AN EVEN CONTEST……………………..


The India-South Africa series was quite significant- as Javed A Khan commented in his thread previewing the series, it was a battle for title of no 2 in the world rankings. As it turned out the series was a draw. India are placed at no 2 in the Test ratings currently.

South Africa could not acclimatise to the spin friendly wicket in the third Test. After India were beaten comprehensively in the second Test the curator at Kanpur was under pressure to produce a pitch that would favour the Indian spin attack and produce a result. And as it happened, the pitch played according to script and granted a favourable result for India.

Ganguly played a gritty innings and looks in the best form of his life. Ever since his return to international cricket Ganguly has appeared as a match winner for India. What I have noticed is the change in his demeanour. He seems much more committed now and seems intent on proving his class every match. Ganguly was always considered to be a class act in ODI’s but a decent batsman in Tests. However for the past year or two Ganguly has been in imperious Test form and arguably India’s most consistent Test batsman.

It is always nice to come back from heavy defeat like this and square the series in such dominating fashion. Harbhajan Singh was crucial to India’s plans and acclimatised to the pitch like a fish takes to water. He bagged 19 wickets at an average of 26 and was hence awarded Man of the Series. Many people expected Harbhajan to not perform in this series and some thought he wouldn’t even feature in all of the three Tests. As it occurred Harbhajan appeared in wonderful form and and bowled some excellent spells.

From South Africa’s point of view, where the pitch helped their pacers were quite lethal. This series will be a memorable one for Dale Steyn who troubled quite a few Indian batsmen. It is strange how, when analysing the list of the leading wicket takers this series, after Harbhajan’s name you see the names of Steyn, Ntini, Morkel and Harris. The second most successful bowler in terms of wicket taking this series for India was actually Virender Sehwag. This is a clear indication that it was spin that drew the series for India.

In terms of batting Sehwag scored the most runs this series, but of course a large chunk of those 372 runs was that memorable triple century. All over this has been a good series for Sehwag and he has probably cemented his place in the Test squad for a while. After Sehwag India’s highest scoring batsman was Ganguly, who made 2 fifties and averaged 53 and who has already been discussed earlier.

India’s pacers were largely disappointing this series. Yes, one can say that 2 out of the 3 pitches the teams played on did not assist pace bowling but there is a huge discrepancy in terms of statistics between the South African and Indian bowlers. Sreesanth was the most disappointing of the lot, playing in all 3 matches. He averaged 69 with the ball and had an appalling strike rate of 122.

I believe with a little less complacency and more motivation India could have won this series. India have been in tremendous form for about a year now- batsmen like Dhoni, Ganguly and Laxman have been consistent and this series we even saw Sehwag returning back to form. In terms of bowling Harbhajan regained form and all of RP, Sreesanth and Irfan Pathan appeared in good nick before the series. Plus, India is always a very strong Test side at home, almost unbeatable. South Africa do get the credit for upsetting India in the 2nd Test and going neck to neck with them in the 1st Test, although they lost the 3rd Test miserably. In the end, because India came back from heavy defeat in the 2nd Test and beat South Africa convincingly in the 3rd, this series can be best described as an even contest, where both teams played some quality cricket but also demonstrated some weaknesses which they should recognise and attempt to address in the coming future.

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  1. #1 by khansahab on April 14, 2008 - 9:33 PM

    Dear LS visitors,

    Thank you all for your help and support that has made LS what it is. It has come to our attention that recently Bangladesh’s coach Jamie Siddons probably read the title of our previous thread, “Consistency is the key”, because he has used that exact phrase in a recent interview. The previous thread composed by Javed A Khan previewed the Pakistan vs Bangladesh series.
    Please note the following:

    “Pakistan vs Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, Lahore

    Sing when you’re winning

    Osman Samiuddin in Lahore

    April 13, 2008

    Above all, Bangladesh might as well have adorned an alternative kit altogether for they looked a different side to the one that played the first game at this stadium only a few days ago. “Consistency is the key,” Siddons said, feet firmly grounded as always. “We want to continue to keep making competitive totals. We need to be consistent. In the past, we’ve dropped back after good performances and become bad again. We can’t keep doing that.”

    ———————————————————-
    Abdul, to answer your question in the previous thread, no I don’t play cricket anymore although I used to play a few years back. Now my interest in cricket is more academic and I feel I observe more about cricket from wider reading and analysis than actually playing cricket. When I used to play I was mainly a medium fast bowler. I was an expert in swinging the ball and bowling yorkers. I was never a useful batsman but sometimes used to playing attackingly batting left handed although I am a right hander. When I played in practice sessions and informal matches, I could also bowl leg spin, off spin and left arm medium pace.

  2. #2 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 14, 2008 - 10:18 PM

    Hey guys ….. Hi there.

    Due to some personal reasons I was unable to comment on the previous thread hence I couldn’t answer some of the questions posed by a few bloggers.

    First, about this thread on India’s win against SA and drawing the series I would like to say that India took a nice revenge, it was a real tit for tat reply. When the Indians were bundled out in 3 days in the second test I said, I reckon India had never lost a test match within 3 days. Now I have to say the same thing for SA. In any case it is good to see that the South Africans had to face the taste of their own medicine.

    I agree with Pandit jee that they don’t have a good spinner in their side. Also, the fact that SA is not a side that can intimidate and dominate the opposition like the Australians or the mighty West Indies of the late seventies and eighties used to do. The Proteas are wussies and crumble like a cookie and they have never performed under pressure. Their team do not possess the finishing qualities. On their day they are good, but on their day Pakistan can be the best team in the world, the point is “consistency” which is the key.

    Abdul

    My opinion about Mushtaq Ahmad is my personal opinion so there is no need to challenge it by saying: How can u not be impressed by the record of Mushtaq Ahmed . He is a matchwinning magican. He is the greatest spinner Pakistan has produced and we need someone like the calibure of him in this Pakistan line up.

    If you take some time to check out the stats of Mushtaq Ahmad you will see that he was a mediocre bowler. He should thank Imran Khan who allowed him to play even when he was ineffective and did not perform well. Just like, Butt and Akmal are getting repeated chances from Malak. If you get so many chances then once in blue moon you perform.

    Butt has scored a century in the 3rd ODI but, I am not impressed like khansahab said, he is good only against minnows and against India. Also, my prediction about Nasir Jamshed that if he fails again he will be out of the team turned out to be correct. He is reportedly injured but, that is how they announce like, they wanted to get rid of Kumble and they said, he is injured. Dhoni has proved to be a better captain than Kumble who applies negative and defensive tactics. Jamshed lost the golden opportunity and he has to work hard to get back in to the team or buy some Amul Butter.

    Naumanullah, the replacement for Nasir Jamshed is getting a chance and he has to grab this opportunity with both hands and score not only 70 – 80 odd runs in both matches but, he needs to play sensibly and not emulate Jamshed who was emulating Afridi and Imran Nazir. Pakistan needs a stable opening pair and not a hooker Nazir or a defensive Butt.

    And Pandit ji, khansahab is right about Abdul Razzaq popye the sailor man. He used to be a good all-rounder but lately since he started eating spinach and only spinach and nothing but spinach he got a bit kug-goo and he looked very confused. Most of the time he was not sure whether to wear a helmet or a cap? So he used to come wearing both. Also, his problem was when he wanted to slog he used long handle, that was fine, but when he wanted to play defensively even then he used long handle and that was his mistake. Anyways, as far as Pakistan team is concerned he is history now.

    gtg, will write more later.

