Pakistan's reckless batting and lackluster bowling marked the first Pak-India test in Delhi. It seems that the Pakistanis lack the winning instinct necessary to clinch a whole series by an intimidating performance from the very start. What is your prognosis here? Please comment.
You hitthe nail on the head. There were a lot of twists and turns in this test match, but in the end I think that the batting display in the 1st inning set the tone.
1. I agree with you about the winning instinct. I feel the captain is the one who instills this instinct. Shoaib Malik has not imposed himself on this match at all. He didnt score runs... but most surprising is the fact that he did not bowl a single over in the whole match. Pakistan has usually done well when the captain has led from the front. You think of Imran, Wasim and inzamam... stepping in when most required, especially against India. I hope Malik soon finds his form with the bat and his urge to bowl.
2. In Pakistan's 1st innings the lower order delivered the goods. It was basically a single partnership which brought some respect to the total. In the 2nd innings, only the top order and Misbah could deliver. Younis and Yousuf couldnt do much in either innings. I wont criticize the two Y's because they have held things together for ages. But , unless they score, I seriously doubt Pakistan's chances in this series.
3. Salman Butt and Yasir Hameed look like a pretty good opening combination. They average roughly 48 runs for the 1st wicket together, which is miles ahead of any of the combinations tried so far.
4. Misbah was Pakistan's savior in both innings. Looking at Misbah, I have developed a theory that cricket requires temperament of two types:
a. Staying at the wicket and scoring runs once u get set
b. Carrying on after you get set and not finding weird ways to get out
Misbah definitely has the former, but he can work on the latter. But jokes apart, he saved Pakistan twice from collapses in this match.
5. Shoaib Akhtar, Kaneria and Sohail Tanvir did well. I just dont think that you can expect to score less than 250 in both innings, and expect your bowlers to restrict the strong batting line-up of india to a score even lower than that. Moreover, Pakistan just has to find a way to have Gul, Asif and akhtar fit together. It's usually just 1 out of the 3 playing... while the other two are unfit, or have used nandrolone.... or one has hit the other with a bat.
6. Sami is a great tail-end batsmen... but his bowling average is 49.63... which is the worst in Test cricket history for bowlers who have taken at least 50 wickets. http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283881.html
Considering that his main role is that of a frontline bowler, I am surprised to find him in the squad.
7. MOST SURPRISING FACT... Kamran Akmal did not drop a catch!!! (Or at least I think he didnt)
The way i see it, talking in baseball terms, Shoaib Malik needs to step up to the plate. He needs to find a role for himself in the batting and bowling lineup. The bowlers are doing fine generally, but the batting lineup seems to lack direction. Pakistan's batting seems to go nowhere everytime the two Ys fail.
Suhaib's reply has covered almost everything. I would just like to add that it is a fact that Indian Team is better than Pakistan. If you see Pakistan's history, our team has been termed as unpredictable and rightly so. I think Pakistan's flair which was our uniqueness is missing for quite sometime now. It can only re-emerge with an agressive captain. "palat kar jha-patna, jhapat kar palatna...laho garam rakhney ka hai ik bahana"
It is sad that Pakistan lost the test series to India 1-0 but it is not unexpected. If it wasn't for Misbah, we would have lost in a much bigger way... maybe even 3-0. But a 1-0 loss is a loss nonetheless. At about the same time, Inzi and his team ICL Hyderabad Heroes, that also includes Abdur Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood, didn't do well either. The two ICL teams that didn't make the semis were both led by cricketing superstars: Lara led Mumbai Champs and Inzi led Hyderabad Heroes. In fact, the Heroes top-order collapse reminded me of the Pakistani team under Inzi. Not much has changed as far as Inzi's leadership is concerned.
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