Monday, March 20, 2006

High tide at Wankhede

James Anderson's last-wicket dismissal seemed a bit soft yesterday.

England were bowled out for 400; but the tourists might have had a cunning plan up their sleeves.

They were all out shortly after 2:05pm here, and, in the words of Ray Parker Jr, something strange happens in the (Marine Drive) neighbourhood around that time.

According to those cricket lovers who live close to the Wankhede Stadium, the pitch favours the bowlers between 2 and 3 in the afternoon.

This is 'high tide' time as the sea is a 30 second walk from the stadium, the same with the Cricket Club of India, just a five minute stroll down the coast.

During this hour 'indipping' is known to occur in the humidity: the ball can suddenly drift in towards a batsman, even though the bowler has intended his delivery as an outswinger.

Chandu Borde, the former Indian all-rounder, used to stay in a hotel right next to the stadium when he played here in the 60s, and swore by it. Sachin Tendulkar was also out for a duck a few years ago in the same afternoon period.

So what was the result yesterday? Tea was taken at 2:40, India had made 8 for 0 in their reply and then their three wickets fell after 3pm. Humbug!