I’m sure the bowlers would have preferred to not play at all after seeing the pitch at Lahore. It simply would not have mattered; be it a Shoaib bowling or Irfan or some local bowler. Even if you called upon the greats like Denis Lillee, Jeff Thompson, Richard Hadlee, Glenn Mcgrath, Brett Lee, Shane Warne, Allan Donald, The Fearsome Foursome of WI, India’s Spin Quartet or Pakistan’s very own Imran, Wasim, Qadir, nothing would have changed! The goddamn pitch was as dead as a dodo! I kept waiting for that one odd ball to speed up, to bounce, to turn, to stop awkwardly at the batsman, to skid, to stay low, to do something! Damn nothing!
How on earth can you prepare such a wicket when you are bragging about your speedsters? And by the way a message to Inzy and all his Pakistani supporters, Shoaib Akhtar makes no difference to India. Every time you hype him, we go ahead and tackle him extremely well. So for a change stop doing that. He is fast, super-fast but he is not accurate and I’ll trade McGrath’s accuracy for Shoaib’s pace. His resilience atleast pays me rich consistent dividends. Shoaib gives me no guarantee, especially against India. Too early to say? Okay. We saw how Sehwag and Dravid handled him (on a dead pitch you might say). I think they are ready to take the bull by the horns and the earlier Pak realizes the better for them.
On a comparative note, India got 7 wickets in 2 days compared to Pakistan’s one wicket in 2 days (I’m accounting for the session’s lost). On a pitch like this, I think it’s worth a mention. The curator sure had great faith in Pakistan’s bowling attack to prepare such a track or rather they were petrified of giving us some advantage.
I’m glad Sehwag and Dravid took full advantage of the lifeless track and made the most of it. I liked every bit of Dravid’s captaincy. Today when they needed just 13 runs to break the 50 year record, he saw to it that he got the Pakistani players out on the field; despite light being worse than yesterday. As soon as Sehwag got out (I wish he had showed a little more patience. Greedy aren’t we! Come on, they were only 4 runs short!), Dravid was offered the light and he took it, adding more irritation to the Pakistanis. Inzy tested his patience during the press conference when the cup was displayed to the press, made him wait for some half-hour. Dravid gave back very well in the match and not only by way of his batting. India pretty much got the psychological advantage in the manner they posted a reply to Pak’s total.
Now for something important, I don’t know how many of you agree but I felt it was huge injustice to Gambhir and Jaffer, two genuine openers in form. Neither is Sehwag an opener nor Dravid or Ganguly or Yuvraj. I don’t want to see Dravid open; it’s neither fair to the two openers waiting in the wings nor to the team and Dravid. There isn’t much to choose between Ganguly and Yuvraj. So take a tough call and drop Yuvraj. Ok stop blasting me for thinking so. Give Ganguly the ultimatum. See how he performs at no.6 in the series throughout. If he comes out with flying colours works well for the team; if not you have legitimate reason to drop him for the next series and have Yuvraj fill in. No point axing openers and shuffling with opening combination. I never agree with middle-order batsman opening the innings. It’s a goddamn specialist position and India should learn to deal with this perennial problem. Not everyday do we get a Sehwag. Who, by the way I think however successful, has his flaws as a test opener. He too will face some music as he matures in his cricket career.
What’s the point in taking both Yuvraj and Ganguly and having Dravid open? It’s silly and it’s pointless. We are doing no one any good. Asking Ganguly to open is unfair and too open a ploy to get him out of the team, so the team management can’t ask him to open however ready he might be. In his heart though, he must be dead scared to go face a racing Shoaib with the shining new red cherry. He would have liked doing that on this dead Lahore pitch, but him being successful here as an opener would have been a false alarm.
Honestly we need to resolve this issue once and for all, come on drop the axe on Yuvraj for once, I’m sure we would not lose much! Get Jaffer or Gambhir to open, it’s simply not fair them. Let Yuvraj supporters shout ‘Unfair’ for once. Why am I not calling for Ganguly’s head? I think they guy has been treated badly enough, and this after all that he has done for Indian cricket. I think it’s been pretty unfair, so give him one last chance to prove his guts. He deserves at least that!
And to another important issue, can we have a change of commentators please? Rameez Raja gets my goat! He is so damn partial and biased! Nothing India does deserves any praise or are only Pakistanis the Kings of cricket? I thought India batted with more supremacy than Pak did and our bowlers atleast got more wickets in the same time! Somebody protest and get him off! His presence is not good for either teams and we could really do without his biased opinions.
To end, this comment stuck in my head today and unfortunately I can’t remember who said it.