The Feroz Shah Kotla stadium has been a welcome venue for the Indians. India has won its last 7 Tests at this ground and the captain Kumble has picked up 55 wickets at this venue in 6 Tests at an outstanding average of 15.71.

Kumble will be judged as a bolwer as well as a captain.

Kumble will be judged as a bolwer as well as a captain.

Kumble has to be the spotlight of this preview, because his performance of late has not been anything to write home about. Although Kumble is fit and raring to go at his favourite ground, he was not the captain in the previous Test where India registered the famous record victory. It has been reported that Kumble is quite confident going into the 3rd Test, but even his most ardent supporters admit he is feeling the heat, more so because of Mishra’s revelation in the 2nd Test.

Speaking of Mishra, he may well have to lose out due to Kumble’s inclusion. The Mohali Test has presented the Indian team management with almost a delicious dilemma. As of now, there can be no question of dropping Kumble because he is the captain. Yet, Mishra’s performance at Mohali warrants a place. Harbhajan is stuck in the middle and at the moment it is unclear whether the toe injury he sustained in the Mohali Test has been cured. The slight problem India may have is losing some of the psychological advantage that is present when Harbhajan is playing against Australia, if Harbhajan has to sit out.

The curators have attempted their best to produce a spin friendly wicket for Kumble. Keeping this in mind Kumble may want to gamble and play the third spinner instead of either Laxman or Dravid. However historically speaking the Indian team management has never liked to compromise on batting. An interesting statistic about the Kotla is that spinners on this ground have taken nearly two-thirds of all the wickets that have fallen, so this may be something Kumble perhaps would want to consider.

The Indian openers' impressive form with be another headache for Ponting; Sehwag and Gambhir will look to dazzle in front of their home crowd

The Indian openers' impressive form with be another headache for Ricky Ponting.

The Kotla is also a friendly ground for the aggressive Indian openers Gambhir and Sehwag, both of whom hail from Delhi and are very comfortable with the local conditions. They are expected to set some fireworks at this ground.

The Indians have hit Australia where it hurts and it appears Australia will have to play out of their skins to win this one. One change is likely to be made in the Australian line up, with Stuart Clark replacing Peter Siddle. One might cynically consider if that is likely to make any difference keeping in mind that Siddle was not particularly bad in the Mohali Test. Australia is missing a quality spinner on these types of tracks and for the first time perhaps the fact that there is no Warne to bamboozle the opposition is showing in Australia’s performance.

Cameron White is a prospect but he needs more experience as this Indian attack has the potential to handle him pretty comfortably.

Ponting needs to lead by example and regain his batting form

Ponting needs to lead by example and rectify his technique against Ishant Sharma

Ponting demanded his seniors to perform and with good reason. Hayden has expressed devising a new strategy to counter Zaheer Khan and Clarke has also pledged to bat with more responsibility. Australia have been pushed back and most pundits are already predicting an Indian win, but this is an excellent opportunity to see just how much juice is there in the Australians after their humiliation at Mohali. It is interesting how both the captains of the opposing teams are under pressure to perform. Speaking from Australia’s perspective, their strength is pace bowling and they will have to pick up early wickets. As for their batting, Hayden & Co will have to attack and show positive intent. Otherwise we will probably bear witness to yet another humiliation for Australia.

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  1. #1 by Sue Massey on October 29, 2008 - 12:01 AM


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  2. #2 by JAVED A. KHAN on October 29, 2008 - 4:34 AM

    Sehwag gone, Brett Lee strikes on the first ball of his second over. But, Gambhir is looking very positive and playing some good shots. There is nothing much for the fast bowlers in this wicket. I can see the ball is already keeping low. I just saw Lee bowling a bouncer and Dravid taking an evasive action the ball hit his shoulder and bounced away, so even Lee’s bouncers are not very high.

    Sehwag was rather unlucky to get out early, as I said, there isn’t any bounce, there isn’t much movement in the air either. Because the ball kept low Sehwag missed the line and was adjudged LBW. I think Dravid and Gambhir can carry on till lunch, they definitely are capable of doing so.


    I agree with you that India would have the psychological advantage if they had played Harbhajan Singh. But, the selectors have the batting genius on their mind and that is Laxman and he is also known to be a Terminator of the Aussies bowling. So, lets see which gamble yields better results.

    Predicting the result of the game would be much easier when the spinners will bowl, especially Indian spinners.

