Monday, November 5, 2007

India vs Pakistan: 1st One Day Preview (Guhawati)

A few hours before the start of the first One Day match between India and Pakistan at Guwahati, there are some very intriguing questions that make things interesting. India seem to have a definite mental edge over Pakistan in recent times – it seems like the new generation of Indian players are too young to remember Miandad’s six ☺ Inzi who really seeped up the pressure of these great contests is not there anymore. How will Shoaib Malik handle the pressure on his first tour to India as captain? Will he lead from the front and be aggressive or will the pressure of touring India, with an unsettled side and a returning Shoaib Akhtar put him on the defensive. The Pakistani side appear to have lost the sheen of consistency and mental maturity that they had gained under Inzi – can they do what usually eludes them; play consistently and as a team?

On the Indian side, will Dhoni continue to assert his captaining maturity? Will the greatly improved and disciplined Indian bowling attack trouble the Pakistani batting, which certainly is vulnerable without a settled opening pair and a missing Inzi? This match has an early start and dewy sub continent winters make for ideal seam bowling conditions. How will Dravid’s omission play on the psyche of other senior Indian players such as Tendulkar, Ganguly and an out of form Sehwag? Will they come out stronger after a tough series against Australia?

Overall, I would say that the Pakistani side is weaker on paper compared to India’s. There are more question marks about Pakistani players such as Akmal, Butt, Shoaib Akhtar. India appear well settled and have the home advantage as well. The ground itself at Guwahati has short 60-65 yard boundaries on the sides but definitely favors swing and seam bowling at the start. The side batting second has to face poor light, because the sun sets around 4:30pm local time but then batting conditions are more favorable for the side batting second. Overall, India Pakistan games bring out the best in players so I am eagerly anticipating improved performances by the Pakistanis. On the Indian side I am predicting a good team performance. A disciplined performance by their bowlers will make them clear favorites to win. A good batting performance by Pakistan will only keep them in the game,

What do you think?

Make your pitch on this post...



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12 Pitched:

  1. Q said...
     

    I woke up an hour earlier this morning to catch the first hour of play before heading out to office.

    Pakistan were off to a decent start, posting some 40 odd in 10 overs, before losing Akmal. Salman Butt has given them a great start - he seems to favour India. All his 3 ODI 100s have come against India and even today he's looking good for one.

    Last night I was watching all these preview shows on TV. Zee have managed to rope in Inzamam for giving comments throughout this series and Star have done the same with Afridi.

    It was interesting to watch Inzi say that Afridi will be the key -player for Pakistan. He also lashed out against Dravid's exclusion.

    Afridi while speaking to Arun Lal said that Pakistan will want to bat first as the wicket will crumble later on but Arun Lal said the 1st hr would be difficult cos of the early morning start.

    The 1st hr i saw, it was hardly difficult for the batsmen. Looks like a good batting wicket, which will crumble and help the spinners later on as there were too many cracks. Pakistan's at an advantage as far as I see, but the Dubai betting circles are whispering India.

    Lets wait and watch...

  2. obaid said...
     

    Im a bit behind live action since I just got back from playing tennis and am watching off the dvr. Ive watched the first ten overs and so far the ball is keeping low, the bounce is not true. I guess thats neutralized by the small boundaries and fast outfield. I am looking for Pakistan to post 260+ and then the spinners bowling a good spell. I agree Q that it should be a good pitch for the spinners.

    Akmal has really looked out of sorts

  3. Q said...
     

    At first glance 239 looks like a low score, especially after the start that Pakistan got. But on this pitch, if it crumbles the way the experts are saying, then it might be defendable given that Pakistan have Afridi, Rehman, and Malik to tweak their fingers.

    Butt batted well and came back to form against his favorite opposition. Yousuf has increasinlgy started playing the Inzi role and even taking it to the next level by staying on till the very end. Afridi played well too.

    Harbajhan and Karthik gave away only 65 runs in the 20 overs of spin that they bowled. Took a wicket as well, while sachin took 2 with his spinners...this means that Afridi, Rehman, and Malik have a lot of work to do.

    India are good players of spin - especially the top order of Sachin, Saurav, and Gambhir. The only chance that Pakistan have are if Shoaib & Co. can take quick wickets and then let the spinning trio to take over.

    BUT, India are amazing at chasing. They have a very strong batting lineup and a middle order comprising of Dhoni, Uthappa, and Pathan looks damn solid. Not to mention Yuvraj.

    Even though Pakistan have good spinners, I don't think they will be able to bog down the Indians...

    I'm leaning towards the word going around the Dubai betting circle..India go 1-0 up today.

  4. obaid said...
     

    Btw, as per my post, Ganguly must be feeling the heat after the two dropped catches, with Yousufs catch as the most crucial one. He must be feeling the pressure to make up by scoring runs as I see him walk out now

  5. Farees said...
     

    Once butt got out younus and yousuf scored 30 off the next 10 overs. When your 2 best batsman are at the crease, regardless of match situation,quality of bowling and conditions, scoring 30 runs off 10 overs in an ODI in 2007 is just not on. Having said that we had 8 wickets in hands,fielding restrictions in place, decent batting conditions, sloppy fielding and bowling which wasnt anything more than decent so there is no excuse for scoring at that rate. Yousuf ofcourse made up for that start but I have a feeling if we lose this game Ill have to put it down to the number of balls younis wasted.

    We got off to a decent start and I never thought the day would come when I would actually say this but "salman butt batted extremely well". The top order seems to seriously lack the oomph though, as inconsistent as he is nazir gives you that option. Maybe afridi should have been sent in at 4 today to counter the spin of bhajji and kartik?

    Ofcourse the consolation is that if we get early wickets we can put them under pressure as "the wall" is missing and although the likes of yuvi, uthapa and dhoni are adept at chasing huge totals this neither here not there total may just prove to tricky for them. Again, if we can get early wickets...

  6. obaid said...
     

    tendulkar's gone! Interesting ball from Shoaib, on the stumps but just a tad slower. 143 kph. Has Shoaib come up with a new delivery? The almost slower ball?

  7. obaid said...
     

    Also, I just noticed something very very interesting. Umar Gul appears to be wearing an forearm brace which is used to alleviate tennis elbow pain. I personally know a lot about this injury since I play tennis 3-4 times a week and I have suffered from it. Im going to write a post about it and its increased prevalence in cricket

  8. Farees said...
     

    The indians are really riding their luck. Just seems to be a matter of time before ganguly edges Gul onto his stumps. Shoaib just got 2 edges out of gambhir which akmal and younis couldnt even spot. Shoaib im pretty sure is consistently bowling quicker than he in years. Most of his balls so far are at 90mph or over.

  9. Q said...
     

    Guls bowling well, hardly giving anything away.

    Gambhir DROPPED twice of consecutive balls! They did it to Kallis of Shoaib and now to Gambhir, also of Shoaib.

    If Gambhir goes on to win it for India, Younis will get some ass kicking not only for his batting as Farees described, but also for his catching, or rather the lack of it!

  10. obaid said...
     

    and now it seems Gambhir edged it to the keeper off Gul, but no one appealed. Amazing!

  11. Farees said...
     

    Anyone up for declaring a state of emergency in pakistan cricket?

  12. Q said...
     

    Definitely.

    Emergency state - Indian team under dressing room arrest. Dhoni and Yuvraj not allowed to come out and bat. Harbajhan not allowed to bowl.

    Pakistan to play India Red.

    Cmon Mushy where are u?

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