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Sunday, November 27, 2005

So, we head to Lahore

Well, the second test draws to a close in Faisalabad withou a faisala. Ironic in a way don't you think that Faisalabad plays host to so many non-faisala-s. To be sure I just checked the CricInfo StatGuru, which is a fantastic tool in itself for its research features, for the match results at Faisalabad and it so turns out that out of the 23 test matches that have been played there 11 have borne a result and 12 have resulted in a draw. This is just for an FYI, I'm not proving any points here. I suppose you can get a 50/50 faisala at Faisalabad, eh?

Anyway, it was an exciting draw and I can't wait for the third test to start in a couple of days time. I think we are in for a big knock from one of the middle-order English batsmen. Also, depending on who is chosen in place of Afridi (I don't know if its Shabbir!) I think that replacement could do a lot of damage assuming a bowler is chosen.

Also, regarding Afridi's match ban it was completely deserved and he being a veteran cricketer should realize these things. I mean you have been in the internaitonal game for so long and do something so despicable is just humiliating and embarrassing not only for himself for the well respected captain, coach and the team itself. He must be aware of his actions and a grown man playing dirty like this is just shameful at best. I was actually disappoint by the ban. I thought he deserved much more stringent ban than what he got eventually. Doing what he did intentionally deserves a serious ban. He was reported to have not even denied the action so what's holding the referee back? Anyway he lucked out and now all eyes are going to be on him the next time he plays and his every little action will be scrutinized and criticised. I think y'all can say, "Thank you Master of the Obvious!" and I would say, "You are very welcome!".

Take care for tonight. I'm watching the WI v Aus game right now, looks like AUS are going to make up the deficit but Mr. Lara finally came through didn't he? Also, congratulations to him on becoming the highest scorer in test cricket. Hope he lives around longer for us to see his genius shine through some more. I just wished he could have run a tighter ship and bring in more consistent winning results!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Inzy is all glitzy

Though the 2nd test between Pakistan and England turned out to be a draw, it was certainly not a dour draw. Inzy claimed his place in the pantheon of cricket gods with a century in each innings of a test match. The fat fuck is so talented its obscene. I mean that as a compliment Inzy. It is fantastic to see him bat. I'd like to call him the Marlon Brando of cricket. He has that inherent tiredness in his mannerisms, the facial expressions. But the guy can think on his feet and bat like a mutha! All hail Inzy. He is one of the only 5 Pakistani batsmen in cricketing history to have achieved the feat of 2 centuries in each inning of a test match and deservedly so. If Pakistan had won the test it would probably have been doubly sweet but I think he'll settle for this.

Apart from him he batting displays of Ian Bell & Pietersen were fantastic as well. I mean Faisalabad is a batting beauty. I'm surprised we didn't see more inspired batting from both the sides. But all credit to the fast bowlers on both sides on restricting the batsmen. It is fantastic to see Shoaib, Naved, Flintoff and Hoggard bowling with steam and fire.

Well, I'd like to continue but I think my battery life on the laptop will suffer. I'm blogging from a friggin' airport! Take care everybody and for everyone Stateside I'd like to wish Happy Thanksgiving.

Inzy is all glitzy

Though the 2nd test between Pakistan and England turned out to be a draw, it was certainly not a dour draw. Inzy claimed his place in the pantheon of cricket gods with a century in each innings of a test match. The fat fuck is so talented its obscene. I mean that as a compliment Inzy. It is fantastic to see him bat. I'd like to call him the Marlon Brando of cricket. He has that inherent tiredness in his mannerisms, the facial expressions. But the guy can think on his feet and bat like a mutha! All hail Inzy. He is one of the only 5 Pakistani batsmen in cricketing history to have achieved the feat of 2 centuries in each inning of a test match and deservedly so. If Pakistan had won the test it would probably have been doubly sweet but I think he'll settle for this.

Apart from him he batting displays of Ian Bell & Pietersen were fantastic as well. I mean Faisalabad is a batting beauty. I'm surprised we didn't see more inspired batting from both the sides. But all credit to the fast bowlers on both sides on restricting the batsmen. It is fantastic to see Shoaib, Naved, Flintoff and Hoggard bowling with steam and fire.

Well, I'd like to continue but I think my battery life on the laptop will suffer. I'm blogging from a friggin' airport! Take care everybody and for everyone Stateside I'd like to wish Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What a comeback!

Very well done on Pakistan's part. I just turned on the telly and Shoaib runs in to dismiss Steve Harmison off of a beauty. It was one hell of a game I must say. Splendid work by Danish Kaneria, he will be the key for Pakistan on subcontinental pitches and he will have to figure into any visiting team's plans from now on. He has proved he can run with the best of them and has done an absolutely fantastic job with the ball. He has been on the mark the whole test and when the pitch did start turning on the fifth day he made hay. He stuck to the basics and bowled a few odd balls from his tricks basket and he had maximum returns. It is also important to look at Pakistan's seam attack. They seemed to be coming together much better in the 2nd innings than in the first. Shoaib Akhtar, Shabbir Ahmed and Mohamed Sami came good by chipping in with wickets and most importantly they kept the pressure on throughout the day.

