Monday, September 23, 2013

Cricket In Mohali - 3rd Test In India

So, while we were wandering around Agra seeing the sights like the Taj Mahal, the Australian Cricket Team were meant to submit some homework - reportedly a review about how each of them thought the team could improve. Four of them didn't complete it, and in a stunning move, were suspended from playing in the next test, including a couple who we expected to be a chance to be called up, and also the Vice Captain.

"Homework-gate" gave significant weight to the talk on tour about the issues of culture within the Aussie Team. The apparent divide between the playing group, the personalities, and suspected feuds. The shock of the suspension though, was big. How ridiculous! Especially how badly the team was going with a full squad to pick from!

After all the controversy of the build up, we woke on the morning to Day rain! Which did not go away for the whole day. A forced travel rest day in the end, as we all waited back at the hotel for any positive news about a possible start of play. But eventually it was called off for the day, with no play at all. A very much needed day of rest, a total bonus, after all the travel so far. It meant we got to explore the Section 17 area of Chandigarh, the shops and the buzz of people and life!

Day 2 we got the chance to head across town to the suburb of Mohali, to the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. Convincing auto rickshaws to go that far was a bit of work, and we certainly didn't know if they were going the wrong or the long way, but we all managed to make it there in the end!

The Aussie's won the toss, and set out to make a good day of batting. Luke presenting the Flaggy Greens to the new Waving The Flag tour members, and we took our seats for some cricket.

Runs from Cowan, Warner and Smith had us a little happier at the end of the days play, finding a pub across the road from our hotel with very cheap beer! (No girl's loo though...ahhh, you can't have it all!)

We chose Day 3 to be our Chick Pink Day, and upped the ante with our India-styled tunics bought from a women's stored in Section 17. Getting them was quite the experience for us, and getting treated a little more favourably by the security staff on the gate when we were dressed like this, made it all the more fun.

Our attire for the day also started many conversations with the locals. I could not resist getting a photo with this gent on our pink day, given his gorgeous turban! He enjoyed the chat, and had been to Melbourne before, so we had much chatter to fill a few overs of time with!

The Aussies batted on till just before Lunch, posting 408. Then the Indians were in, and we watched debutante Dhawan pile on the runs to finish the day on an impressive 185!

St Patrick's Day fell on Day 4, and also Trish's birthday, which promised to be a fun day. After downloading a picture of a shamrock onto my photo in the morning, I commissioned one of the lads always eager to paint our faces with India flags to try his best. A green shamrock on my cheek, to be sure!

Luck, and tons of skill, was with the Indians again on this day on the field, and the runs kept coming. They finally succumbed to our bowling efforts well into the last session, making 499. Effective dashing all hope for the match for the Aussies.

We found a bar with a kangaroo as the logo that night, and had many beers, toasting the birthday Sheila.

The last day was a forgettable one for the Australians, losing our remaining 7 wickets, and then we watched as the Indian batsman made the winning 136 runs - a win by 6 wickets.

The most entertaining part of our time in the stands was to watch the Number 1 Indian Fan, and his little copiers/followers. All painted, loud and mouthy, these three kids kept us pretty distracted from the carnage that was going on out in the middle.

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