Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Not looking good, what?

Interestingly, Pakistan were still batting 500 runs ahead as the third days play came to a close. It won't give Indian fans much comfort, but the size of that lead, is some acknowledgement of the 'strength' of the Indian batting lineup. My use of scare quotes is deliberate. Ever since the 1990s, we've read and heard a great deal about the wonders of this Indian batting lineup. But all along, there has been a certain brittleness about the top-order. It normally tends to manifest itself in away series (one reason why India hasn't a series away (outside the subcontinent) since 1986). On many occasions, just like the first innings in Karachi, India's bottom order has been the one to restore the scoreboard to respectability.

I don't hold much hope of India drawing this match. The time that India need to bat out is immense, and sadly, I expect too many players to try and play out time rather than keeping things on an even keel by continuing to score the odd run. The one condition under which I would be willing to revise my gloomy prediction is if India get a decent opening partnership featuring Sehwag.

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