the toss. And it was hardly a wonder that journalists started pouring in to the stadium at… 9.30 am.
By which time a certain fan had already made his way to the stands and was playing something which sounded like a vuvuzela suffering from tonsillitis. Maybe he was luckier than a journalist who remarked: “Started from Thane, changed at Dadar, reached Churchgate and walked to CCI.”
It reminded me of a particular horn that one plays on kite-flying day in Gujarat. They call it ‘peepudi’ there (a word which can have various meanings in various languages in India, so no offense or pun intended), and it initially sounds pleasant until your ears start hurting because of it.
With every good throw, with every dot ball, with every wicket, off went the peepudi… BUT, it didn’t hurt your ears when the man blowed into it full-strength when Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor were out.
The most welcome sound, however, were not the peepudi’s.
Mithali Raj, T Kamini and Poonam Raut were all out and India were struggling at 29-3. That is when Harmanpreet Kaur scored a boundary and off went a dholak in full blast from somewhere in the stands.
And suddenly it was my favourite sound of the day. How sport can change preferences…