  3. #3 by khansahab on October 29, 2008 - 10:16 AM

    PCB top brass wants ‘chastised’ Asif back in squad

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    By By Khalid Hussain

    KARACHI: Pakistan’s new cricket chiefs believe their dope-tainted pacer Mohammad Asif is a chastised man and should be allowed to return to international cricket.

    Well-placed sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) told ‘The News’ that the Board, which had initially washed its hands off Asif after the bowler tested positive for drugs for the second time in his career earlier this year, has now softened its stance towards the player, who is currently battling to avoid suspension over doping.

    According to the sources, new PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and Director General Saleem Altaf — who are both former Test cricketers — have a soft spot for Asif.

    The PCB top brass believes that Asif is a ‘chastised man’ and being Pakistan’s premier bowler and should return to the national team as soon as possible.

    Intikhab Alam, who is to take over as Pakistan’s new coach, has also termed Asif as an asset for the national team and believes that Pakistan cannot attain ‘full strength’ without the return of the Sheikhupura-born pacer, who has been suspended by PCB over doping charges.

    Sources said that the Board has now decided to support Asif in his legal battle against doping charges and will soon be seeking experts’ help over the issue.

    The change of heart has come after Butt, a former Pakistan Test opener, took over as the new PCB chairman from Nasim Ashraf.

    Under Ashraf, the PCB distanced itself from Asif after it was revealed that he tested positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone while playing in the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in May this year.

    The PCB was annoyed with Asif’s habit of straying towards the wrong side of the law as he also failed a drugs test during the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy in India and more recently was detained at the Dubai airport for allegedly carrying a banned substance this summer.

    The previous PCB top brass had initiated a probe into Asif’s Dubai misadventure but its proceedings were stopped in August following Ashraf’s decision to step down as PCB chairman. At that time, it was decided that the probe will resume once a new chairman is appointed.

    However, sources said that the probe has now been dumped in the cold storage as the new Board officials are yet to locate a report that the PCB supposedly received from the Dubai authorities regarding Asif’s detention there for 19 days over alleged possession of a banned drug.

    Shafqat Naghmi, who was sacked at PCB’s chief operating officer last week, had supposedly received the report a few months back. Naghmi headed the inquiry committee that was formed by the PCB to probe into the Dubai episode.

    “It was widely reported in the media that the PCB received a report from the Dubai authorities regarding Asif’s detention. It was said then that an inquiry has been completed on the basis of that report,” said one source. “But strangely there are no signs of that report,” the source added. “The new PCB management has been unable to locate it.”

    The PCB management is willing to close that case and is now planning to help out Asif in his battle to avoid a doping ban.

    Asif has already hired a British sports lawyer — Michael Graham — and is hoping to be cleared of doping charges in time to play in the home series against India scheduled to get underway early next year.

    His lawyer has challenged the authority of the IPL drugs inquiry tribunal to prosecute him for a doping offence.

    The IPL tribunal adjourned its proceedings for four weeks after an inconclusive hearing earlier this month.

  4. #4 by Abdul on October 29, 2008 - 11:07 AM

    Excellent preview from Khanshab who completely dmeonstrated the moral in the two camps following the senstational Mohali victory for India. India now have a selection dilema with the emergenece of Mishra. I agree with you that India psycological advantage follwing there senstational and inspiring victory. I think Mishra would deserve another opportunity in replace of H Singh whose bowling hasn’t looked as threatening to the Aussie batsmen. Overall, it shall be an interesting encounter and oppotrunity for India to seal the series.

    Meanwhile I would like to emphasise on how competetive the ICL is following Chandrigath’s victory yesterday. Bengal tigers who have got some valid expereince and were lookin invincible under Mcmillan’s captaincy at one point have now lost 2 while the pressure will be on the Bashads who desperately need nothing but wins in forthcoming fixtures to secure a semi final spot.

  5. #5 by JAVED A. KHAN on October 29, 2008 - 9:38 PM

    GAUTAM GAMBHIR from the word go, looked very confident, his first four towards the point went past the fielder like a bullet and he stamped his authority from that shot. He played a very good innings. I thought Dravid would build an innings with him, but he was so unlucky to play that Mitchel Johnson’s wide ball, that was the widest ball of the innings and Dravid thought he could cut past it the same way Gambhir did, but besides being wide the ball was low and Dravid couldn’t get it right and Hayden took a low catch in the slips.