  3. #3 by samy on April 14, 2008 - 11:42 PM

    Good thread. The series was evenly contested and, was mostly played in the right spirit.
    India’s traditional weakness against pace was exposed at A’dabad. I wonder if it was the shock of finding grass on the pitch, after the batsman-friendly wickets in Australia and at Chennai, that unnerved them. They bounced back dramatically at Kanpur though.
    Overall, India can be happy with the performaces of Harbhajan, who has rediscovered his form, Ganguly, Sehwag and Ishant. Also, the Kanpur win was one of the rare instances of India winning a Test match without Tendulkar and Kumble.
    However, they still have a lot of work to do in tackling quality fast bowling. Dravid’s failure of converting starts into bigger scores is another worry factor, as is the poor showing of the pacers Sreesanth and RP Singh.
    As for SA, their traditional weakness, spin, too was exposed, as they struggled against even the part-time spinners. Their own spinner Harris looked quite ordinary.
    But they won’t be too disappointed with the tour overall. Their pacers mainly did a good job, and a couple of their younger batsmen, Amla and de Villiers, showed class and looked comfortable against spin, except at Kanpur of course.

  4. #4 by abdul on April 15, 2008 - 4:04 PM

    Khanshab, firstly great thread which must be applauded. Secoundly thanks for telling me about you playing cricket and I think in reply I will tell you about me.
    I play cricket as well as view and analyse the game. I play cricket as a legspinner who can decieve the batsmen in flight and turn the ball both ways. I am a handy lower order batsmen as well and am hoping my club team can win the league this year inshallah.

  5. #5 by abdul on April 15, 2008 - 7:45 PM

    Yes as I said above I play for a club in East London and just as I am with the leg slip blog am a commited and dedicated member of the club. I learn’t the signifigant art of leg spin from watching the likes of Mushtaq Ahmad and Shane Warne and am hoping to capture 50 wickets this season in order to help my team to win the league. I am useful with the bat to and have got a reputation of having good technique and ability to occupy the crease.

    It is very pleasing to see people arriving on this blog and it’s very pleasing to hear from them and there views. The blog is rocking currently and is an ideal platform to express our thoughts ,debate and argue over the game we all love.

  6. #6 by M. Y. Kasim, Houston. Tx. on April 15, 2008 - 7:54 PM

    India’s fight and comeback shows the difference between a team of disciplined and professional players from a bunch of “sifarishis”.

    It also highlight the dedication, devotion and above all, the accountability, of the men who runs the show.

  7. #7 by khansahab on April 15, 2008 - 8:17 PM

    MY KASIM,

    Sir, really nice to see you commenting on LS.

    All the best

  8. #8 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 15, 2008 - 8:31 PM

    Today’s breaking news is about IPL showing-off their muscles to the media.

    From now onwards cricinfo will not be able to print or publish the photographs of the players or the IPL games. They have imposed restrictions and curbs on publishing. Anyways, like I have said before both these leagues are getting attention only from a few die hard cricket fans and not everyone is keen to know whats going on?

    I think if the media boycotts complete coverage, then IPL will feel the pinch. Being monopolistic is not going to help their cause. They have to be more liberal and more open. I dunno what Pandit Jee has to say on this, but I am sure he will agree with me that the game of cricket is no more restricted to the stadiums but the whole world is their audience. It is the media that brings these games and the fun into our living rooms.

    Abdul

    It is good to know that you not only play cricket but you also deceive the batsmen in flight and turn the ball both ways, you seems to be a very talented person. I wish you all the best and may you live in very interesting times.

  9. #9 by Awas on April 15, 2008 - 10:06 PM

    India winning the third test was no doubt a sweet revenge for India. I was a bit disappointed though to see SA batting so poorly in the 2nd innings. If India’s last pair could manage to score over 30 runs then it shouldn’t have been so difficult for the premier batsmen. They certainly lived up to their chokers tag.

    If Sehwag and Bhajji did well then Kumble could have done really well on this wearing pitch as well. Javed A Khan – Kumble is definitely defensive and I also highlighted that in the previous thread. In the first test, he could have declared soon after Sehwag got out, but in the third test there was not much time to be defensive as it was just a matter of which team manages to outscore the other as there was no doubt that the pitch was going to help out the bowlers. So, after Ganguly’s knock, India’s tail did a commendable job to outscore SA.

  10. #10 by Pandit Surya Prakash Diwakar Tripathi on April 16, 2008 - 9:12 AM

    I ahve already said a bit about the India-SA series so I will not bore you guys by repeating myself.

    I will take this opportunity to talk about IPL though . I support IPL . I think that it is good that cricketers are able to earn money which is somewhat comparable to other top sportsmen and I also think that if IPL remains in a small window of 6 weeks in a year , other boards will accommodate them in their schedule .

    However , I dislike people who are running IPL and in particluar my dislike for Lalit Modi borders on hatred . People like him may have done some good because they have used their business acumen to help the BCCI generate more money . But I dislike his personality style and his nasty streak. And I dislike the way he is hellbent on destroying the careers of young men who are playing for ICL .

    Their are practical reasons for players to play in ICL . The international retirees are playing for a bigger bank balance than they already have and that is completely OK in my opinion . But the reasons (or compulsions) behind a 20 year old indian man’s decision to play in ICL are different . He makes this choice so that his parents could have a house bigger than the single bedroom government quarter where they currently live OR to help his parents organise his sister’s wedding OR to be able to afford the best medical treatment for his unwell grandmother. I may be a bit melodramatic (could be the bollywood hangover) but I am sure there are many who play in ICL for reasons not dissimlar to the above mentioned. The lack of empathy towards them shown by BCCI is criminal as far as I am concerned.

    I am not fully aware why the IPL is unhappy for the palyers pictures to be shown in the media but they need to have a very good reason to explain their actions. In today’s world the success of a series is gauged by the media coverage and TV ratings . And for IPL to put obstacles will be akin to apne paon pe kulhaadi marna .

    That’s all for now folks .

  11. #11 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 16, 2008 - 11:43 AM

    South Africa lost the third test in 3 days and to cover the embarrassment Mickey Mouse ……….. oooops Arthur the South African coach, has slammed at the BCCI for providing poor facilities to his team in Kanpur and called it, “below par in everything.” I guess he includes South African, batting, bowling and fielding in that everything? Kanpur is not a new venue for test matches or ODI, in fact test matches in Kanpur are being played for over 60 years, suddenly how come Kanpur has become such a below par in everything? Ronay say baaz nahee ayengay!

    This is a typical response from these teams which I call “rona, dhona aur naak surakna” kewn Pandit ji hai na? I remember England team used to bring their own microwave ovens and water bottles while touring India and Pakistan. Whenever they lost, they complained about food poisoning resulting from cheap curry!

    On the other hand they love the so called “cheap-curry” that gives them some extra runs. And when they were bowled out cheaply they say: ” A good curry always bites twice.” And now they are used to chilly and spices and don’t scream their heads off, thanks to the Bangladesh chefs in London restaurants who have acclimatised and tanned their “pale white Butts” by serving them hot n’ spicy cheap curry in their restaurants.

