Why Day 1 at Dharamsala was #BigTicketNext

D-Day @ Dharamsala

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It’s perhaps one of the most beautiful venues in the world to play cricket. And while we have enjoyed the shorter formats of the game here, this is the first time ever that #StadiumGorgeous is playing host to a Test Match. Day 1. Of the first ever Test. At India’s 27th Test venue. That’s Big Ticket Next even before the captains walked out for the toss!

The best water boy in the history of the game.

He was ruled out of the playing XI. And everyone thought that this was a setback the Indian team would find it tough to recover from. But it is impossible to keep Virat Kohli out of the game. He walked onto the gorgeous Dharamsala green as a water boy for his team. The sigh that went around the ground, we tell you. It was like the Dhauladhars would tremble!

India’s High Five

So what if Virat wasn’t on the field, his brand of positive, aggressive cricket was on full display as India went into the decider with 5 bowlers in their side. Umesh Yadav, Bhuvaneshwars Kumar coming in plae of Ishant Sharma, Ashwin, Jadeja and the inspired choice of a Chinaman in the Dalai Lama’s city – Kuldeep Yadav. It isn’t often that we see India play this combination. Five specialist bowlers in an Indian side – that’s Big Ticket Next.

Kuldeep Yadav’s dream debut

Watching him bamboozle the opposition, scuttle the batsmen, rattle the wickets and twist and turn the Aussie innings upside down was a pleasure beyond description. We don’t know what stand-in skipper Rahane was thinking, bringing him on only in the post-lunch session. But we are glad he bowled. From a very respectable 131 for 1 to 300 all out the second and third sessions of pay belonged to debutant Kuldeep Yadav. What a Big Ticket Next debut – only the third chinaman to take 4 wickets on debut.

Pune’s big hope

With the IPL season looming on the horizon, the Pune franchisee has reason to cheer. Their captain, who is currently captaining Australia, went on to score yet another superlative century. It looks like this man can do no wrong. When everything around him was folding, he stood tall, yet again. Well played, Captain.

India survived the tricky last over

It’s the toughest thing to do. To come out at the end of a long day of play. And survive the only over you were going to face that day. But India did themselves credit. And tomorrow is a fresh new day.

The stadium rang with the cheers of those who had booked their tickets to witness the most fascinating stage of the Border Gavaskar trophy. Day 2 is sure to be full of excitement. Book your Big Ticket to catch all the ringside action. Now. Only on zoonga.com

Why Test Cricket is #BigTicketNext

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Here’s wishing you a very happy birthday, Test Cricket. We wonder if you realize what a gift you gave to the world all those many years ago when you pitched England against Australia at the MCG in 1877. Speaking of gifts, we thought your 140th birthday would be a great occasion to list down the very best of the many that have made you Big Ticket Next.

  1. You, dear Test Cricket, gave us the Ashes. Our lives would be a little emptier, and a more than a little shorn of meaning if we didn’t have two great cricketing nations glaring at each other over a tiny urn that is believed to contain the ashes of a burnt cricket ball!
  2. You taught us that no matter what else is happening in life, there is always time for a cup of tea. Teams could be poised tantalizingly at the edge of a last day victory, or hanging on for dear life in the form of numbers 10 and 11 defending their respective wickets; but if it is time for tea, then everyone simply packs up all the tension and gamely troops back into the pavilion for a cuppa. It’s a life lesson, you know. And we thank you for it.
  3. You gave us the unforgettable, epic, immortal sight of Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Colin Croft and Joel Garner steaming in, with more than half the legendary West Indian team standing in the slips. The remaining guy was at gully. The batsmen from opposing teams were terrified. Clive Lloyd’s team of the 1970s and 1980s is one of your greatest gifts to us. When the world becomes a little too much, you’ve made it possible for us to remember these gentle giants and break into wide smiles. So, again, thank you.
  4. You’ve taught us courage. In the bandaged jaw of Anil Kumble as he bowled in the Antigua Test in 2002. In VVS Laxman’s heroics as he single-handedly dominated the Aussies. In a 16 year old Sachin Tendulkar facing the likes of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Abdul Qadir in Pakistan, on debut.
  5. You’ve successfully debunked the myth that we have increasingly lower attention spans. We love seeing the packed stadiums. Like the India V England Test at Mumbai, in December 2016. We loved ticketing that match. The crowds made us so happy! You’ve given us many gifts, Test Cricket. Consider those packed stadiums our gift to you!
  6. You make white super sexy. In the day and age of fluorescent pink tees and neon green laces, there is nothing quite as droolworthy as the men (and women) in pristine white. Our pick of the Test players who rock the white look – Alistair Cook, Virat Kohli, David Gower, Imran Khan, James Anderson, Sir Gary Sobers.
  7. You remain completely incomprehensible to anyone outside the cricketing world. They just don’t get it. 22 players. 5 days. Endless waiting games. Follow ons. Tea breaks. There are even those who get golf. But you? You are the ultimate enigma for those who know you not. And we love you all the more for it.
  8. Floppy hats. Green berets. Neck scarves. Moustaches. Is there anything that you cannot make good looking?
  9. You’ve given us 140 years of strategy, patience, brilliance, perseverance, integrity, competition, ruthlessness, team spirit, sportsmanship. We couldn’t ask for more.
  10. You are, dear Test Cricket, the gentleman’s game. In a world gone a little pedestrian, we need you more than ever before.

Happy birthday, once more. May you have many more!