By Nitesh Mathur With Vandit 02/24/2022
Today we talk to Vandit, a mathematics graduate student from Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. He attended the Only Test between England & Australia in the Women’s Ashes Test at Manuka Oval in Canberra held between January 27-30, 2022.
What a breathtaking Test match that was. One wicket to go, fielders crowding around the bat, and an anti-climactic full toss. Match Drawn, a befitting result to the great battle between the two teams over four days.
This was Heather Knight’s Test (168* & 48), but there were so many other moments in the game—Haynes 86-Lanning’s 93, plenty of 50s, Katherine Brunt’s 5-fer, the Knight-Ecclestone partnership, Australia’s middle order, declarations, the Sciver-Dunkley assault, Beth Mooney’s catch, and Alana King’s marvelous debut. Relive the last day highlights here.
I would like to take a moment to thank Vandit for doing this interview. He has been an ardent follower of the Broken Cricket Dreams Blog from Day 1. Love the interaction, comments, and suggestions! Thank you for all the support 😊
Vandit is a lifelong follower of cricket and holds deep analysis about each and every aspect of the game. His statistical skills are second to none and as some of you may know, so are his prediction skills. Without further ado, here is my dear friend Vandit—Women’s Ashes Test experience, hopes and dreams, discussion on Ganguly-Dhoni-Kohli, and more. Expect a hint of philosophy as well🔥🔥
1. What days of the Women’s Ashes Test did you attend?
Day 2 and Day 4.
2. What was your overall feel & atmosphere of the ground, especially with that ending.
There was good support. The ground wasn’t anywhere near full, but there must have been a couple of thousand people. That’s more than enough to create an atmosphere. The noise and support inside a stadium is something else. If you want to watch every ball and soak in every detail of the match, it’s better to watch on TV because you get all the best camera angles and all kinds of replays. For instance, if you’re watching at the ground from square leg, it’s hard to tell how much the ball is swinging, seaming, or turning.
But if you want to feel the atmosphere, nothing beats going to the ground. ‘Fan parks’ or ‘mass viewing areas’ might come close for atmosphere but the ground itself is something else, because there are people shouting suggestions and praise at the players,
‘Keep up the pressure, girls’ or ‘Just a wicket away.’
But there was also appreciation for opposition performances, particularly Heather Knight’s century in the first innings. The massive roars the fall of a wicket in the final session, particularly Darcie Brown’s LBW dismissal of Heather Knight and Beth Mooney’s catch at deep midwicket off Alana King to dismiss Sophia Dunkley stood out.
3. What are you looking forward for in the Women’s World Cup?
A competitive, exciting World Cup hopefully. Australia will probably win. A competitive tournament with India going far would be great for the game at the stage.
4. Thoughts on the Women’s IPL?
Looking forward to a Women’s IPL. There’s more than enough talent for a quality competition, and we’ve seen the Big Bash. And now that it’s in the pipeline, that’s good news for cricket.
5. Any Opinions 4-Day Tests in Women’s Cricket?
I think 4 days is okay to start off, since most first-class games are played over 4 days. They don’t play much domestic red ball cricket anyway, so going from limited overs domestic to 5-day Test is quite a jump. More important thing to be addressed for women in the number of tests.
6. How many other live matches have you attended/any particular memories?
Attended another couple of matches but a long time ago. An India vs Zimbabwe ODI in the VB Series in 2004, when Zimbabwe regularly competed strongly against the top sides stands out, a close finish with India winning by 3 runs.
7. Describe your playing career.
Used to play for school until early high school but stopped. Recently started playing for the university’s club. One of the reasons is that fans should support cricket in any way possible, and getting involved in the game, scoring, umpiring, playing, coaching, anything is good. Definitely encourage people to join their local club. If nothing is available close by, start something or just play with a group for fun, if not competitively.
Also Read: Avinash’s Cricket Journey: an Interview
Photos from the Women’s Ashes Test at the Manuka Oval
Here are some pictures from his stands at the Manuka Oval.
8. Favorite IPL team?
9. What were your major takeaways from the IPL Mega Auction?
I will be following the first round of the Ranji Trophy instead.
10. Broken Cricket Dream?
Not really any particular broken dream. But most kids who play cricket do dream of playing for the country, but it was far-fetched. If I had played at a higher level, would have liked to bowl medium pace and be a useful batsman at 8.
11. How Has Cricket Helped You?
Cricket is obviously a great way to stay active and do so as a part of a team. In some way it is also a social activity which allows you to interact with others in a way that more individual sports like cycling or running don’t.
12. What Have You Learned From Cricket?
Being a team sport, cricket forces you to contribute as part of a group in different ways.
Of course, while batting, you want to stay out there and score runs, but even when you aren’t on strike, you want to run hard for your partner’s runs and be observant about the opposition’s bowling, fielding, and the condition of the wicket. That way, you’re contributing all the time, not just when you’re on strike.
And when you’re bowling, of course you want to keep it tight or take wickets but even when you aren’t, you want to save every run in the field, take a catch or effect a run out and keep the pressure up for the other bowlers.
That way cricket forces you to give your all at all times, not just when your stats are stake.
13. Cricketing Heroes and What You Have Learned from Them?
Sourav Ganguly for his fearless approach and want to take on the opposition in their home conditions; always having the fight even if the odds or history aren’t in your favour.
MS Dhoni for his calmness on the field, never too flustered by on-field happenings. This discussion is excellent.
Virat Kohli for his passion and emotion, especially earlier in his career. A lot of people didn’t like that version of Kohli but just replays of how angry or disappointed he’d be when he used to get out and that’ll tell you how much he wanted to do well.
14. Broken Cricket Dream as a Fan?
I’ve read BCD articles since the beginning and have always enjoyed them. With some articles having a different twist, especially the philosophical considerations, BCD links cricket to life. It can be easy to follow a sport as just a sport and nothing else, and maybe that’s how it’s meant to be, but it’s hard to ignore the parallels between cricket and life, and lessons to be learnt from great cricket performances and great cricketers.
BCD provided just that.
Here are some of Vandit’s favorite BCD articles:
- Top 10 Life Lessons From India Vs Australia 2020: Courage, Character, Resilience
- Cricket’s Reflections of Passion
- Top 10 Life Lessons From IPL: Beauty of Cricket
- What If Flintoff Kept His Cool to Yuvraj Singh?
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