Cricket for Americans: 7 Jan. 2019: Dukes of Hazzard

There are so many different plot lines in cricket that it’s impossible, even for someone paying attention, to keep them all in order. Pitch conditions, weather, light — all of these factors can affect play, and affect it a great deal. India have beaten Australia in countless series in India, but they just won their first Test series in Australia ever. Why? Playing cricket in Australia is simply very different than playing cricket in India. (Oh, and Australia are in shambles, but we can ignore that for now.)

Today I learned a new one:

The ball.

All countries use red or white Kookburra balls, except for the West Indies and England, who use Dukes balls, and India who use SG.

Huh.

I learned it while listening to Virat Kohli talk about Australia’s chances in the Ashes in England this summer:

“Dukes ball buries egos pretty quickly,” he said.

Test cricket matches might last five days, but they are still games of inches, of millimeters. Every little thing can either be an advantage or a disadvantage. And it’s the teams that figure out a way for the formers to outnumber the latters that win matches.

Dukes ball? Who knew? I swear it’s something different every day.

Until tomorrow.

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