  12. #12 by abdul on April 16, 2008 - 5:36 PM

    Javed A Khan thanks for your sarcastic insults I was only replying to my speciality beecuase Khanshab mentioned he was an expert at bowling swing and yorkers. And ipart from your cricket views what are you an expert at playing cricket ? or don’t they have it in Canada.

    Meanwhile returning to “taliking cricket” the IPL buzz is certainly hotting up as is the county championship this year and agian Pakistan were ruthless aginst Bangla.

  13. #13 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 16, 2008 - 6:03 PM

    Pakistan has once again humbled out Bangladesh, however after restricting them to 109 for 8, it appeared that they will wrap the innings under 120 runs but, as usual the Pakistanis got slack and relaxed and allowed Shakib ul Hasan to score a century and his partnership with Mortaza was something to salvage some pride for Bangladesh.

    Bazid Khan scored 51 in 90 balls at one stage he scored only 6 runs in 39 balls. Fear is the key in case of such players, he knew that if he is out cheaply he will be a goner. So, he was reluctant to play shots or his natural game and was defensive throughout except for the 2 boundaries and a six. He may have come out of his shell much later but, 51 runs in 90 balls? I don’t think he would get another chance because against a stronger opposition by scoring slow you are a drag and a liability if you score at snail pace.

    Butt scored 74 but they spilled an easy chance and dropped him when he was on 16, once again the same point i.e., against stronger opposition and good fielding sides you don’t get such opportunities. Whatever the case may be Butt has cemented his place and tightened his pyjama’s ijaar-band for another 10 matches under Malak Saab’s Kaptaani.

    Abdul

    I have only copy pasted your own words and based on that I said you must be a talented person. Leave aside insulting you I don’t see any sarcasm in it, unless you hold some grudge against me for my not responding to your earlier question about your qualities which you so anxiously wanted to hear from me. And I responded by saying, I don’t know anything about you so how can I comment on how I feel about you?

    It is all there in black and white and you may browse it and read it for yourself. And, I am sorry that you feel insulted by someone acknowledging your talents and by wishing you all the best. Now, with this “itsy bitsy” experience of exchanging personal views, I can say that you appear to be a very sensitive person. Therefore, it is for this reason I do not wish to discuss personal matters on this blog.

  14. #14 by abdul on April 17, 2008 - 5:15 PM

    Javed A khan , sorry for accusing you of sarcastically insulting me. I looked at the statement from the wrong angle . I personally thought that u were saying that I was not only I play cricket but I am a shane warne ( sarcastic) because my qualitites in flight and of the pitch. Anyway it was a comlete misunderstanding and now I know a peron like u will not do that.

    My apologies – Abdul

    Back to taking cricket and IPL as today is the ve of multi millionaire competetion. It kicks off in Mumbai when the Bnaglare side take on the Kolkota tigers. The match features alot of godd players and it should be very intresting to watch. My personal favourites are KOLKOTA NIGHT RIDERS.

    Who are yours ? Is LS covering the tornament IPL ?

    Salaam

  15. #15 by hamza on April 17, 2008 - 7:48 PM

    an even contest it turned out to be. india were thrashed on a bowling friendly track but then thrashed SA on a spin friendly track.i agree with the writer that ganguly is in excellent form, his test performance has indeed overtaken his one day performance. it reminds me a bit of how inzi was in the best form of his life quite late in his career, in 2004-2005.

    SA are one of the worst players of spin. i like what javed khan has said about south africa, on their day they can be kings but then they also get beaten badly. SA pitches like england pitches are so pace friendly that it is hard for them to experience spin bowling and how the ball behaves on big cracks on the pitch.

    in australia the grounds have a lot of variety which is why they can play spin as well as pace.

  16. #16 by abdul on April 18, 2008 - 3:43 PM

    Khanshab ,Javed A Khan and Awas. This site is really looking good. It allows us passionate bloggers to express our views,thoughts , experties and analysis freely and easily. Nice to see so much cricket knowlegde arriving at one platform on the web and allowing us to debate and discuss over the game we all love .You 3 wonderful personalitites must be applauded for your efforts and dedication to making LS a success and I hope u cotinue the good work in the future.

    Unfortunatley I haven’t got the subscription package to watch the IPl which is a shame as I was keenly looking forward to the mega event. I wiil try to get watch some clips to get an idea of how procedings are taking place in India.

    I have got the cricinfo scorecard minimized here and Brendon Mcculum of Kolkota night riders is approaching 3 figures as I conclude my comment.

  17. #17 by Rehan Khan on April 18, 2008 - 6:35 PM

    Yes, McCullum is damn good. But he is no Shahid Afridi when it comes to mad hitting.

    Rehan Khan

  18. #18 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 19, 2008 - 5:18 AM

    I haven’t been watching TV for the last 10 days. Today, one of my friends who share the same package as I do called me and asked, if I have seen the IPL match and seen McCullum’s madness? I said, no I don’t have the package and he said, no you do have because, I have the same package as yours and they are showing on CBN which is Caribbean Network

    CBN shows a lot of matches on that channel, it is practically a cricket channel. Sometimes they show India / Pakistan Sharjah matches from their archives and when they are not showing cricket they show Indian Old songs Re-Mix. Perhaps I may see the next matches IF time permits. Its busy time of the year for me and this IPL / ICL don’t appeal to me unless it is India / Pakistan and that is a different story.

    Normally when it is not in my existing package and when India and Pakistan are playing then I buy that package and watch it. Only this McCullum blast has drawn some attention otherwise I wouldn’t have thought about watching IPL matches, besides they are showing on the channel which is already available for me under my existing package.

    I was told that it was a great knock. McCullum has twice done this recently, once against Bangladesh and the second time against England and both times he was close to breaking Afridi’s record of fastest century. But he ended up in eighties. Today he had all the time and the chance but, he took 53 balls to score 100 and another 20 balls to score the next 53 runs. His 13 sixes are a record. In any case scoring a century in a 20/20 match is always an achievement. Chris Gayle’s 100 with 10 sixes in SA during the T20 WC was a treat to watch. And so were Yuvraj’s six sixes.

    Afridi’s haters, after he blasted 37/100 were saying that he will never score a hundred like that again and thats a fluke, but he silenced many critics after his Kanpur massacre. Now, one of his haters on PakSpin was venting some venom against him and supporting Malik that Afridi must be dropped from the team and he can never score a hundred like that again!

    I have a feeling that he will score another one like that and not only that if he gets a chance to open the innings he will perhaps score even 200 in a 50 over match and blast over 20 sixes. Now, lets see who fumes over this statement?

  19. #19 by ahmed11 on April 19, 2008 - 9:47 AM

    the IPL started off in a grand manner with mccullum playing a scintillating innings. there is a lot of hype and i was amazed to see the number of people that came in. but it was a one sided contest, and proved that the side batting first will always have an edge. it doesnt matter that much what teams play in IPL, IMO all of them are equal and all have some excellent cricketers.

    for the past week of so lots of media reports have condemned the IPL, because it will hurt test cricket. when T20 cricket was being promoted madly by the ICC 2 years ago lots of people said that it wont affect test cricket. now the same people are saying something else. for the first time, people are having genuine concerns about the future of test cricket.

    because we have ICL, IPL and we also have T20 Cups and matches between diff countries, i think test cricket will definitely be affected and the game will just go down.

