I am usually into putting up long posts with some intention and on topics which made me itching and for that I need time which is a rare luxury these days for me. But these two guys make me do this, a short little hasty basty post.
Sydney to Hobart a journey with baby sitting and brotherhood soap opera, yes thats what it is actually like a soap opera from Sydney defeat to final squad selection for Hobart is all like soap opera and here is its characters, script, plot and story:
Pakistan put Aussies on way too back foot at first day of Sydney test and started what was going to be a long long nightmare for them.
They continued playing good for 3 solid days, people started to wonder what the hell is going on?
On 4th day, they said wohoooo we are back and did what they only can do best in world.
Kamran Akmal dropped 4 catches to start soap opera’s next episode, ok ok and a missed run out too.
As expected voices started to raise as usual from Pakistan and all around the world.
Yousuf got the initial blame and said some good things mixed in some blind shooters.
After not getting enough hot things from Yousuf media turned to poor Kami Bhai (Kamran Akmal).
PCB without waisting time send a new wicket keeper to Australia which they initially pulled out after New Zealand.
Yousuf and Kamran himself said Kamran will play as wicket keeper with all his butter gloves.
Some genious thought Kamran may have done some baby sitting that night otherwise how can he drop those and all other idiots clapped on that.
Umar had sore back one day and didn’t practiced so some other idiot oh Kami may be pushing him not play in protest, hows that for a headline, Aussies press said ah love it.
I seriously don’t know how they made Pointing on that but he was also enjoying the brotherhood, I think he reading too much newspaper and blogs in last week.
Will Kami play? Will Kami not play? this pendulum keep vibrating for a good week and everybody had a fair share out of it.
Finally heard the news that Kamran bhai will not play and younger bhai is better after some painkillers and ready to roll. Kamran get some moral support from people too for his relief.
Oh talking about support, Geof Lawson obviously had a good time with Pakistan team couple of years ago so he had some hot sexual conversations with those knucklehead journalists spreading all the shit. Surprised! Well foreign coaches have always like Pakistan team and developed some relations more than coaching like Bob Wolmer and Lawson.
Probably all settled, much-needed changes done but with not so good replacement. Malik for Misbah their names are even not so different. Khurram for Faisal well leave it. Aamer for Sami arguable and probably good one. Srafraz for Kami don’t ask again?
So here we are in Hobart 14th Jan 2010.
Oh man can Yousuf win a single toss at least? Punter won it again and decided to bat first with that ugly sheepish smile.
Ready to rock n roll. But here is some thing for you to think or guess:
Which of the Pakistan team will turn in Hobart:
- Desperate to do better.
- Inspirational to complete what they left in Sydney.
- Face saving.
- Take it easy its over.
- Worse than ever.
- Who the hell can even think about Pakistan team predictions.
Should I make a poll of above?
I think a whitewash 3 – 0 is most probable here with some chances of 2-0 for the Aussies.
Yesterday January 11 2010, Mr Geoffery BoyCott had a new article on his official site about geoffboycott.com which amazes me a lot. I respect him a lot as a player as a commentator and cricket writer plus speaker as he has quite and insight about what is going on and is often has the best of the views about the issues. I am reading and listening to him a lot over the years and I am a fan like others.
But I am sorry to say Boycott had it wrong this time to some extent. Ball-tampering has been a very serious and exclusive issue in cricket over decades now. We have seen some very strict actions and rules against it. He and you dear readers must know the rules better than me. But I am not sure what has caused this that he is all of a sudden on the other side of usual Geoffery Boycott.
Why I am writing this? If you haven’t read the article yet go here and read or I am adding some extract from it so you can rely on them too. I also recommend you to see the real incident in highlights some where. And I know your impressions will be same as of dear Boycott but my point is little different here.
Let start with this, keep in mind the status of a writer like him and his status in international cricket experts who is more of an International writer then some Pome doing it for a local daily.
So Stuart Broad stood on the ball. So what?
Awesome, so you are suggesting player should have done some jumping on the ball often. Why is it So what? now when it was quite a big thing earlier may be because some Englishmen is involved in it?
