Thursday, October 09, 2008

The first and the last

You know, its a real drag that Wasim Akram doesn't play test cricket any more. But I'm glad that there are still some left-armers around to remind us of him. I'm thinking of Zaheer Khan and Iran Pathan here. For there is one kind of dismissal that Waz had a lock on: getting righthanders LBW to a ball, delivered over the wicket, that pitches in line with the stumps and then goes straight. Zaheer did that today to Michael Clarke, and in doing so, just pegged things back a teensy bit for India on the first day. Zak started the day well (though luckily) and ended it well. The stuff in the middle wasn't so great: Ricky Ponting has played himself into form with a captain's knock. (By the way, is a score of 250 on a full day of test cricket, the clearest indicator that this Aussie team is not Steve Waugh's team?)


Blogger Pragmatic Analyst said...

I do not think it will be appropriate to even start thinking about whether this Aussie team is unlike Steve Waugh's team. Reasons I will give are:
1. Due to the hoopla of the last down under India visit, OZ is shaken up in terms of their self belief against India.
2. Kumble is on the verge of tail of his career and is cautiously handling bowling department thus resulting in controlled bowling performance from Indians.
3. Zaheer after series of in and out of team, is getting his fitness and head back to become more consistent.
4. Ishant has emerged very well.

Having said that, I truly believe if Aus manage to win the first test convincingly, they will be back to their ways of playing at a average of 3.5 runs per over and showing "aggressive" body language. This should easily surpass 250 per day!

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Sunny said...

I wonder if Ricky Ponting will thank that twat Yuvraj for declaring in Hyderabad, when the Pres XI should have pressed on and made the Aussies sweat. Ponting ended up getting more time in the center and get back to form.

But was Yuvraj's real motivation. I wonder if he declared because he didn't want Rohit and Virat Kohli to further augment their claim to the test team! As both scored classic centuries in the first innings, why give them another chance to be noticed? Hard to believe but is it really!

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was very surprised at the declaration in Hyderabad. Perhaps Yuvraj is just a poor skipper and didn't think things through. Or maybe he is just a nice bloke.

Rest assured if the boot was on the other foot, an Australian XI would have left their opponents to wilt in the field under a hot sun and not given them even the slightest advantage.

It takes a ruthless streak at all levels of cricket to sustain the success the Australians have achieved. Only one loss in 26 consecutive Test series is testamount to that reality.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

PA: This team is still going to be very tough. I've never bought the story of India being favorites. Despite the lack of test experience, they've played tons of Shield cricket which can be tougher than some tests on the international calendar!

Suraj: I don't think its a conspiracy - its just poor strategic thinking by Yuvraj.

Nestaquin: Nice to see you here. I agree with you: the BCCI XI should have tried to keep batting as long as possible. Either you tire out the mainline bowlers, or you keep the batsmen off the ground.

5:36 AM  

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