January 13, 2006

First Day.

It was an unmitigated disaster for Indians. Pakistan surely started in a great style doing to India what India did to them on the first day of the test series almost two years ago. I hope that, unlike in that test, Indian batsmen will respond well and save the match.

For, I doubt if we can win this match now. It is possible and we did it just two seasons ago against Australia in Adelaide. That was made possible by another magical Dravid-Laxman partnership (303 runs) and special bowling performances by Kumble (6 wickets) and Agarkar (8 wickets). Such things do not happen everyday, but can happen any day. Let us wait and see.

I will refrain from a general tirade against Indian bowling, though it is tempting to do so. Admittedly, Indian bowling is weak and such days are to be expected. But to write them off completely on the basis of such a day would be unfair. Getting only one wicket (the other was a runout) does not speak much of the bowling, but one should note that not getting a wicket for a long time, say a session, makes it increasingly harder to get a wicket as the day proceeds. Once they did not get a wicket for a long time yesterday, they were down psychologically and physically plus Younis and Yousuf were very well set. Better things can be hoped for on the second day.

Finally a word on Ganguly's inclusion. My belief is that it was a wrong decision and a case of putting an individual's interests above those of the team.


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