    Batting seems to be easy for now and it may be difficult when Indian spinners will attack, so the contest is on. I reckon from here India will be dominating this match and the series is over in their favour.

    Laxman is proving me wrong but, its good for India he is still there with an odd fifty, may be he can pile up a hundred or two still Ganguly and Dhoni are sitting in the pavilion so plenty of batting to come.

    Why is Amit, Varun and Pawan not commenting on the match is it some kinda jinx that they want to watch it first and then comment after the victory? 🙂 Come on guys support your team.

    About Asaf: Druggie, if these people are going to bring him back, then imo they are worst than him. He should be out, there is no way he can be trusted anymore, he is an addict and junkies, druggies don’t get rehabilitated so soon. Besides, there is something called discipline, by bring him back they are proving that he is indispensable. Right now I don’t want to comment anymore on him or them.

  6. #6 by Q on October 30, 2008 - 9:51 AM

    The Indians are really giving it to the Aussies but I think the declaration is being left too late..

  7. #7 by Abdul on October 30, 2008 - 10:45 AM

    I think Australia’s dominanace at the no 1 spot is beginning to fade as we have seen in this series India have outplayed them by humiliating margins. What a batting performance from India who were magnificent with two double centurions in the emerging promise of Gambhir and the class and elegenace of VVS laxman who played like a prince.

    The Austrlian attack really plundered as they have done thorughout the series . 20 WICKETS is what you need to win a test match and Austrlia are unable to manage that amount without there reliable matchwinners in Warne’s spin mystery and Mcgrath potency. They haven’t got the bowlers do it anymore and I can see a decline in Austrlian cricket in years to come. This series should also encourage other sides around the world and give them the confidence to defeat Australia.

    As I said before India are in a perfect situation to seal the series here at Delhi and also looking at Austrlia’s lackless ability without there ever so reliable mathcwinning bowlers England will Fancy there chances in next years Ashes series.

    And talking of England what a series England vs India should be. Both inform teams with high ambhitions.

  8. #8 by khansahab on October 30, 2008 - 10:55 AM


    The reasons why Australia could not bowl effectively against India are:

    1) Indian team is going through a high morale period. That is because of many different factors such as, the money the players are getting, the excellent facilities for players, the improved first class structure, a cricket board that doesn’t play politics and that doesn’t compromise on discipline…..even things like the booming economy and improvement of living standards in the country raise the morale of the public and the players.

    2) The pitch was tailor made for Indians to thrive on, but that shouldn’t be an excuse because pitches are always made to favour the home side.

    3) Australia don’t have Warne anymore, who could have performed wonders on this type of pitch.

    So either India will win this match or it will be a draw.

  9. #9 by Sakthi on October 30, 2008 - 2:20 PM

    I am writing on this blog after a long time. Hope you guys all are well!

    What a series it is? I think the Aussie bowling has become toothless. They used to challenge India in India when they had Warne and McGrath. I think they enjoyed no. 1 spot for a long period of time under the shadow of these two legends. They also miss Gilly very much, who averages in mid-50s and can turn the match around at any point of time.

    Aussies are going to struggle though India has only 3 good bowlers (Zaheer, Sharma and Mishra). I will be very surprised if they can manage a draw in this test, which means India will not lose Border-Gavaskar trophy.

    By the way, did anybody see the incidence of Billy Bowden calling ‘dead ball’ for Laxman running on the pitch? That was very harsh. On top of it, he also called that over one ball short. I believe he always has a soft corner for the Aussies (whites). I don’t think Indians will get many LBW decisions from his end. We desperately need Rudi Koertzen to finish this match quickly. 🙂

  10. #10 by khansahab on October 30, 2008 - 2:51 PM


    Where were you man, you came after MONTHS.

    I’m glad to see you back…….

    Yep, Kumble is out of form which means he will not be in the list of your “good bowlers”. And Australia are definitely missing Gilchrist, Warne and McGrath. They don’t miss these players that much at home.

    I don’t know whether Bowden is biased or not, but he is always reluctant to give LBW decisions. Yeah Rudi is the guy who raises his finger very quickly. He values his time; I like that kind of umpire 🙂

  11. #11 by khansahab on October 30, 2008 - 3:11 PM

    Captaining Pakistan is my dream: Afridi

    Press Trust of India

    Thursday, October 30, 2008 6:57 PM (Karachi)

    With the Pakistan Cricket Board set to review Shoaib Malik’s performance as the national team captain at the end of this year, flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi on expressed his desire to lead the side if given a chance.

