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Over the spirit of the game

Cricket has been a game where one follows the spirit of the game rather than the letter of the law.

Some two or three decades ago, India’s cricket team struggled to win Test series’ especially away from home. They finally worked out the reasons why they couldn’t get the better of teams when over the years they possessed the best spin bowlers in the world. And it was because on that precise basis the cause became apparent.

Before that they imported fast bowlers over the years with cricketing greats like Wes Hall and later on Dennis Lillee and a host of English fast-bowling coaches, spending lots of time to coach young Indians to bowl fast. Then they tackled the pitches because they were too slow and needed more bounce and pace to encourage young men to do the unforgiving job of bowling fast. Nothing succeeded!

Then the problem was solved! An Indian captain found that his team was bowling more overs than the opposition in a given time. That, of course, would mean that while the Indian team would bat for a day and score 200 runs, their opponents would score 300 in the same time.

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