The disappointing thing is that we have watched another wonderful Test match. Everyone should be remembering the quality of the cricket, the excitement and the drama. Instead much of the focus has been on England’s non-existent ball-tampering. Let’s bury that now, and not mention it again.
There were some pretty amazing matches ruined earlier sir. If this is ignorable now why it was such a great matter in past, I will give an example of forfeited Test of 2006 between England and Pakistan, there wasn’t any clear evidence of ball-tampering then as it is now but that test will always be remembered as a test in which Pakistan was being accused of ball-tampering and being punished for that by field umpires.
Remember! I am not saying Broad and Anderson were actually tampering with ball condition purposefully, they might just be little negligence of rules and common sense, as in case of Broad he shlould know he have fucking nails under his foot which could have damaged the ball and if he was so lazy on the field he probably should have been sleeping in hotel room rather than playing for his country and in case of Anderson it is a very clear rule that you should go to umpire or do whatever you want to do with the ball (scratching some mud etc) in front of them than doing it some where alone making yourself suspicious.
I am just wondering what would have Mr. Boycott written in those line if some other team’s player probably from South Asia, Pakistan, India or even South Africa were involved in such incidents. I think Mr. Boycott had a feeling of what we have felt over the years every time we have accused of ball-tampering without any evidence whatsoever like New Zealand’s genius captain did after humiliating defeat in T20 WC in England, June 2009 or once again the Oval test 2006 or others over the course of history.
It is one of the hardest thing of being called cheat when you actually aren’t and you are right in feeling it but it is also very hard being a victim of double standards and that too from someone like you Mr. Boycott a truly international figure, it is right to protect your team against such fuzz created by media but it also right to protect anyone from anywhere being victim of this as an international speaker Mr. Boycott. I would love to know some of your honest views about earlier such incidents if you may?
Ok, I sound pissed in this post and actually I am little bit as after decades we are still not able to get rid of some racism, favoritism, blockism and powerism from the highest level of cricket management and correspondents. And I believe Cricket will not be able get to the heights where ICC want it to be nor it will expand to more and more regions around the world if we will not make it a transparent jiggle free controversy free sports.
To add to above all when I tried to comment on that post of Mr. Boycott, his blog accused me by 101 reasons of being a spam or something not allowed even I tried 3 different networks, so what is point of being putting a comment box there if you don’t accept comments?
By the way my comment was something like this:
Dear Sir Boycott,
Don’t ignore it only if English bowlers are involved in it, there isn’t any separate rules or ethics for them. Why isn’t it a big deal when it can be a big BIG deal if any of other teams specially Pakistan or south Asian or even South African players had done it.
Well, I am not getting racist but If Oval’s test (Pakistan v England) could be a so big deal even there wasn’t any proof about ball tempering like this then why the hell this can’t be after obvious footages?
I am not saying that it might be a case of alleged ball tampering, they might have accidentally did that but it is worth reporting for sure and rest should be on match referee and officials to decide.
Sorry this was a lame post but I had to let it out can’t help.
NOTE: This is a continous post for 5 days just like test cricket so keep visiting for daily dose, thanks.
00:30 GMT : So far it is little pink out their as MacGrath foundation is selling out their pink shirts all over and its the main news otherwise little bit drizzle earlier in the morning and little more when they started to feel little comfortable about the out field has forced us away from toss and final teams announcement.
Mohammad Aamer and Simon Katich are expected to left out due to injuries. Pakistan is expected to make at least three changes but nothing else for Austrlia so far.
Wait is on for action to start.
01:20 GMT : Early lunch taken. Play probably after lunch but probably.
02:07 GMT : Lunch is over but no confirm thing yet, covers are on and ground staff is working their ass out. Its annoying.
02:30 GMT : So we finally have a toss Australia once again won it and are going to bat first and I was pretty sure if Pakistan had won it they will bowl and thats what Yousuf said, Pakistanis are pretty obssessed with overcast conditions and they love to bowl in that but they may be little afraid of facing bowling in overcast conditions with a fragile batting line up.
Teams announced as expected one change for Australia Hughes for Katich, so we got that opening pair split up which had a great success recently, is it a positive or are we going to see Hughes doing it hard to cement his place?