    He made it clear that if given a chance to captain Pakistan, he would not turn down the offer. However, he admitted that at present he is under tremendous pressure to retain his place in the side due to a slump in his batting form.

    “Every cricketer dreams to be the captain of his national team and I am no different, but at the moment my main concern is to retain my spot in the team as my batting form has been a source of concern even for me,” Afridi said at a launch ceremony of a leading multinational cosmetics company here.

    “I know I am under pressure to retain my place that is my first priority because playing for Pakistan is my life,” he added..

    Malik’s captaincy tenure would be reviewed after December 31 by the PCB with many former players and critics believing he is not capable of being a successful leader.

    Although Afridi declined to comment on PCB’s decision to sack Australian Geoff Lawson from the post of national team coach, he hailed Intikhab Alam’s appointment.

    “The decision to appoint Intikhab Alam is a good one because he is a senior person and a respectable figure. More importantly he treats every player the same way,” he said.

  12. #12 by Amit. P on October 30, 2008 - 5:26 PM

    I am not sure India is going to win this match. Draw is looking most favorable result. Reason being is one and only our own captain. Not his bowling but the low confidence he has in our fast bowling department. He always rely on that old strategy of using spinners from both end, and that too for long overs. Thats why we see bhajji and kumble bowling 35+ overs in an inning without much success. He must use Zahir, ishant and mishra intelligently to throw surprises on oz hence pushing them on their toes all the time. This is the only way to get wickets on this ultra flat pitch. Today he gave 8 overs to fast bowlers and 7 to spinners … that i think was misuse of red cherry.

  13. #13 by JAVED A. KHAN on October 31, 2008 - 1:27 AM

    In my comment #5, I said, “Laxman is proving me wrong but, its good for India he is still there with an odd fifty, may be he can pile up a hundred or two ..”

    Now, Gauty and VVS both have piled up double tons and from here India has nothing to loose ONLY Kumble can lose an opportunity to win. He is a very defensive player and I concur Amit’s views that he should have used Zahir and Sharma more instead of bringing on the spin so early.

    It is indeed wasting the cherry gloss and by providing the opponents an opportunity to survive and come back fresh the next day. You should strike when the iron is hot. They were tired and were lacking concentration, may be the declaration should have come 30 minutes earlier to give the fast bowlers a full go.

    Gautam Gambhir is in great form and he played excellent shots and he was also playing very intelligently. Lee was trying to lure him and bait him by bowling outside the off stump and wanted him to chase the ball and edge it in to the slips cordon, but he was frustrating Lee by not playing it and whenever he bowled him between leg and middle, he clipped it on the on-side. He proved that besides aggression, he has patience and endurance and the kind of temperament that Tendulkar in his hey days used to have.
    Bravo! Very good innings from him.

    After Laxman’s double hundred, Tendulkar came out in defense of the senior players and said no where in the world senior players are treated like this……… He is wrong, across the border in Pakistan, we treat them worst. We dis them, we don’t give them the due they deserve, partly its the system, partly they are to be blamed for what they do. I don’t want to go into detail here.

    A lot will be exposed today, third day if the Aussies survive with a score of 300 plus with 5-6 wickets in hand then the match is heading for a draw unless the wicket gets wicked on the last day.

    Sakhti…………………. welcome back man where the hellO have you been? And where is Pawan keray Sore?

  14. #14 by khansahab on October 31, 2008 - 10:35 AM

    This Test is now surely heading for a draw. Kumble is injured and this may prove to be a blessing in disguise for him because he bowled 17 overs without getting a wicket which is not expected from him at the Kotla. Clearly, he is past his prime and now should seriously consider retiring. Sehwag is bowling much better than Kumble although Sehwag is a part time bowler.

    It’s strange how a space of one year can affect a player’s form so much. Both Dravid and Kumble were fairly good in 2007, and in 2008 they look totally different players.

    In fact I think Dravid’s average has dropped from something like 56 in 2007 to 53 in 2008.

    Assuming Dravid does not score 50 in this Test, would he be played in the final one at Nagpur? That is the million dollar question. He may just get one FINAL chance at Nagpur but then he should be most DEFINITELY dropped. Even if he scores a 50 in Nagpur, he should be dropped because he is very inconsistent.

