Travails of Tail!
What do Jason Gillespie, Michael Kasprowicz, Brett Lee, Shane Warne, Shaun Pollock, Chaminda Vaas, Mohammad Sami, Shoiab Akhtar, Heath Streak and Steve Harmison have in common?
They all have caused much frustration and pain to India over the last few years. No, not through their bowling. But through their batting! By staying at the wicket, generally in company with a top order batsman, and stubbornly resisting the hapless Indian bowlers for long periods of time.
The inability of Indian bowlers to briskly finish up an innings is now legendary. It happened again in Nagpur when England went from 225/6 to 393 adding 168 priceless runs. If I have to pick five things which I, as a die-hard Indian fan, carry with me always, I have to name this. Oh, how many times we lost our cool and degenerated into abuses full of frustration when our bowlers helped their counterparts realize their, hitherto unsuspected, batting prowess!
Sure, defeats after having Pakistan 26/6 (ending at 185) and 39/6 (ending at 245) remain painfully etched in memory. And Moin Khan and Kamran Akmal serve to focus all our frustration on. But those extreme cases do not nearly tell the whole story. What I am talking is based on countless innings.
When Zimbabwe went from 197/6 to 279 and 83/6 to 161 in September, 2005. Or when Sri Lanka went from 131/6 to 247 and 144/6 to 206 in December 2005. Or when Pakistan went from 469/6 to 588, 477/5 to 679/7 dec, 402/5 to 599 in January, 2006. Or when South Africa went from 182/5 to 305, 5/241 to 510 in December 2004. Or when Bangladesh went from 240/6 to 333 in December 2004. Or when Pakistan went from 191/6 to 312, 243/6 to 496 and 446/6 to 570 in March 2005. So on. I can go on and on.
And these numbers only partly reflect the full scope of the frustration and mental agony involved.
Oh, how we will die for a Wasim Akram!