On a warm summer’s afternoon an unremarkable scene plays out in a coffee shop just out of range of a long Chinnaswamy Stadium drive from Chris Gayle. Four young men are huddled around a table, dressed fashionably casually, beards, sassy spiked hair, flip-flops and tee-shirts of varying hues, sipping exotic teas. But there is something remarkable about one of those young men, KL Rahul, who has enjoyed one of the best years of his fledgling cricket career. Recovering from a shoulder injury that needed surgical intervention, Rahul is forced to cool his heels, missing the very tournament that provided the breakthrough in his career.
At the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore India and Australia are locked in a battle that has all the best of Test cricket. The bowlers are constantly asking questions and batsmen are forced to fight not merely to stay at the crease but for every run. The art of bowling and batting on surfaces such as this one are unfamiliar to players from both teams. What exactly are the challenges? What do they need to do to adapt? L Sivaramakrishnan, the former India spinner who has spent a lifetime watching cricket deconstructs the art of bowling and batting on turning tracks:
Indian cricket has rarely been in the pink of health, on the field, as it is now. The team, under the unified captaincy of Virat Kohli across formats, has begun to produce results consistently and Anil Kumble has put in place practices in the background that are ensuring steady growth. Off the field, however, turmoil has been the order of the day, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), at large, and certain administrators in particular, coming to grips with the sweeping changes laid down via the courts. Ravi Shastri, former India captain, long-standing commentator and recently head honcho of the team, pulls no punches when addressing these issues in a hard-hitting interview. Excerpts:
It has been a decidedly difficult few weeks for Australian cricket. A confident, aggressive and organised South African unit has handed out tough defeats, leaving the players reeling and the public shocked. Understandably there were changes on and off the field. One that raised a few eyebrows was the appointment of Greg Chappell, the former Australian captain and batting great, as a selector. Chappell was only given the role on an interim basis, but the fact that he was removed as selector five years ago, after the Argus Review suggested exhaustive changes to cricket structures makes his return a talking point. Chappell, whose insight into the bigger picture in cricket is unparalleled, took time off to chat with Cricbuzz.