    We have spoken about how useful Gilchrist was for Australia as a batsman. Haddin is only half as good a batsman as Gilchrist- that has also affected Australia detrimentally. Gilchrist could come at no 6 or 7 and change the course of the match for Australia but Haddin can’t do that.

    Javed A Khan

    Although I agree in Pakistan some senior players are not treated with the respect they deserve such as Afridi, in India there is less player power and less politics. Ganguly was in very good form and he was dropped from the ODI side. That was not because there was anything wrong with his batting, it was because the team management wanted younger and fitter players playing. It was a huge decision and a decision of such a magnitude cannot be made in Pakistan.

    Similarly Dravid was dropped after he didn’t score many runs in one series. In hindsight we can say it was a great move because Dravid’s form has been unconvincing ever since, but at that time it was also a fair big decision. Everyone in Pakistan’s middle order, from Yousuf, to Younis, to Malik has suffered from worse form than Dravid did just before he was permanently dropped from ODI’s, but the PCB can never make such a decision.

    Dhoni had just been made captain of the ODI series and he criticised the divison of BCCI that schedules matches, saying there was too much cricket being played. The BCCI sent him a formal letter advising him that they can always drop him from the side if he doesn’t want to play. I forget if he was actually dropped for a series as well- I can’t remember. You can compare this with the many statements Malik made against the previous Selection Committee, or Shoaib Akhtar going as far as saying Nasim Ashraf takes a percentage of players’ match fees for himself. If someone would say that in India, that player would be permamently dropped and sanctioned and no political party or political group could ever bring him back.

    I think it was these things Tendulkar was mentioning when he said senior players are not treated with respect in India. Tendulkar may be upset with that fact, but I think that is a better way to manage cricket in the country because no one is above the game.

  15. #15 by abdul on October 31, 2008 - 2:11 PM

    What an interesting day of test cricket at the Delhi Stadium. India’s 4 wickets on paper doesn’t emphasise on how well they have bolwed today. The seamers bowled consistently and economically with both Khan and Sharma managing to find there art of movement which at times was lookin very torubling towards the Aussie batsmen. The spinners bowled extremely well with Mishra beating the outside edge many times and causing the batsmen in particular left handers with vicous spinning deliveries. But the star of the day is definently the sensational off spin of Vinder Sewhag. WOW he can definently spin the ball and today he dimissed and bambozled the Austrlian top order with some wripping off breaks.

    Meanwhile Kumble is really stuggling to pick up wickets and has seemed to lose his gyle and potency which has made him such a matchwinning test bowler in the last decade. His fitness is also a concern and for someone who is struggling with both fitness,bowling and also captaincy one can ask is it time for him to call it a day or atleast give up captaincy which will allow Dhoni to cotinue his impressive job.

    Regarding the outcome of this game I still feel a result is possible. The match has been high scoring but the pitch isn’t flat and is offering and assissting both seam and spin bowlers as shown today. If India can quickly demolish the remaining wickets and pile up the runs we may well have a test match to watch on our hands.

    Javed A Khan, have u ever read Romeo and Juliet ?

  16. #16 by JAVED A. KHAN on October 31, 2008 - 2:43 PM


    NO, I haven’t read Romeo and Juliet yet! But, I play the role of Romeo everyday in my life. 🙂

  17. #17 by khansahab on November 1, 2008 - 8:46 AM

    Sacked Lawson backs foreign coach for Pakistan team

    Friday, 31 Oct, 2008

    KARACHI: Only a foreign coach can successfully manage the Pakistan team, sacked Australian coach Geoff Lawson said on Friday.
    ‘From what I have seen only a foreign coach can deal with players who are involved in internal and external politics,’ Lawson told Geo News channel.
    The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) terminated Lawson’s two-year contract nine months early last week saying it was not satisfied with his performance.
    ‘There is no doubt there is a lot of talent in the Pakistan team but these players need a proper coach to guide them and get the best performance from them,’ Lawson said.
    Under Lawson’s guidance, Pakistan reached the final of the twenty20 World Cup last year in South Africa.
    The former test player, who received financial compensation, added: ‘I am sad because I deeply wanted to complete my tenure with the team and complete the plans I had outlined for them to make them a better side.’
    ‘I don’t think my dismissal has anything to do with my performance. I believe I was removed because of the political changes in the cricket set-up.’

