Rohit Sharma’s hat was the real victim when Sarfaraz Khan was run out because Ravindra Jadeja was so keen to get off 99

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Run-outs are always dramatic, but doubly so when the batter’s on 99. That unignorable need for a single just brings a whole new dimension to the drama. The burning desire to get another run to get you to 100 can even result in collateral damage, like the loss of your batting partner or the brutal mistreatment of Rohit Sharma’s hat.

As we said in our feature on Mike Atherton being run out for 99, all tremendously memorable run-outs start with a ‘yes’.

It’s the yeses that get you.

Ravindra Jadeja was facing on 99. At the other end, Sarfaraz Khan was on 62 off 66 balls on debut and batting like what he is: a guy who averages 70 in first-class cricket.

Jadeja knocked the ball towards Mark Wood at mid-on and, with joyous yeses monopolising his thoughts, made one of those his opening offer before actual reality reshaped his position and he switched to a ‘no’.

Having already obeyed the ‘yes’, Sarfaraz modified his course of action in light of the ‘no’, but couldn’t get back before Mark Wood had engaged his laser targeting system and twatted a stump out of the ground.

England celebrated. Jadeja and Sarfaraz traded open-palmed gestures of sadness and lament.

At this point TNT’s coverage cut to a very wonderful thing: Rohit Sharma doing a cartoonish angry hat throw.

The cartoonish angry hat throw is a timeless TV cliché, but we honestly don’t know if we’ve ever seen a real life human being execute one in earnest before.

And this one was pretty textbook. Rohit – frustrated, exasperated – reflexively whipped his cap off his head and flung it at the ground in fury.

We swear he was only a whisker away from jumping up and down on it like that moon redneck from Futurama who does just that on his helmet before suddenly realising he no longer has a source of breathable air.

In many ways Sarfaraz Khan was the most obvious victim of this incident, but at least he was involved; at least he had some sort of a say in what transpired. At least he wasn’t just casually sitting there, minding his own business, only for someone to drive him into the ground with all their might.

Poor Rohit Sharma’s hat.

> When Mike Atherton was run-out for 99 – was this the worst ‘no’ in the history of cricket?

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  1. Rohit Sharma seems to be a fan first & a player next

    100% involvement to the bit irrespective of it is a backyard cricket, or a T20 circus, or a world cup match or a real game of cricket (i.e. a proper Test match)

    1. Looks like Indian bowlers/captain don’t have a response to bazball

      (Or it is to keep doing the same things that failed earlier again & again ??)


    NZ’s Test series victory against South Africa breaks some excellent records – their first ever win over those opponents taking 19 attempts and a record 92 years. It also means that, for the first time, each of the first 8 Test nations has won a Test series against each of the others. I don’t think that’s going to reach nine within any of our lifetimes.

    Since their debut as the ninth Test nation in 1992, Zimbabwe have beaten Pakistan and Bangladesh (not among the first 9 sides) in 2 or 3 match series and India in a one-off Test. So they still need to beat England, Australia, South Africa, the Windies, NZ and Sri Lanka to complete the “first 9 all beat the other first 9” record. Their last Test “series” victory was a one-off Test against Bangladesh in 2011 and their last in a multi-match series was 1-0 in a 2 match series against Bangladesh in 2004. Zimbabwe have had some 1-1 series draws since then but the prospects don’t look good.

    Given the improvement of Bangladesh we might be closer to seeing “the first 10 Test countries excluding Zimbabwe have all beaten each other” but Bangladesh still need wins against everyone on that list expect the West Indies – whom they have beaten both home and away in 2 Test series. (I’m not counting their numerous wins against Zimbabwe or one-off Test wins against Ireland and Afghanistan.) So that’s clearly going to be the work of many decades given the reduced frequency of Test cricket.

    I wonder how close we are to “each of the first 8 Test teams has beaten each of the others in a series both home and away”. Obviously NZ have only won against South Africa at home (and only just now), while India also needing to win in South Africa springs to mind.

    1. NZ’s victory over SA “second XI” is a little moot when considering that most of the SA players (8!) were debutants and won’t be playing another test match again. Of the rest, Bedingham is the only one that has a chance of continuing his test career.

      It doesn’t do NZ any good really, particularly as NZ Cricket dug their feet in regarding the requested rescheduling of the test. Perhaps that was the only way they knew they could win against SA.

      Stats’ sadly don’t tell all.

  3. On hat throwing, I distinctly recall Ed Joyce doing just that in a county match, which was described on the middlesex fans site MtWD in terms of a comedy Irishman in a slapstick comedy whose plans had just been undone. I think someone had dropped a catch or something like that. If I knew what to search for I’d try to hunt it down.

    Seminal cricket cap thrower. Ed Joyce.

    1. Meanwhile, surely Captain Aharon has a veritable lexicon of words and phrases to describe the felling of a mighty beast such as Sarfaraz.

      1. Personally I’d prefer to be on Captain Aharon’s team than Captain Ahab’s. More likely to make it through to the next test, I’d have thought.

        Mind you, Ahab is far less likely to be out LBW, obviously.

  4. R Ashwin’s ‘family emergency’ must be something very serious for him to pull out of the side mid-Test. Hope everything turns out all right with whatever that situation is.

    1. His Mum became ill and hospitalised. No further info’, but obviously hoping that all will be okay.

  5. Some of the statements coming out of the England camp this tour have me wondering if they’ve been infected with Langervirus. Weird mix of gung-ho and cultlike.

  6. On the third evening, when asked about a potential target, Ben Duckett said “the more the better”.

    Can anyone explain this, other than sheer bloody-minded stubbornness and contrarianism?

    1. I asked this very question on a group where we chat cricketing matters.

      “Do England have to stay relentlessly positive for Bazball to work? Because sometimes it comes off as arrogance.”

      1. Perhaps. But then again you’ve to admit it’s very refreshing to see a captain and a team with this attitude than the ones giving the tired old answers. Imagine if Rohit Sharma was at the receiving end of this shellacking: he would have poured out meaningless crap like how they are taking the positives, how the unit will come together, how they have to tip the hat to the opposition. Ben Stokes simply didn’t dwell on these things (nor did he make any excuses) but claimed they now need to win the next two to win the series and they have the capacity to do it. The series! Not just the next match! If you stop to think about it, this is EXACTLY the goal for any captain or team. Nobody verbalises it particularly after a defeat. I realize opinions are divided when it comes to bazball, but I for one hope Stokes and his men stick with this approach. It makes test cricket worth watching.

    2. Agree with all of this, DC. Bazball is bloody brilliant. But the “more the better” line is just idiotic.

      Despite plentiful evidence to the contrary, people are not stupid.

      1. Sometimes people get carried away Sam – I’d give Duckett the benefit of the doubt. He’s paid to bat, not talk. So we should allow the occasional rubbish 🙂

  7. It was also Duckett who was slated for saying England were in a good position after day 1 of the First Test, wasn’t it? He seems to be the one who gets wheeled out when they want to put an uber-positive spin on a day.

    Meanwhile, this team keep on breaking records even when they lose!

    I wonder if there’s a case for Root to be allowed to be the anchor player while others belt it about. But I don’t know. I think the basic problem is our bowlers aren’t consistently good enough. Once we had 557 to chase, may as well go down swinging as blocking…

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