Sorry, but the ‘lost ball’ was a bigger highlight than Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma and all the other stuff

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Lost ball (via

There’s an awful lot of stories jostling for attention in the first Test between India and South Africa at Visakhapatnam.

(1) India dropped Rishabh Pant (Test average 44) in favour of 34-year-old Wriddiham Saha (Test average 30) because the latter is a better keeper.

This seemed a reasonable enough call when their openers, Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma, then put on 317 for the first wicket – which in itself is story (2). What’s another 14 runs in that context? You might as well pick the guy more likely to cut short the opposition’s 300-run partnership with a mad stumping or whatever.

Agarwal went on to make 215, which is story (3). Sharma made 176 and everything Rohit Sharma does in Test matches is a big deal, so that’s story (4)

The pitch is story (5), because it seems like an old-fashioned Indian pitch where the cricket starts slow and gradually gets faster and faster and faster until everyone’s an inch from the bat and it feels like a wicket will fall every ball.

South Africa’s attack is story (6). It doesn’t look like it’ll have fun this tour.

But then, towering above them all, is the big one. At one point on day two, the ball got wedged between two boundary toblerones and the fielders couldn’t find it. They spent ages looking and everyone knew where it was except them. It was top level entertainment.


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  1. This is the most incredible story I’ve heard about a lost cricket ball. About ten years ago I was in a gang clearing ivy off the estate wall at Audley End In Essex. The job took many days. Every morning an elderly man came out to talk to us. John lived nearby in one of the estate cottages. One day he told us this story. Before he and his pals were called up in WWII and went their separate ways, they had a cricket match. Before they began, John and his friends signed the ball. During the game, a mighty slog launched the ball skyward and it ended up up smashing through the glass of a vinery or large greenhouse. That was that. John fought in many theatres during the War but ended up fighting the Japanese under the command of Colonel Slim. He said that one day he was crawling through the jungle ahead of the main forces, (I think he was a chindit). He reached out his hand and there was the signed cricket ball they’d they’d lost. I dont know what to make of this, but I’ll never forget it.

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