Pakistan is a side that thrives on confidence. If they are confident they do really well and if they are down on it they go down very quickly. They are a very emotional team and it will be a heck of a job for Bob Woolmer to keep their emotions in check and make sure that games that are won and lost are kept in perspective.

England had a couple of highlights in the game such as of course the 193 of Marcus Trescothick in the first innings. A fantastic captain's knock on the 2nd and 3rd days. He did what he could but as he mentioned in the post-match interview "We could have been more clinical". That is saying a lot. England had it but they let it go. He also mentioned that they won the test 4 days out of 5 but lost the last day. This is the story of test cricket. Sides that may be good and consistent all year round, they come in and dominate the test match but lose on crucial occasions and that undoes all the hard work. It is extremely important that a test match is played session-by-session and won session-by-session. England needed one good session in the morning and they didn't get it and that led to their downfall. If Bell and Strauss had kept it together for atleast the first and part of the 2nd then there would have been no way for England to lose.

All in all a hell of a game at Multan. I will be interested in the English response at Faisalabad.

"Good luck and Good morning from America"

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Standing on the shoulders of giants (cricketers that is...!)

"If I have seen further than others,
it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."

- Sir Isaac Newton



This quote is so simple but in contains a gem of an observation within its simplicity. If a team is going to improve it is by continual improvement,change, re-assessment of its priorities and most of all by learning from the giants of yore. Team India is in the most propitious positions of any cricket team. There is experience in the side in the form of Dravid, Tendulkar and Chappell playing alongside players in their peak such as Harbhajan, Yuvraj, Kaif and Sehwag who are playing beside young 'uns like Raina, Rao, Singh, Sreesanth etc. The experienced players are giants in their own right in the game of cricket. This is a combination of idols and fans put together. It could be just the right blend to become the next hit on the cricket scene, eh? This is a good start but they have only played to the choir, so to speak. Placid pitches, favorable conditions and of course a crowd that's on our side, though it did not feel like it at Rajkot. They will be broadening their wings a little more in the next series against South Africa with a stiffer opposition; though, I don't know how strong they will be without Bojé and Gibbs in the lineup. They must decimate South Africa or else inevitable changes will be taken out of the team management's hands and that is never a good thing.

The blend is good but can it go international is the question. I think there are many factors why this team could be even more successful than the team that went to the 2003 World Cup. There is more depth in the side and also the team management is not holding any favorites so they are chopping anyone that they think will not perform. However, this must be taken with a grain of salt because they are being over agressive with their team selections. In Pune it could have backfired if they had chosen a bowler as a supersub. But, they are getting breaks like this during the series and that is helping them keep it going. It will be extremely fortunate if this sort of run continues. But it won't and I believe they are planning for an eventuality like that. Dravid was right when he said "There is no point getting carried away". If anything this guy knows what he is talking about and that is a heartening thing to know. Indian cricket is in safe hands!

Comments regarding Dravid's captaincy are welcome. Fire away!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Dravid is the daddy of the Indian team

There is no two ways about it. He is the daddy and he has been for a long time. He is the one that rescues the team when its in trouble and he is the one that tempers enthusiasm when everyone's flying high and he is the one that takes care of business out on the field when things are going to shit. I mean who else but your dad can do these things. Team India is and will always be a petulant child and they need a father figure on and off the field like Dravid. God help this team when this man retires! It is imperative that the board find someone who can play this role or else this team's in deep trouble for the future. I'll take one Dravid over 10 tendulkars any day. He's the man you can rely on to innovate, decimate or accumulate when required be it a test match, an ODI or even a Twenty20!

Cricket is all about temperament, strategy and thought processes that are outside the box. Continual improvement and change is the hallmark of a great team. Changing tactics depending on the situation is extremely important. A captain is like a general leading his troops. He has to play his cards right or else the team goes to shit. However, the captain can play his cards but the team is the one to do the job and they must believe in themselves to do the job. I just hope they keep it going. It is when the going gets tough that you can really tell how good of a team we have. I want to see how these guys will fare against SA when they come to India next. I hope they will beat the shit out of them and send them back with their tails between their legs. Especially their captain Smith. This guy was a fucking captain the day he debuted. He needs to be taught a few things about captaincy and captaincy in the subcontinent for one thing. We'll show him a thing or two.

Fans of Team India I ask you to take up the verbal arms against the SA cricketers when they come here. They must be psychologically attacked from everywhere. They must understand that playing in the subcontinent is not mission difficult, it is mission impossible! WE WILL PROTECT THIS HOUSE NO MATTER WHAT!

Meanwhile checkout this article about Dravid and his captaincy.