  20. #20 by khansahab on April 19, 2008 - 10:53 AM

    Ahmed11,

    Quite a few interesting points there. I believe the interest in IPL will diminish as the days go by. I was one of those who were apprehensive about the promotion of T20 cricket right from the start and now it is amusing to see many more people getting on the boat.

    However I think T20 cricket features certain aspects that will eventually bore people. Firstly, the side batting first seems to win most of the times which makes the result largely predictable. Secondly, whereas too much certainty in Tests and ODI’s as to which team will probably win (such as Australia) is a bad thing for fans that don’t support Australia or another strong team, in T20 you see the landscape changes the other way round. Hence you will see teams like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe beating Australia at times, something which you know will hardly ever happen in Test or ODI cricket. I also have a problem with this because we all know T20 cricket is not how cricket is meant to be played and we all know that when “real cricket” will be played the result is likely to be completely different.
    I am of opinion that these factors will gradually decrease interest in T20 cricket which will obviously affect IPL and ICL.

    Coming on to Pakistan vs Bangladesh, I am surprised at the selection of Naumanullah for the 5th ODI. He is almost 33 years old and the team management should have gone with a younger player. I don’t see what Fawad Alam did wrong in this series, considering he was never permitted by Malik to bowl more than 6 overs in any match, and he was never promoted in the batting order ahead of Misbah or Malik himself. Knowing Malik he will probably not give any worthwhile chance to Naumanullah to prove himself anyway- so I am really perplexed at his selection. Maybe Malik was scared Fawad might do something extraordinary in front of his home crowd which would mean that Malik and Misbah’s place in the team might be on the line in future series?

    Kamran Akmal has been dismissed playing a pathetic shot with no footwork and giving catching practice to the fielder. I am often surprised at how Akmal’s supporters give evidence of his batting stats to justify his place in the team. Firstly a wicketkeeper should be a reliable keeper first and then a batsman. Secondly Akmal scores runs by fluke, his batting technique is very ordinary and he will finds it very hard to score against good sides. In domestic cricket he may be a good batsman and better than Sarfraz Ahmed but Pakistan need to start grooming Sarfraz because Akmal has already faced many ups and downs in his career and cannot be relied upon. It is ridiculous how Sarfraz is always selected in the squad by selectors but is not given any chances by Malik.

    Malik has recently stated that he wants to break the record of consecutive wins or something like that. What a farce, boasting like this against minnow teams. He also said something like, “Winning is winning and it’s not my fault we are playing a weak team- it is out of my control”. That is a very brainless thing to say because winning against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe is definitely different from winning against Australia or South Africa. Bangladesh are so low on motivation and are generally so pathetic in every department that a club side in Pakistan can beat them without many problems.

  21. #21 by abdul on April 19, 2008 - 5:37 PM

    Javed, I can’t belive u are not excited by the ever so exciting and competetive IPl. I mean the atnomsphere at the stadiums was electric and full house. In the first match we saw an excellent exhibition of creative and orthodox stroke play from Mcculum. The next game was a thriller between Chenai and Mohali I mean the game was a batting feast. And just like LS is a great platform for so much cricket knowlegge and views to arrive on one wonderful online blog the same applies to the IPl whcih has the icons of the game all competing in one massive competetion.

    Anyway Pakistan have just completed a whitewash series victory against Bangla. Pakistan are unbeaten this year and to add to there victory against India at Jaipur last year they have won 11 consecutive one day internationals. I maybe looking to exadgerate on the victories against the minnows but I’m with captain Malik on this one. lets try to break the record of the most consecutive odi victories. Why not hey , records are there to be broken no matter what opposition they are against.

  22. #22 by Awas on April 19, 2008 - 7:16 PM

    IPL – The big international stars are here for easy pickings as far as money is concerned and why not. That is all there is though.

    I watched some of the match between Punjab and Chennai and I was not too surprised that there were large swathes of grounds almost empty even though there were some big stars including Yuvraj and Dhoni and not forgetting some big international stars. On the contrary not so star studded sides of Rajasthan and Delhi had more crowd presence. So as far as crowd behaviour is concerned it’s a bit erratic right now but these are early days.

    My views are well known on ICL/IPL Tamasha as the one big factor missing here is national passion. After the novelty is worn off the things will be different. Kapil Dev has in fact realised much sooner and is already talking about rounding up some more international X1’s. That is no doubt the way to go as support for your own national side is the most important factor missing.

    ahmed11 – It’s good to have your views here and are appreciated but the thought that Test Cricket will fade away some how is not something I agree. That is in fact the real test of how to play and win a test match. I have no doubt test playing countries are determined to play real cricket with each other and so are the players. We fans know and they all know what is real.

    A thumping victory in the last ODI too but it was really disappointing that none of the newcomers were given a proper chance. Afridi played well as a bowler as usual but disappointed us fans again with his airy-fairy shot. By the way, Pakistan’s standing in the ICC table doesn’t improve no matter how many times they keep beating minnows. On the other hand if Bangladesh had won even a single match Pakistan would have dropped by at least 2-3 points. ICC calculations are based on a complicated formula that takes into account your current standings against the opposing team.

  23. #23 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 19, 2008 - 11:19 PM

    abdul

    I like to watch cricket, whereas, this IPL is just like a 3 hour Bollywood movie which people go to see at the local cinema house where there is dance, music, fun. And in this IPL showbiz there’s also some cricket. And this cricket is not the same as when India Pakistan plays or England – Australia plays or West Indies and South Africa play against each other. Among the Indians it will work, because they like this kinda glamour. That is what most Indians like, but it is not my cup of tea. I also don’t like one sided matches like Pak Bangla or Pak Zim. I like exciting cricket, where the competition is stiff and the match goes down to the wire.

    The IPL guys have brought a few dozen Cheer Leaders from the USA and those kakees and kuri’s are dancing at every four or six or at the wicket. This is not cricket. Fireworks, I see a lot, in this city where I live, every year for 2 months (June – July) twice a week we have fireworks from 10:00 to 10:30 p.m. and they are done by different countries like a competition and the fireworks are synchronized with a musical theme which you can hear on the FM radio while you are sitting in your living room or in your car and watching the fireworks.

    The fireworks on a cricket ground are when someone is blazing with his bat, I missed Brendon McCullum’s innings but I saw, Hussey’s hundred and sorry to say that it wasn’t that fun watching him hitting 7 sixes on a small Mohali ground.

    Once again the city where I live is very glamorous and vibrant and it is full of life and I see it everyday so watching a few cheer leaders on the TV is not what I want to see. I would enjoy a good game of cricket rather watching a bollywood movie. The last time I saw a bollywood movie at someone’s house (forced to see was, Taray Zameen par) was six months ago. In my house I haven’t seen an Indian movie since the last 2 years and I haven’t seen an Indian movie in a cinema house since ages. I have seen other movies on big screen but not Indian. Its not that I don’t like Indian movies, I prefer only the comedy ones (like Haira Phairy etc., and I like Paresh Rawal etc.) or may be an art movie. I don’t like Shahrukh Khan, Shitty Mitty, Govinda Shoveinda. I am sorry thats my personal choice and taste. Btw, abdul all that I have mentioned above is not just for you its simply my loud thinking c’est ca.

  24. #24 by khansahab on April 20, 2008 - 7:51 PM

    It was an interesting T20 match today from Pakistan’s perspective. Brilliant innings played by Misbah who was ably supported by Younis who appears to have returned to form.