  18. #18 by Abdul on November 1, 2008 - 9:51 AM

    Austrliua pile up the runs and the probability of a victory now is really shrinking. But is there was going to be a chance of a result it could go to either sides. When Shane Warne was around he would be able to take 6-40 and make such an impact and put Austrlia in such a matchwinning position.Ponting would have given full support to him and use enterprising tatics. The batsmen would successfully bat attacking and some miracles would be performed on the picth. This Ashes Adelaide test in 06 was an exmaple of how ruthless Australia could turn around a test match which proved what a no 1 sie they were.

    Commentators were discusing that India have the potential to become the best in the world but they can’t afford to drop chances and must capitalise on every opportunity to be provided. As regarding there bowling and batting they are unarguably better than any opposition.But to be the best in the business they must be able to perform the magic under aukward circumstances like in this test.

    Vinder Sewhag was outstanding with the ball. As Sunil Gavaskar said on commentary this is a person who has put Harbhajan to shame and it can be siad that he has been more effective and troubling than Mr Singh. Sewhag gets good rotation on the ball and bowls an attacking line. In India he should be used more often and could even make there premier off spinner with the amount of trouble he can cause to the batsmen.

    Meanhile Mishra is also another long term prospect for the future of Indian cricket. He has got a beautiful action and fluent run run which gives him a solid foundation to torment batsmen of the highest quality. He is deceptive in the flight and can turn it square and is particually troubling to left handers and with the amount we have in world cricket at the moment in world cricket he could get many wickets. He is an ideal successor for Anil Kumble who after so long claimed his maiden series wicket.

  19. #19 by Abdul on November 1, 2008 - 9:54 AM

    All the talk in England at the moment is surrouding the 20 million dollar game between Engalnd and Stanford Superstars in a 20-20 for 20 encouter. This is a game in which neither side will take lightly and will play there full hearts out.

  20. #20 by Varun Suri on November 1, 2008 - 10:20 AM

    Well, an interesting passage of play left with India required to play out the remaining 13 overs…

    I don’t know whether to blame the Indian Bowlers,Dropped Catches, Captain or the Pitch but this wasn;t what i had expected before i went to sleep last night!!!

    A disappointing last 2-3 sessions. Most likely it should head for a draw unless the Indians want to bring a twist in the story by starting a Collapse, or maybe we can expect a Sehwag-Gambhir blitzkrieg and an early declaration tomorrow to force out a result..

  21. #21 by Abdul on November 1, 2008 - 3:01 PM

    Well well that was interesting day of intriguing test cricket. As shwon by India’s tactic of sending out Ishant Sharma at no3 as nightwatchman only to reslut in another duick dismissal shows that India’s plan to push for victpry is out of the equation. For them they are layed back and looking to draw this test match and maintain there 1-0 lead in the series with one test to go.

    I would like to discuss the ” NIGHTWATCHMAN”. I don’t feel this is a wise tatic to employ and in my opinion just gives a negative sign of a teams intention and also just ask yourself if a batsmen can’t go out there and see of the bowlers in the gloom than how on earth would you expect a tail ender to do so? It gives a fearful impression of the batsmen and also reflects on a defensive tatic employed by the opposition.

    Do u guys AGREE?

  22. #22 by Abdul on November 1, 2008 - 6:26 PM

    The grand finale is a few hours away. The excitement and indeed tension is building up.

  23. #23 by khansahab on November 1, 2008 - 6:30 PM


    Although I am agree with your views on the “nightwatchman” which is a risky tactical move to “preserve resources”, I don’t understand what grand finale you are talking about?

    If you mean this current Test, I don’t think anyone has got anything to be excited about. It’s a definite draw- you could tell after the 2nd day’s play it would be a draw. In fact it’s likely to be a boring draw.

  24. #24 by khansahab on November 1, 2008 - 9:17 PM

    Shoaib Malik under fire over pitch controversy

    KARACHI: Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik has come under fire after he forced umpires and match referee to show him the Diamond Ground pitch in Islamabad even though the groundsmen had already put it under wraps.

    Malik, who is captaining Punjab against Federal Areas in a crucial match of the Pentangular – a major first-class domestic tournament – went to the ground Thursday evening to inspect the wicket, in spite of the fact that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) regulations don’t allow any such inspection once the pitch is covered.

