The first session of this season's Ranji Trophy season is about to draw to a close. It is a good time then, for us to blog about it.
On a cool, heavy morning with a hint of fog above the ground, one would have expected Delhi's three seamers - Pradeep Sangwan, Sumit Narwal and Parvinder Awana to poe serious problem to their counterparts from warmer climes, Bengal. Barring an Arindam Das edge that fell short of Virat Kohli at second slip off Awana, there was nothing from the Delhi bowlers to challenge Das nd Goswami.
Shreevats Goswami, keeper and exciting southpaw batsman, who opens for Bengal is in fine form at the start of the season. It reveals purpose. And why not, when a few of his mates from the U-19 Word Cup winnng team of 2007-08 have already built some kind of reputation for themselves? Goswami partnered the likes of Kohli, SS Tiwary, Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Sangwan, Iqbal Abdulla and Tanmay Srivastava in winning that cup. Now, playing for Bengal as opener, he brings with him his trademark stylish play wich looks cavalier but is rather well caculated and organized acually.
When Goswami was timing those cover drives today morning, front foot pointing to the direction and elbow high andin line with te follow-through, he was a piture of satisfying elegance on the cricket field. But he began today with a superbly played cut - uppercut as it is called these days - over th square boundary fr a four. And when the bowlers erred, he whipped them off his toes as if flicking a lazy straggler back into the herd. All about wristwork.
A contemporary cricket fan and poet, Arthur Salway, wrote in a poem entitled A turn of the wrist
Soccer is won with cultured feet
And rugger with grit and grist;
But when cricket is played the difference is made
By a delicate turn of the wrist.
When the bowlers tried to bounce him, Shreevats was found in perfect position, poised for executing the arrogance with a clean hook, or pull of his bat. Mithun Minhas brought in Chetanya Nanda, his leggie, to effect some control, but to no avail. Goswami drove him through the covers off the front and back foot with strokes of sheer elegance, timing and knowledge of having read the ball right and with time to spare. He is batting now at 54* and his team, an ominous 106-0 in the first session of the first day! As if to show his range Goswami has aken h front foot forward to the overpitched ball and driven on either side of the bowler's wicket, in a manner that would gladden Sunil Gavaskar and other ollowers of the game
Goswami made it worthwhile for us to watch th game today.
Arindam Das, initially played the foil but soon opened up with some cultured strokes of his own. And there were also a couple of well-played pulls off the backfoot, just to let the bowlers know where they stood.
The pitch is brown and early life appears to e evaporating. I wonder which of the two captains is aledy smiling - I suspct it is Bengal's new skipper, Manoj Tiwary, for he is witnessing a grand start to the season for his team.
By he way, both Manhas and Tiwary belong to India's youthful bench strength.
Just getting to the point of Lunch
Bengal: 112-0 (3.75 rpo)
Shreevats Goswami: 60*
Arindam Das: 42*