    Bangladesh need to improve in all areas really. There is no area they are particularly good at. Their spin attack is a saving grace but then the fielders and pacers don’t always complement the spin attack. Everything is linked; that is why strong teams like Australia excel in everything whether it is bowling, batting, handling pressure, fielding, team motivation/morale, good planning, good field placing etc. As an example, Abdur Razzak and Shakib al Hasan can bowl at a good line every now and then but under pressure they can crumble very easily and end up bowling poor balls. The Bangladeshis have a lot of work to do; they are quite below the mark according to my observation. If South Africa or Australia was playing this current Pakistani side in the same conditions, the result would likely have been 3-2 or 4-1 in favour of the visiting team.

    I think Umar Gul is an overrated bowler although he is amongst the better bowlers Pakistan has got. Apart from Shoaib Akhtar the only world class bowler is Mohammad Asif but his fitness is a problem. I find Gul overrated because he gets injured a lot of times, because he loses his line and length very easily and I also don’t think he has as much variety as Asif does.

    It was nice to see Mansoor Amjad taking wickets. He looks like a confident youngster who understands the game well and he can also bat. Although Afridi has performed consistently with the ball, I somehow feel Amjad is a threat to Afridi’s place in the team because Amjad’s batting is more predictable. As far as bowling goes, he is a specialist legspinner anyway. Plus Amjad appeared to be very friendly with senior players like Malik, Misbah, Butt and Akmal.

    I feel Malik should have asked Fawad Alam to bowl at least one over. Although this tour of Bangladesh has proven to be a feather in Malik’s cap, not least because he broke the record winning 11 games consecutively, Malik’s under utilisation of Fawad and Naumanullah in the 3rd, 4th and 5th ODI’s would have been noted. It is quite striking that whereas a leading bowler and former vice captain of the team Mohammad Asif can be rested to give a chance to someone new like Wahab Riaz, why can’t Misbah, Yousuf or Younis be rested to give a chance to someone like Fawad, so that Fawad can play in the rested batsman’s position? Why can’t Akmal be rested for one or two matches to make way for Sarfraz? These are sensitive, yet very important questions.

  25. #25 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 20, 2008 - 10:28 PM

    After this Bangladesh series whitewash, the Pakistani players who shall be playing for IPL, a lot depends on their performance in the IPL matches. No one else but Afridi’s performance would be under the microscope. If he performs well in IPL, they won’t touch him, but in case if he fails then they will be after him. Although in the ODI series he is the highest wicket taker (12 wickets) yet people would be looking at him with a jaundiced eye and targeting him that he is not performing with the bat, hence he should be dropped.

    Khansahab

    it is too early to predict about Mansoor Amjad except for the fact that he has a Sialkoti domicile and Punjabi passport which will definitely help him getting a resident visa in the playing eleven. But, taking 3 wickets in one over and that too of Bangladeshi tail-enders is nothing but a fluke and even if it is not a fluke still it is not important.

    The other day Maharoof bowled 4 overs took 2 wickets for 11 runs and today Hafeez bowled 4 overs and took one wicket for only 8 runs is a far better bowling performance than Mansoor Amjad’s one time one over 3 runs and 3 wickets.

  26. #26 by theossa on April 21, 2008 - 3:31 PM

    Australia announced touring Pak twice in two years with five ODIs and a Twenty20 in early 2009 and three tests in August 2010. Pakistan will tour Australia according to their schedule. Sounds like a clever move by Australia to avoid paying Pakistan for lost revenues. Now, I don’t believe their commitment and I’ll ask, what will change in Pakistan in 2009 and 2010? What if a gas cylinder goes off and Australians hear a loud sound? Wouldn’t they run for their lives? If things are quite, I can see them just finishing the first tour in 2009, playing a short tour of five ODIs and a Twenty20, making sure Pak tours Australia as scheduled and then who cares? They’ll find another excuse. May be I’m just bitter.

    IPL could be huge success if matches are close contests and big name stars click. Like some readers pointed out, one sided games, lack of national factor, and head start by ICL could undermine IPL’s potential. I personally don’t see anything wrong with IPL. Good business move. I like Hyderabad’s team because it includes two of favorite characters, Gilchrist and Afridi. I hope they let Afridi open the innings with Gilchrist so we could enjoy more gore than Alien vs Predator movies.

    Javed, if Afridi stays for 50 overs, his score will be more like 400. I don’t know who decides his batting order? He should open in all ODIs played at subcontinent wickets. He will be more useful at No. 6 in Australia, England, and South Africa. In all tests he should be playing down the order. He had a very good series so far. Being top wicket taker is another statement for his all round capabilities. I went fishing and to my luck, the last few days were hot around Pittsburgh area so I could not catch any trout the first day of the season. But that changed yesterday, it was cloudy with sporadic showers, I caught a 22” Palomino and a 17” Rainbow, beautiful fish, six in total. I usually release them after catch. Just to make you feel good the Accord I drive has only 167 hp with 4 cylinders. Enjoy the 302 hp till you get married.

    Khansahab, Gul and Asif are just coming off injuries so they were not 100 percent. Hopefully they’ll regain their full fitness in IPL. Btw Gul when fit is a better ODI and Twenty20 bowler than Asif. Asif is brilliant in tests.

    This Pak-BD series was a big waste of opportunity. What Pak had to lose by trying young talent? It was Bangladesh for goodness sake.

  27. #27 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 21, 2008 - 4:16 PM

    Cannot agree more with you Theossa, you aren’t sounding any bitter that is the truth about Australian attitude, they have very thoughtfully played their cards and poor Naghmi and DNA have no choice but to surrender. And you are right if a gas cylinder burst, then they will pack their bags and catch the first flight to Sydney.

    On Afridi, by saying he might score 400 in 50 overs you are actually making his haters fume. If he was allowed to open the innings against Bangladesh, at least in one of the matches he may have scored big but, that is Malik & Co.’s strategy not to give him a chance to free his arms when there are field restrictions during the power play. That is because he is a threat to Malik. His bowling is definitely very effective in the ODI’s and T20’s and despite being the highest wicket taker in this series no one is giving him a compliment for that. On the contrary his haters are demanding a replacement from Sialkot.

    As regards IPL, like I have said before it may be good for a lot of die hard cricket fans, but me, I am not that keen. For e.g., right now there is a live match on the TV between Rajhastan Royals and Punjab and I am not paying any attention because there is no sense of competition. Whereas, if this was an India / Pakistan match I would have been glued to the TV set.

