New York: For an Indian fan, Test cricket in Australia is about waking up at 5 a.m. in order to watch the first session of play with the television on mute so as to not wake the rest of the family. It is about watching the Boxing Day Test match in Melbourne and soaking in the tradition even if it is from thousands of miles away. It is about wondering how something as ubiquitous as the wind can be called "the fremantle doctor" during Test matches in Perth.
Australian Test matches often seem like the perfect contest between bat and ball – unlike the ones we have back in India, where the battles are often loaded in favor of the batsmen. It's about watching young men take their first giant steps in international cricket, young captains going into battle leading from the front, or men returning to set the record straight. It is about an Australian opposition that is relentless, proud and will inevitably fight back, even if you hammered them the day before.
My interest in cricket started at the age of seven with the Indian tour of Australia in 1991. I used to sit down and watch the days' highlights on the national broadcaster Doordarshan with my grandfather. And it seemed like the television suddenly came to life every evening – the dull morose commentary we were used to replaced by commentators going ballistic every time a wicket fell; the shoddy camera work replaced by new and innovative ways of admiring a Tendulkar straight drive. I was hooked!