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.