    Good that you have started fishing, here the weather has just started to improve and snow hasn’t melted completely. But, there is plenty of sunshine since the last 4 – 5 days and the temp is rising so finally it is looking like spring is around the corner. In Quebec there are a couple of rivers called Matapedia and Cascapedia, very famous for Salmon fishing. Take a look at the links below:

    http://www.cgrmp.com/mariver.html

    http://cascapediabook.com/

    I have been here a few times and enjoyed Salmon fishing, you are allowed to take only one fish per person the rest you release. Generally one salmon is big enough to enjoy, but I am not a salmon meat fan, its heavy. I like white meat fish which is light and flaky and the fish I like is called Grouper, in Dubai its called Hamour. It gives an amazing fight and it tastes delicious. The other one is Sultan Ebrahimi I don’t know the English name but here is a picture link of that fish below. It has an amazing taste.

    http://flickr.com/photos/mathias_m/45382062/

  28. #28 by theossa on April 21, 2008 - 5:57 PM

    Very interesting Javed, I never got a chance to catch a Grouper while I lived in Karachi, Pak. I checked the images on Google and boy this fish can Grow! Well, you mentioned the Grouper’s ability to fight; I bet it can take small people down. Hey, the Sultan Ebrahimi fish you mentioned is called Heera locally and Red Snapper in English. This is btw one cheap fish in Karachi. Another cheap fish, which also tastes great, is Ladyfish. It’s a small transparent like fish. Two other great tasting fish we used to catch in Karachi Coast are Grunter (locally known as Dhotar) and Paplet. By the size ratio, I think Trout gives the fieriest fight. The stream I go to fish are also trout stock streams so any trout you catch that is stocked tastes like canned fish. I like the tastes of wild trout, check the images of Brook and Rainbow trout. They are two beautiful fish. When I first caught a Brook, I was just doped by its beauty. I actually like the taste of Salmon, my wife makes it with lemon pepper seasoning or garlic butter. I like it grilled or baked. I Never got a chance to catch one though. The Matapedia River is breathtaking. May be one day I’ll plan to fish there. I have to show the pictures to my wife. A lot my colleagues go hunt and fish in Canada.

    It’s amazing how circumstances are in favor of Malik, Punjab domicile, gift of brown nosing, and a flood of matches against minnows. I remember he sat out against England because he injured his thumb. Here in Pittsburgh, a Pittsburgh Steelers player named Jerome Battis played a playoff game and that too of a very physical nature with three broken ribs by taking pain killing shots, just for his teammates and his team. How an injured thumb would hurt a cricket batsman? Afridi and Younis get the criticism because they don’t bow to the injustice of the Board. On the other hand hats off to Yousuf what a selfless gentleman.

  29. #29 by Awas on April 21, 2008 - 6:12 PM

    Now you guys are making my mouth water. I love fish. Javed that Sultan Ebrahimi surly looks like Red Mullet to me (or perhaps Red Snapper as theossa mentions), a very tasty fish indeed and the other one I like is Sea bass. I am not a fan of Salmon, it’s usually very dry. Occasionally I eat smoked Salmon but that’s all. The other tasty fish is Pakistani Rahu, otherwise known as Indian Carp. Every time, I go to Pakistan, my Mum pan fires Masala Rahu for me as she knows how much I like it. I gorge myself on it for the first couple of days and then she gives me a piece at least every other day as a side dish.

    On Afridi, guys, it is perfectly possible that he himself doesn’t want to open because I remember once last year, Afridi came to open in a match and upon answering a question Malik mentioned that in this match “Shahid Bhai” volunteered to open suggesting at the same time that Afridi himself prefers to come down the order. I can only surmise Afridi has a free choice and a free hand where he wants to bat. In the penultimate match against Bangla, he came much earlier when there were about 20 overs still left and my comment was “it looks like he promoted himself”. He just needs to be a touch more sensible not to play airy-fairy shots so early in his innings. It will be interesting to have our resident Afridi expert khansahab’s views here as usually he is quite objective on these issues.

  30. #30 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 21, 2008 - 6:29 PM

    Theossa

    I hope others are not bored with our fishing expeditions. Btw, Sultan Ebrahimi is not red snapper. Red Snapper in Arabic is Hamra which means red and it is much bigger than Sultan Ebrahimi. SE is much smaller and has lighter meat meaning less fat and has amazing taste especially when you grill it on charcoal or even pan fry it. I will give you a recipe thru email, try that. Cat fish and mackerel also gives tough fight. The fun of catching mackerel is while you are trolling. I’ve also gone trout fishing @ saiful-mulook lake, more than fishing it was the picturesque view of the lake and the mountains that inspired me.

    About Matapedia fishing, the hotel I stayed in Matapedia, can’t remember its name but in the lobby they ‘ve hung pictures of famous celebrities who stayed there and among them are 5 former US presidents who came on a private visit to fish in that river and stayed in that hotel. Btw, I never caught lady fish but, I ate a lot, same about Paplate or Pomfret fish. The best pomfret is Iranian pomfret from the Persian Gulf.

    You are absolutely right about YK and Afridi not bowing and bending in front of the selectors and the PCB officials. You are right about, Shoaib Malik he is such a spineless character, I remember during Inzamam’s captaincy when Inzi shuffled his batting order, he said, “I am happy, I can play for my team at any batting order” such a sucker, he can do anything from chamcha-giri to backbiting. He used Nadia Khan show on TV to clear off his marriage scandals in which he tried to prove his innocence and lied blatantly.

    I agree with khansahab on Naumanullah’s selection he is already 33 what are they expecting from him? Why can’t they give chance to other younger players?

    Btw, is anyone watching the Stanley Cup play-offs? Montreal plays the final game tonight against Boston at the Bell Centre. To me it appeared that the last 3 games were rigged and fixed. Because Montreal won the first 3 and allowed Boston to win the next three. The $200 ticket is on black market for $1000 for the seventh and final game.

  31. #31 by theossa on April 21, 2008 - 7:17 PM

    Awas, Rahu is indeed one of the tastiest fresh water fish in Pakistan. The best again is Trout. It’s only seasonal though. In the months of January and February if you get a chance to go to Jahangeera, comes right after crossing Attock Bridge into NWFP, look for the roadside fish restaurants. Ask to pay the guy more if he gets you a fresh catch. They look a lot like Steel Head Rainbow Trout in U.S. Locals over there call it “Spinkee”. Beware native trout will be just 6” to 8” long.

    Javed, I sporadically watch the Pittsburgh Penguins games. They pretty much routed the Ottawa Senators by 3-1 in the play offs. San Jose Sharks, Detroit Redwings, and Montreal Canadiens are indeed strong contenders but Penguins are a young team and with the likes of Crosby and Malkin we have a shot at the Stanley Cup. It’s a matter of getting hot in the play offs. I can’t believe Montreal is up for a decider! Everyone put their money on them. Match fixing is something hockey cannot afford, I think it’s more of a fight back by Boston and fatigue of the Candiens players due to long season and fan pressure, after all hockey in Canada is like Football in U.S.

  32. #32 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 21, 2008 - 9:02 PM

    Awas

    Yes, it could be Red Mullet but not Red Snapper. And Rahu in Punjab or Palla Macchi of Sindh are indeed very tasty and I love eating fish and also going on fishing trips. Here, in lakes we have small boats with battery powered engines, so no sound no pollution. And, yes I love smoke salmon but not when it is cooked any other way, I don’t mind eating it but I would prefer any white fish over pink. (no racism intended here)

    Theossa

    I know where Jahangeera is but never tried fish or even stopped there for any meal. Once we had something at a Dhabba near Naushera on the highway and the food was amazing with hot brown tandoori breads. In Pasni Gawadar the Baluchis prepare fish by pressing it between two huge hot stones, thats good too. As far as shrimps and prawns are concerned Omani shrimps are nicer than any other I have tried, including the sweet water tiger shrimps.

    I won’t dismiss the argument that there is no betting in hockey. I saw all the six matches and the way the Canadiens played was obvious in the fourth game after scoring a goal in the first part they slacked in the second part 1-1 and in the third part they were down 5-1. A lot of locals were saying that its all rigged and fixed because there is a lot of money involved in it and if the playoff is over with Montreal winning 4-0 in a 7 match round then people would loose interest and to create interest they fixed it this way. Anyways, back to cricket.

