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Friday, January 27, 2023

Thrill of an uptick

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New Delhi: Cricket was once held aloft as a leisurely game that demands grace over strength and elegance over statistics. But let’s get real. As attention spans and playing formats shorten, it’s the plain pace that keeps eyeballs agog, scoreboards ticking, and audience frenzy rewarding. So investors in cricket have a big reason to rejoice in the fastest double-century scored in One-Day Internationals, done in 126 deliveries by Ishan Kishan on Saturday in India’s match with Bangladesh in Chattogram. His quickfire knock of 210, with 10 sixes and 24 fours making up the bulk, eclipsed Chris Gayle’s 138-ball double-ton for West Indies in 2015. “The wicket was too good (for batting),” Kishan admitted, “My intent was very clear—if the ball is there, I’ll go for it.” That’s 50-over cricket played like T20, packed with big hits to keep us riveted. But then, as with asset prices, recent trends are no indication of future returns. And, as with crypto at the peak of its dazzle, “well left” could yet reassert its wisdom, making space for slightly slower batting and a game where our appreciation of art is not flattened by the thrill of a rapid score uptick. Better wickets for bowling will make for better-balanced matches.

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