    Malik then approached Match Referee Khalid Niazi and umpires Saleem Badar and Iqbal Butt. The match officials instructed the ground staff to remove the covers so that the Pakistan captain can inspect the wicket, ahead of the start of the four-day match that begins Friday.

    However, Niazi played down the incident saying that Malik was shown the wicket since he reached the ground a bit late. He said that Malik inspected the wicket in front of the Federal Areas team officials adding that fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar who is representing the home team (Federal Areas) was also present.

    But the incident doesn’t augur well for Malik, whose captaincy would be put under the scanner at the end of this year with the Governing Board of the PCB meeting to decide whether he should be retained to lead Pakistan in the all-important home series against India starting early next year.

  25. #25 by khansahab on November 1, 2008 - 9:20 PM

    Malik now feels more relaxed as captain

    Friday, October 31, 2008

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik feels more relaxed as skipper now following his meeting with manager Yawar Saeed and coach Intikhab Alam in Lahore.

    “I feel more relaxed as a captain as the team management reposed full confidence in me. I can now fully concentrate on my job,” the national team captain said while talking to ‘The News’ here on Thursday.

    He said it was always good to see encouragement coming from the top. “It is always good to hear words of encouragement coming from the top. I definitely feel more relaxed and powerful as captain,” he said.

    The national team management in a recent meeting with the Pakistan captain promised to extend full support and cooperation to him in an effort to maintain discipline and get the best out of the player on the field.

    It has been learnt from well placed sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that Shoaib may continue to lead the national team even after the expiry of his tenure that ends on December 31.

    “There are good chances that Shoaib Malik would continue as a captain of the national team even after the expiry of his tenure. With Indian tour just around the corner, the PCB and Governing Board members are unlikely to take any risk of naming new captain. “Since there is no other international engagement between the Abu Dhabi and the Indian series at home, the new captain would always find it difficult to adjust. Putting a new captain straightaway in a tough series and that too against India would not be an easy decision,” a PCB official who reached Islamabad on Thursday said.

    He said that Shoaib Mlaik’s leadership period may even get extended to the second twenty20 World Cup to be held in England in the summer of 2009.

  26. #26 by Mohammed Munir on November 2, 2008 - 4:49 AM


    I agree with your ‘night-watchman’ concept, more so, as over the years cricket has changed a lot and our modern-day cricket is different from it’s earlier days. Nevertheless, for this third test, I guess both the teams have accepted this to be a draw, so may be this is why India was taking it a bit easy by sending Ishant as a night-watch.

    Khan Sahab …

    Comment no. 22, I guess, Abdul is talking about the Stanford Superstars v England T20 game 😀

    Anyway, that game turned out to be a totally one-sided affair as Stanford Superstars crushed England by 10 wickets, thanks to Chris Gayle, and took the prize money of US$: 20.00 Million.

    On the other side, no matter how much captain Shoaib Malik is relaxed, his A$$ will soon be on the line as he is already well exposed and definitely his performance as captain is below par, to say the least.

    Bakray Ki Maan Kab Tak Khair Manaey Gi 😉

  27. #27 by abdul on November 2, 2008 - 8:13 AM

    Well,well that was a comprehensive victory for the Stanford Superstars. They bowled and restricted a lenghty England batting line up with both the seamers bowling with consistency and the spinner also bowling accurately and with good variation. Even though I didn;t see the 100 run partnership between Gayle and emerging Andre Flethcer the scorecard just reflects on what a one sided game it was.

    Now it’s time to party for the Superstars with plenty of cash to enjoy it will be a life changing experience for many of them.

  28. #28 by Amit. P on November 2, 2008 - 9:35 AM

    Guys .. some good news. Its 2 down for fab 5 …. Kumble joins the league of Dada …. infact surpassed him and going to retire after this match. Thats a great decision to hang his boot midway in the series.
    Now who is next …. Dravid ??

  29. #29 by Mohammed Munir on November 2, 2008 - 10:02 AM

    Breaking News: Anil Kumble announces retirement !!

    There goes another oldy 😉

    Anil Kumble, has announced his IMMEDIATE retirement from international cricket and will not play the fourth Test of the series against Australia.

    Mahendra Singh Dhoni will lead India in the fourth Test at Nagpur.

  30. #30 by abdul on November 2, 2008 - 10:54 AM


    I request the LS managment to write a thread in dedication to the matchwinning leg spinner. It’s ashame his last delivery was a full toss that went for 4 !

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