    Awas

    Afridi has just mentioned today about breaking Brendum McCullum’s record, he said, its a very difficult target to break but, IF, I am promoted, I will give it a try. which means he wants to play at the top, rather open the innings. The point that Theossa and I were trying to make is in a 50 over game, during the power play he can hit shots over the fielders head, only once in this series he was clean bowled otherwise they got him caught near the boundary.

    I agree that if him and Gilchrist opens the innings for Deccan Chargers and get going they both can put up a record partnership or the team can break a 300 barrier in T20. The Deccan Chargers have good bating line up but their bowling seems to be weak to me. Styris, Afridi and Symonds are all similar type of bowlers there isn’t any fast bowler in the team, may be if they have then it must be an unknown Indian youngster in that team. But, batting wise they are pretty strong on paper. With Rohit Sharma and Laxman from India and the other three I have mentioned their names above.

    However, it is not the strong batsmen or best players in the team that makes the difference, it is the blending and gelling of the players as a team that will make them a winning a team. The Kings XI Punjab had so many star players yet they lost to Rajhastan Royals. And that Lehman guy is a spent force, there is no need to keep him in the squad, hopefully when Graeme Smith is back and YK is included in the team they will be a strong team.

  33. #33 by Awas on April 21, 2008 - 9:41 PM

    Javed A Khan

    I can guess you are not racist so there must be something pink that you must like, if it’s not Salmon then it must be some other flesh ;)-

    In order to break McCullum’s record Afridi will surly need to open and that’s what he is talking about as he knows he may not have as much choice in IPL as he may in Pak team but my point about ODI’s was that it is not always Afridi’s preference to open even though us fans would like him to do so.

  34. #34 by khansahab on April 21, 2008 - 10:10 PM

    I feel like I know Malik, Butt, Misbah and Akmal, the 4 best friends and representatives of the strongest mafia in the current team, like the back of my hand. When I realised Naumanullah was to be given a chance in the final ODI, I immediately predicted Malik would not use him at all.

    The tragedy is how late Afridi and Naumanullah actually came to bat whereas these two players needed to be promoted up the order. I felt sorry for the foreign commentator Jeremy Coney who kept shouting in surprise, “I don’t know why Naumanullah is not being promoted up the order!” Poor Jeremy doesn’t know about the dirty politics and regionalism so deep rooted in the PCB culture. Looking at Pakistan’s solid start there was no chance Bangladesh could win the final match. Also, Pakistan had already won the series 4-0 and there was no excuse to not send Naumanullah at no 4 or 5.

    Awas, I agree with you that Malik stated Afridi bats wherever he wants to. But Afridi has made a few statements after that incident where he has expressed a desire to bat higher up, especially when playing against weaker teams. Afridi has no set place in the batting line up so he should be used whenever the circumstances warrant his utilisation the most. So if the openers have done well and the bowling side is low on confidence, Afridi should definitely be promoted as the loss of his wicket would not affect the team much at that kind of stage.

    In fact I believe that Afridi can even be used as a makeshift opener if Pakistan can’t find someone reliable to bat alongside Butt or Jamshed. This will provide an opportunity for some able youngster like Fawad Alam or Mansoor Amjad to play in the team.

    On Pakspin I suggested Afridi be made captain with immediate effect. His place in the Test side is questionable but if Younis Khan can become an ODI regular despite having an average of 32 only, which is rather ordinary for a no 3 batsman, then why can’t Afridi be played in Tests? Afridi is not any more incompatible with Tests as Younis is with ODI’s. Plus the advantage Afridi would have as far his batting would is considered, is that he can bat whenever he feels like and will have greater responsibility on his shoulders. He can vary his batting position and at the end of the day he would only have himself to blame for any poor performance. He does realise this risk and is prepared to accept it.

    A year has gone since Malik took over and Pakistan cricket is still suffering. A year is a long time and under Malik we have seen no substantial changes. One of the things people expected from the Malik era was that he would be able to encourage more youngsters into the team on accounts of being a (relative) youngster himself, but his shabby treatment of Fawad Alam and Sarfraz Ahmed goes against that expectation. Butt was considered Pakistan’s premier opener this time round last year and he is still in the team despite only performing against minnows. Pakistan has slipped in the Test rankings and in ODI’s it is still at the same level as it was last year. This is what PCB should do now:

    ODI’s:
    Change the players according to the requirements of the game. In ODI’s Malik should be played as an all rounder, Afridi should be captain and Younis should be excluded. Fawad Alam should come in for Younis. Although Yousuf is a great batsman his fielding lets the team down too much and I feel a young player should replace him. I feel Misbah is OK in the middle order. So I would go with:

    1)Opener 1
    2)Afridi
    3)Malik
    4)Misbah
    5)Fawad Alam
    6)Sarfraz Ahmed
    7)Mansoor Amjad (or someone who can bat in the middle order)
    8)Sohail Tanvir
    9)Yasir Arafat/Rao Ifthikar (or someone like Yasir who is in good form)
    10)Rao/Wahab Riaz
    11)Asif

    Tests:
    Malik should be omitted from Tests and so must Misbah- I don’t think Misbah is a Test player. He is the best in T20 and then OK in ODI’s. Younis and Yousuf should be included in the Test side:

    1)Opener 1
    2)Afridi or opener 2
    3)Yousuf
    4)Younis
    5)Specialist batsman or Afridi
    6)Fawad Alam or someone like him who can bat
    7)Sarfraz Ahmed
    8)Specialist spinner be it Mansoor Amjad, Kaneria or anyone else
    9)Rao
    10)Sohail Khan/Umar Gul/Express fast bowler
    11)Asif

    T20:
    This is where the widest discretion can be employed- both Malik and Misbah can be slotted here but Yousuf and Younis are a definite no-no. Gul who can bowl yorkers should be used here but Asif isn’t as necessary although he can help when the new ball is swinging:

    1)Opener 1, slogger
    2)Afridi
    3)Malik
    4)Misbah
    5)Fawad
    6)Sarfraz
    7)Mansoor Amjad or other all rounder
    8)Sohail Tanvir
    9)Yasir Arafat or someone who can also bat a bit
    10)Rao/Sohail Khan/Wahab Riaz
    11)Gul

  35. #35 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 22, 2008 - 3:10 AM

    WoW

    khansahab, your comments are like the last straw on the camel’s back and for your information after this comment of yours there is a new thread on PakSpin and it is about Malik and his pathetic performance. Kamran Abbassi has called these wins as pyrrhic victories and I have rubbed some salt over the wounds of ” Malak TutanKhamen,” read my comments there.

    I would like to keep my comments sweet, short and brief because you have said it all very nicely. Good going.

  36. #36 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 22, 2008 - 10:23 AM

    Correction:

    In my comments above I wrote that the Deccan Chargers do not have any fast bowlers in the team, may be if they have then it must be an unknown Indian youngster in that team.

    I stand corrected after seeing the names of Chaminda Vaas and RP Singh in their team and there is a local player called Ohja who took the wickets of Ganguly and Mohammad Hafeez in the earlier matches. The point is who is playing and how many bowlers will be used? In the previous match Symonds was not effective and he gave away too many runs besides bowling too many wides.

