Saturday, November 24, 2007

India 161-4 chasing 276 - Day 4 at the Kotla

Which test match am I watching? The same one that you guys are. The way the events have unfolded during the first 3 days of this dramatic test, the above score line looks more than likely for tomorrow. Read on to see why.

Aamir Sohail said that all non-fans of test cricket need to watch this test match to change their mind. I agree cent percent! Another day off, and I managed to catch a full days of action, which did not diappoint even for a second. What a test match its turning out to be. Up and down and still anybody's game.

The India-Pakistan series has definitely lived up to its hype of being bigger than the Ashes. An Australian and an English cricket fan agree to this - 2 men from Australia and England have flown to India all the way from Tokyo to witness this test series. Why are they supporting India though? Surely Pakistan is the more exciting team. Not better, I said exciting.

A few observations from today:
  1. I still don't know what the commentators are smoking.
  2. The new Kaneria has got some coaching tips from Shane Warne. Shorter run up, hardly a googly, more of the straighter faster delivery, 4 wickets for less than 60 - thats not the Kaneria I know.
  3. Laxman can be atheletic in the field, and so can Ganguly - more time for Yuvi on the bench.
  4. Finally catches in the slips - both of spinners.
  5. More often than not Pakistan's openers fail and the middle order is left to do damage control. Rarely when the openers put up a good stand, the middle order collapses.
  6. Misbah still fancies Harbhajan Singh.
  7. Rameez Raja fancies Ranjan Madugalle.
  8. 9 wickets to fall in the day and only 1 to a pacer.
  9. Yousuf was the first Asian cricketer to be sponsored by Gray Nicolls. Kamran Akmal is the second. Why?
  10. Anil Kumble, after 117 test matches, decided its time to get some variety into his run up.
  11. Rameez Raja does not like Bruce Yardley.
  12. Bruce Yardley's mom is 88 years old and likes poker.
  13. Shoaib Akhtar loves his new soft toy.
  14. Day 1: 210 runs and 8 wickets. Day 2: 249 runs and 8 wickets. Day 3: 260 runs and 9 wickets. At this rate day 4 will end with India on 161-4 chasing 276 leaving an exciting day 5 of cricket.

Make your pitch on this post...



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7 Pitched:

  1. Tayyab said...
     

    Disappointed how yousuf and younis failed to make a big score again... i think we should gamble on using imran nazeer or shahid afridi as opener instead of yasir hameed cuz yasir hameed just gets 30 to 40 max and gets out whereas if imran nazir clicks he can easily make a quick 70 to 80 especially with fields up in test cricket.. if that gets done, in a close test match, it can be the difference between victory and defeat.. remember last time we went to india, afridi played a quick innings in the tests and we won...

    I sincerely hope misbah and akmal can atleast score atleast 75 more runs because after that the tail is vulnerable although i expedct sohail t and sami to put up a fight... shoiab used to be a good hitter but of late he has been abysmal in batting

    I personally hope and think that Pakistan will give india somewhere about 290 to 300 target minimum if not more

  2. Q said...
     

    I also think that Pakistan is capable of adding another 120-130 tomorrow but Misbah and Akmal will have to continue the way they ended tonite - attack.

    Even Kaneria is capable of a few mighty blows - a quick 15-20.

    Theres a case for Afridi for the test side, especially subcontinental wickets but I don't think Imran Nazir is a suitable choice. That will always be a gamble. At least with specialist openers we got a good start. 75-0 should have been a good platform but the 2 Ys and Malik failed to capitalize on that.

    But I do agree that a more attacking opener is required. Maybe if these guys gain the confidence, they would be able to play more attacking cricket.

  3. Dinnie said...
     

    Day 4

    Ganguly brought in a pleasant surprise for all of us; we weren't expecting Pakistan innings to close so early, especially with Misbah in the middle who was being pretty damn clever-- keeping the strike to himself all the time, but Ganguly, ya know, is Ganguly.

    But Pakistan keeps coming back. Karthik is gone already. Shoaib's been bowling with perfect line and pace. It can't get better than this.

  4. Q said...
     

    My prediction went horribly wrong. Pakistan's innings ended really badly!

    The test will end today - either India will get the runs or get bowled out. I sense the former.

    203 is too low of a target and India should be able to manage it easily.

    But what a game its been thus far. Great start to the series.

  5. obaid said...
     

    I am travelling and am in Canada for the weekend... missing all the action. Im just following cricinfo for the live commentary. In the spirit of this game, it seems like there are many twists and turns. Shoaib seems to be bowling well, but India still has the upper hand with 100 odd runs to go and Dhoni to still follow

  6. Soulberry said...
     

    Q, any idea why Aamir Sohail dislikes Shoaib Malik? he didn't have anything positive to say about him and one thought was sometimes unfairy harsh on him.

    Kaneria is certainly bowling far better than before. He did use the leg spin consistently and with greater imagination than before. Was it Warne who was involved?

  7. Q said...
     

    Soulberry - Aamir Sohail is a bitter man. He feels he was mistreated by the PCB as a player, captain, and selector. This is why he's so harsh on everyone. Not only Shoaib Malik, but he was harsh on Inzi as well throughout Inzi's stint as captain.

    Although I agree that Sohail was mistreated as a player but that should not be an excuse for him to criticise everyone. U will seldom hear a word of praise abt Pakistan cricket from him.

    It was he who lashed out against his colleagues involved in match fixing when he himself was as big a culprit as anyone else. It was he who said he will never play with Saleem Malik but he did. It he who said he will never represent Pakistan again but he did. It was he who said he will never want to be involved in the pakistan cricket set up but he did as selector in 2003.

    Mr. Aamir Sohail's credibility shines in these examples.

    Moving on to more rosier topics - Kaneria. Yep Warne has a lot to do with how Kaneria is bowling now. Over the summer Kaneria interacted with Warne quite a bit in England where the 2 were playing for Essex and Hampshire respectively. It was Warne who suggested Kaneria cut his run up and bowl the googly less. Plus it was Warne who taught him how to bowl the straiughter one.

    Although Kaneria did not put all this to practice in the 2 tests against SA in Pakistan, it was evident that he did in the 1st test against India. He was probably apprehensive to change so suddenly but after all the criticism of leaking too many runs, not taking enough wickets and so on, Kaneria has undoubtedly changed for the better.

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