India had just lost Murali Vijay. Mitchell Johnson was fired up. Five minutes before lunch – one of the worst times to come in to bat.
The slips opened their eyes a little wider. The other fielders crept slightly closer to the bat. Virat Kohli, captain of India, swaggered in, took guard and looked around. Twirled his bat his bat a couple of times before settling into his stance.
First ball. A venomous bouncer close to 150 kph an hour. CLANK! The little India flag on his Virat’s helmet receives it.
The heart of every single person watching stops for a second.
Mitchell Johnson sprints towards Virat. Fielders rush in from all parts. The umpires converge.
Praise the Lord, he is fine.
A visibly upset Johnson walks back to his mark. Michael Clarke gives him a reassuring pat on the back.
The next ball is short but not quite a bouncer. Virat defends it solidly off the back foot. He carries on to score a sparkling 115.
This little passage of play and the emotional celebrations we’ve seen over the last few days tells us that the game will go on, but something, somewhere has irreversibly changed. Really, the last time we saw six Aussie fielders around an Indian batsman after a short ball, they certainly weren’t enquiring about his health !
Time will heal the scars and hopefully we will get to see a kinder, more human side of cricket.
After all, some things are more important than a game of bat and ball.