    The next IPL match is in Hyderabad India between Delhi Dare Devils and Deccan Chargers and the ex-Damaad of Hyderabad (son-in-law who out lawed his in laws) shall be representing his team DDD under Sehwag’s captaincy. Before his departure from Pakistan Malik announced that may be Sehwag may not include him in the playing XI because there are already 8 overseas players in that team. So, Malik is now finding himself in shallow waters and started to understand his true worth that if he is not the captain of Pakistan side then he should be feeling the same as he is feeling now about his place in the playing XI for Delhi Dare Devils.

  37. #37 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 22, 2008 - 4:11 PM

    The big guns of Deccan Chargers flopped and fell like a deck of cards, except for Rohit Sharma’s brilliant batting that saved the blemishes for the so-called strong batting home team and they managed to put up a decent 142 otherwise the DC would have turned into AC. I have said this before it is the gelling and blending of the players that matters and not just the names.

    Asif got two wickets of Gilchrist and Laxman, the first one was pure luck as Gilly played a wide one on to his stumps, but the ball that got Laxman was a beauty. I think Captain Laxman himself is a big liability in the team. He is not considered by his own team even for ODI’s and T20 is not his forte at all. But, he will be there in every single match like a drag.

    The Delhi Dare Devils have a good bowling line up and they used it very well. Even the two local lads charged up in the company of Glen McGrath and Asif. Farveez Maharoof’s first two overs were excellent but Rohit Sharma plundered 26 runs in one over to spoil his stats.

    Lets see how the DDD batsmen cope the bowling of Chaminda Vaas and RP Singh. A lot depends on Gambhir and Sehwag. I think Sehwag is extremely lucky not to be given out LBW by the umpire on the first ball he faced from Vaas, he was plumb and the hawk eye confirmed. Whereas Miss Saheba was very quick in raising his finger for Afridi.

  38. #38 by theossa on April 22, 2008 - 4:14 PM

    Javed, Like you said, “A lot depends on Gambhir and Sehwag”. So If Hyderabad gets rid of them in first 10 overs, Hyderabad wins. Delhi has the edge though.

  39. #39 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 22, 2008 - 4:24 PM

    Theossa

    I guess U2 are watching the match, I had nothing to do at the moment so I am watching this match, although my interest was lost after quick 5 wickets were down and I thought they will be out for 80-85 runs. But, Rohit played a great knock I like this young man he is very calm, cool and composed and the good thing is he doesn’t show his intent to the bowler and remains in the crease. Venugopal Rao the opener played like Butt, he wasted so many opportunities and was unable to connect, because of him the team did not score well. And I think he has just dropped Sehwag. DDD are off on a flying coach with 30 runs in 3 overs. Its not that they have the edge, they are definitely going to win this match.

  40. #40 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 22, 2008 - 5:30 PM

    A cat has 9 lives and Sehwag got 1/3 of that; a plumb LBW decision in his favour when he was on Zero; a dropped catch when he was in his teens and a missed stumping chance when he was in his sixties. He ended up with 94 n.o. in 41 balls. Like the great mathematician Archimedes said, “give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the earth.” You give Sehwag such opportunities and he will plunder and destroy the opposition.

    Like I predicted 142 was not good enough for the DC’s to defend and DD will win it comfortably and they did. The second last over bowled by Andrew Symonds resembled like a telephone number 464646 and it is the most expensive over in this IPL tournament so far, 30 runs came out of it. Whereas, earlier Rohit Sharma blasted 26.

    The sad part of this tournament is it is creating regionalism and it was obvious when Sehwag reached his 50 and raised his bat no one in the crowd applauded and he had to actually taunt at them to cheer and applaud. The other day Rahul Dravid mentioned the same thing during his press conference that no one was applauding at his boundaries. People aren’t that sporty in India and it was obvious during the international matches between India and any other touring country. But, here every single team has Indian players and they must be cheered and applauded.

  41. #41 by theossa on April 22, 2008 - 5:56 PM

    Brilliant innings by Sehwag. He is my favorite Indian Batsman. I would call the spilled chances “Luck of the Brave”. Regionalism is understandable, cities pride just like nations do and no one likes to get trashed like Hyderabad did. I agree with you on the notion that ta eam has to gel together to become a winning side. I did not like the Hyderabad batting order, too much pressure too early. Its still early in the tournament and one of these days the flopped big guns will fire big time. Usually the teams that get hot later takes the crown.

  42. #42 by Awas on April 22, 2008 - 9:20 PM

    I just saw some of the highlights of this match. Sehwag actually pulped the monkey out of Symonds. Symonds looked in such a miserable state after that over that I actually felt a bit sorry for him but he got a taste of his own medicine as he himself hammers bowlers like that. It was surprising that Deccans despite having three big gunners in Gilchrist, Symonds and Afridi didn’t make a good score as none of the aforementioned big hitters fired. Perhaps their day will come soon. Had even one of them played like Sehwag did, it could have been a different match.

    It just shows you what a fluke this game is.

    One other observation, having seen the likes of Dravid and Laxman play so far, they look a complete mismatch. It’s definitely not a game for such ‘correct’ players but as the Don says “they were made an offer they couldn’t refuse”.

  43. #43 by Shahid on April 22, 2008 - 9:55 PM

    On this thread no one spoke a lot about India/South Africa series. I can see IPL stole the focus.

  44. #44 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 23, 2008 - 2:14 AM

    Shahid

    If you take a look at the earlier comments we have discussed the India / SA match that it was a tit for tat from India. Obviously the match is over, the series is over and people always want to discuss the current affairs or the games that are in progress. Since there is nothing else besides IPL so we are all discussing IPL.

    I didn’t see the opening match in which Brendum McCullum thrashed 13 sixes and during the other matches, I did not pay much attention, I was doing work and watching TV on the side and even today I wasn’t glued to the TV set. I wrote a few comments that’s because this blog has to move hence the discussion continued.

    I think Venugopal Rao wasted so many opportunities and he is only a batsman he should be replaced with Styris who is an accomplished all-rounder and a very effective one too. Afridi should open the innings with Gilly and make use of the power play. Laxman, like Dravid is not fit for a T20 format but Laxman is the captain so he will not drop himself for sure.

    I agree with Theossa and Awas that sooner or later the big guns will fire and once they start firing on all 4 cylinders there will be no stopping. Sehwag has played one innings now after 3 chances so he may not repeat the show again. It might be Gambhir’s term to score and he has better technique than Sehwag. Sehwag knows that he can fire “Kharray Kharray” i.e., while he is standing and without making use of any foot work. Like Tendulkar is injured and may not play, Laxman should also get injured and sit on the sidelines. But, who would be replacing him?

  45. #45 by Mohammed Munir - Sharjah, UAE. on April 23, 2008 - 9:21 AM

    Javed A. Khan / Khan Sahab,

    Seeing the comments lately, this thread seems a bit out-of-date now, and I guess its time to have a new one on the IPL.

    Some of the names in IPL tournament does not gel well with this format of the game…….. Wasim Jaffer, Rahul Dravid, VVS Luxman etc. These guys are not even considered in the ODIs by India, how can they play 20/20. I guess even Sachin is well beyond his good years for this kind of the tournament.

    Anyway, one thing we all have to agree is that this IPL is really generating huge interest at all levels ……. and one reason could be ‘Chikny’ Cheer-Girls !!

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