That seems like a long time ago now. We had that tour of Australia where everything that might have gone wrong did go wrong. And now we have this T20 home series against India.
The fact the White Ferns have been comprehensively outplayed by South Africa hasn’t helped either.
The pain started early tonight with news that Kane Williamson wasn’t playing. Bruce would have played anyway, and the same could probably be said of Mitchell too. We were in for a long night.
Then there is the vexed topic of the late start. 8pm is not an ideal start time, although plenty of locals still managed to arrive late, but it is for one country only. Most of the England T20 games were mid-afternoon; how quickly people seem to forget that.
The financial power of the BCCI is well documented, so you do what you can to secure the deal and reap the windfall.
Starting at 8 means a late finish, but it wasn’t the only factor.
In India’s innings the power play took 34 minutes. That is an Over Rate of 11. It finished after the New Zealand innings was scheduled to start.
Whether it was the constant field changes, Kuggeleijn playing with his boots in between deliveries or the Indian support staff running out at the fall of almost every wicket, it all just seemed to drag.
Then early in the reply we had some gormless pitch invaders doubling down on it. Later on we had a three minute delay while they decided whether Seifert had hit a four or six. You name a delay; we got it.
When the scheduled finish time rolled around there were over 7 overs left. That’s a lot when you’re talking about a 40 over fixture.
And at 11pm we had no idea if we were staring at another Super Over.
At 11:30 it looked as if New Zealand was going to get there in some comfort. They had done that through the spin bowling of Sodhi and Santner, superior fielding, Munro’s contribution and an innings from Seifert that proved he needs to bat at the top of the order.
At 11:45 we were facing a super over once the jitters had kicked in during the 49th over. They needed 7 off the last over, and teams should close from there. Instead they lost 4 wickets.
So, sure enough, another of those Super Overs; except this one spanned a couple of days. We know New Zealand is haunted by those things, and Bumrah is probably the best bowler you could have at your disposal.
So even at 12:10 on February 1st we are still waiting.
Fun Fact: It’s been 11 years and 24 international cricket matches without an over being lost to weather at this venue.