For the first 2 hours of Day Three’s morning session, India played incredibly defensively, employing an 8-1 field (that’s eight players on the off-side; one on the on-side). After a while, these tactics employed a whole host of negative reactions: Ravi Shashtri spent 15 minutes talking about new rules that would somehow thwart this behavior (not realizing that BETTER PITCHES would do the trick), but the cake had to go to Sunil Gavaskar, the man whose mouth knows no bounds.
So, he gets the mic and cannot start railing about the negative tactics, which, he repeats at least 3 times, he finds “baffling, to say the least.” India, he argues don’t have 241 runs on the board, they have 441! Attack now, get on the offensive, and stop waiting for the batsmen to make a mistake! Don’t they understand!
But lo and behold, after about 100 minutes, the tactic works:
|70.6||Khan to Katich, OUT, And gets him lbw with the reverse swinging yorker. It dipped in late with the shiny side, Katich couldn’t get his bat down in time and was hit on the boot. Hawk eye suggests it would have clipped the leg stump. Fine hundred from Kato, though.|
|SM Katich lbw b Khan 102 (189b 9×4 0x6) SR: 53.96|
Looking to finally score, Katich starts to move even more extravagantly across his stumps, hoping to get the ball to the on-side, where, Gavaskar sheepishly notes, huge gaps remain. So, let’s recap: Dhoni strangles the Australian bowlers with negative tactics; after a while, they start to get antsy, and begin to move around a bit more; Zaheer Khan bowls a quick, swinging yorker, and Katich, so eager to move the ball to the legside, loses his wicket.
Doesn’t Gavaskar understand?