A Test match stopping for poor air quality should be a shriller wake-up call for the region and the Central and state governments.
Not even the national capital’s notoriously polluted air could stop Virat Kohli. Team India’s captain is in such astonishing form that he struck a Bradmanesque lode of runs in pillaging Sri Lankan bowlers in a series where he’s scored a century and two double centuries in three Tests. Batting for a day and a half in foul air that made the Lankan bowlers sick, Kohli made the highest score ever by an Indian Test skipper just as he sank a world record as captain with the most Test double tons — six. Kohli was seen in resplendent form at Ferozeshah Kotla, toying with bowlers from the first ball. With his sublime skills Kohli, with 52 centuries, promises to drown all possible records in world cricket.
While Kohli was least concerned by pollution, the Sri Lankan bowlers became so sick that the team couldn’t field 11 men. Of course, there is no disputing the fact that the air over the National Capital Territory and surrounding areas is seriously hazardous to people’s health. If fine-tuned and fit cricketers struggle to cope, the fate of others can only be imagined. Amid inter-state disputes over what should be done about crop residue burning, construction dust and smoke-belching vehicles, all that the Delhi government is toying with is an odd-even scheme that will probably do as little to alleviate the situation as the Sri Lankan bowlers could do to shift Virat Kohli from the crease. A Test match stopping for poor air quality should be a shriller wake-up call for the region and the Central and state governments.