Monday, Dec 05, 2022
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Cricket

Under My Sun

For touring teams, heat is just one of the playing XI in India. So's dust, food et al. No wonder the stars sit out.

Under My Sun
Under My Sun
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The sun here sucks out body fluids. In 1986, during the first Test in the series against Australia, the Chennai sun, which is always on the Indian side, made sure Dean Jones threw up a few times on the pitch. After a valiant century, he walked down the 22 yards to captain Allan Border and asked him if he could go back to the dressing room. Border told the Victorian that if he could not handle the situation, he would get someone tougher from New South Wales to do the job. Jones stayed on to make 210 and was rushed to an icu straight from Chepauk.

The heat is just one of the Indian eleven. There is dust that is well beyond permissible levels in first world countries. And then there is the deathly noise of the unique Indian crowds during a one-day match. Before Stephen Fleming's team landed in India, they trained seven hours every day in Brisbane under what coach Ashley Ross calls "simulated conditions". The batsmen wore earphones that played sounds similar to the great Indian cricket noise, and worked towards using better eye contact with their partners to run between the wickets. No matter how experienced, most foreign cricketers are constantly shocked by the size of the crowds in India. The Eden Gardens can hold one third of the population of Fleming's hometown, Christchurch. All the people in an average Caribbean island can fit into medium-sized cricket grounds like Wankhede in Mumbai.

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