After day one I prayed that the ghosts of Kolkatta 1999 did not return to haunt us. Unfortunately that is exactly what seems to be happening!
Irfan pathan came up with the three most important deliveries of his career. Hat-trick in the first over of the match! We could not have hoped for a better start. It was like a dream! The ball was finally wrecking some havoc. After the leather being belted around it was time for the furniture to be brutally dismantled.

RP Singh and Zaheer chipped in and we had Pak reeling at 39 for 6 just like we had them reeling at 26/6 then(at Kolkatta in the Asia cup in 1999). As always instead of further tightening our grip we let it lose and let Pak recover to a reasonable fighting total. Moin Khan the then wicket -keeper rescued them and here it was the current young wicket keeper- Kamran Akmal.

The script has gone eerily similar, only this time Pak has put itself in a far more commanding position, having declared at 599 in the second innings!

Kamran Akmal though was a delight to watch. What a lovely innings he played. It is even more worth applauding considering the match conditions. None left to stand with you and the ball seaming wildly. A little bit of patience and loads of natural talent was the key for Akmal. He played splendidly and if Pak wins this match he deserves the man of the match for his innings have to be the one that turned it around for Pakistan.

Post day one it has been nothing but disappointment for the Indian team. First we did not bat sensibly at all. Specialist openers, anyone heard about them? Never mind! What’s the point in talking about it in the hindsight! Why did Dravid and Laxman open? Sehwag injured? Get a regular opener in his place!

Saurav Oh Saurav, they crucify and keep the sword hanging on your head. I thought you played with a lot of grit and that one mistake turned out to be your last! Time and again the same shots bring about your downfall. That lad Pathan plays it better than you! Do you not work on it? If not forget it, try to avoid playing it. Clumsy is the one word when I see you playing the hook shot! That shot is a sight for sore eyes when executed well, ask Dravid or Ponting. One fifty and you could have taken India to a respectable total but it was not to be.

Asif impressed. A little bit assistance and the guy bowled extremely well. Boy Pakistan really has talent in the fast bowling arena. But they seem to come and go; none seems to last a while. Razzaq had a terrific match too. 45 in first innings, 90 in the second, three crucial wickets: Tendulkar, Dhoni and Ganguly in India’s first innings. He bowled a snorter of a delivery to Yuvraj, Yuvraj was lucky he did not nick it!

One word for Simon Taufel. Awesome umpire! I wish we could have ten more of him on the panel! Yuvraj had one LBW appeal against him which Taufel turned down. Even the commentators did not realize in the replay that there was a faint inside edge of the bat before the ball hit the pads. They were convinced that he was out but several replays proved otherwise. That Taufel was correct. The next time when Yuvraj got out, Taufel got it perfect. The ball hitting the pad before it took the edge of the bat. That guy is seriously good! No doubt he has got the Best Umpire of the Year Award at the ICC awards for last two years.

Finally to end, we have our backs to the wall and Sachin has failed again. Is it the same pitch that Pak batted a while ago? I wonder! How we seem to squander a perfect lead position is something I fail to understand. Sometimes sticking to the basics helps, especially in tests.

Sigh! All it takes is one bad session to turn the tide against you. We have only ourselves to blame!