It was Wednesday, Sept. 24 and three factors were influential in sending me to Chepauk for only the second time in my life.
Work on the site had come to a virtual standstill and I had time at my disposal. The "A" teams of India and Australia were having a dress rehearsal for the final and, more importantly, it was a free match. Also this was the best chance to view some of the emerging stars in action.
When I entered the grounds at 1.30 the Indian reply to Aussies' imposing 272/6 had already begun. Uthappa soon lost his off-stump to Mark Cameron, but Jayadeva and Ravi Theja steadied the ship.
At 70/3, when Rohith Sharma joined skipper Raina, it looked intriguingly poised. But these two settled down to add 85 runs for the fourth wicket before Raina lost his wicket for 46. He played some pleasing strokes, the effortless heaves over mid-wicket standing out. Rohith on the other hand was pure class. His shot making reminds me a lot of Mahela Jayawardena, and his straight drive off Nofke was perhaps the shot of the day.
But the biggest cheers were reserved for Yusuf Pathan who had earlier demolished the Kiwi attack for a belligerent 148. He did not disappoint his fans either. There must have been at least 5,000 who were thrilled to see him clouting three huge sixes. Even his younger brother Irfan had quite a few big hits himself, but it was Piyush Chawla who finished off the match inside 46 overs.
The rains were threatening to disrupt the contest and for once the met department's prediction was bang on target as it started pouring after the crowds left. It was a welcome relief no doubt. Like cricket, rain too continues to fascinate.