Pakistan has three changes also expected, Aamer injured out for Gul, Abdur Rauf out for Sami and Ajmal for Kaneria. So almost a completely different attack than MCG as individuals are concerned but pretty identical in nature or may be better combination. Let see how they keep it up.
02:50 GMT : So now a thought, Sami can bat a bit better then Abdu Rauf for sure and Umar Gul can hit ball here and there a bit as he did once in New Zealand but can’t defend better then Aamer any way. Kaneria is not better then Ajmal in batting. So do we have a better wagging tail or not? ok let see.
02:55 GMT : Pakistan bowling attack is looking good for this test depending on how Sami and Gul will performs and put an effort in it. It is big for Sami if he want to be counted he had put everything in it. I am pretty confident about Asif and Kaneria.
Pakistan need to start well and hold Australian in first inning, we lost last match due to first two days so here we had to be strong at start an then throughout. Don’t let them pile up easy runs on board.
03:00 GMT : Live action now …… Asif to Watson.
03:05 GMT : Umar Akmal dropped Hughes on his first ball and Sami first ball on their returns, thats stupid, it is pissing me off.
03:17 GMT : Ok no damge due to drop catch as Hughes gave one more at slip and no drop this time so no run for him on return and a wicket for Sami.
03:19 GMT : Punter is gone for another short pitch ball on his first ball wow. Good ball good plan and good field placement, way to go Pakistan, match in on fire now.
03:20 GMT : On hat trick Sami and there is review. wow wow wait for it now.
03:21 GMT : Ok no hat trick, it hit on his toe so not a catch and pitched outside off so now LBW. Good bowling, good comeback Sami.
03:39 GMT : Sami on fire, got Watson the danger man on a seriously good ball at a very good pace. Away movement of the seam and Watson can’t do much on that edged to keeper Kamran Akmal.
That ball was a treat to watch by Sami.
03:50 GMT : Umar Gul replacing Asif and he is looking for some form in bowling an luck and this is a good time to get one.
Ok Gul is getting little bit back as he had Clark in trouble twice, one hit him in the danger zone under stomach and Clark was in some pain.
04:32 GMT : Asif gets Clark clean bowled by his trade mark in swinger. Important breakthrough when they were looking to fight back. Beautiful ball perfect.
So it is 4 for 37, Australia need some work to do and then they can trust Pakistan batting for a collapse in these conditions.
That ball initially went out in air for a bit and then came back sharply at a very teasing length inviting to be driven. That’s the special of Asif and thats when people tend to compare him with McGrath.
04:42 GMT : A review once again against North for an LBW shot given out and North challenged, everything was alright but it was just over the wicket due to that bounce in green pitch. To naked eye it was dead in front but technology give the benefit of that little hight doubt to batsman. And Aussies commentators are nervous too, he dumb fully said it was Pakistan review second time when they were Australian reviews, nice going buddies.
Question: Is review also giving a little benefit to batsman as other changes in cricket in last decade?
04:51 GMT : Australia’s first 50 as a team in match after loosing 4 wickets, 50 for 4 hard earned. 50 came of two consecutive fours hmm nice.
05:00 GMT : Asif is on hat trick and missed it, its the fourth one in these two tests and all missed. He got good going Hussey trying to play a pull shot and then North on next ball with an outside edge to Kamran, that was a goo ball too. o good bowling Pakistan is pumped up making life harder for Australia.
57 for 6 and 15 min short of tea.
05:15 GMT : And Pakistan is not dropping those catches any more and they usually don’t when they are this dominant. Yousuf took another catch of Haddin for Asif who got four now. Asif is bowling really well now at perfect line and lengths for these conditions.
Can we have one more before tea?
05:20 GMT : Tea Day 1: And Pakistan is right on top with Australia wondering at 67 for 7. Ponting must be thinking weather it was right to go out and bat first at a green pitch in overcast conditions or he had great confedence on his batsmen, what You think let me know?
Let have a nice break to breath a bit.
05:45 GMT : So covers are again on as there is some rain once again before start of last session so some more delay before the action. Inspection is on by Umpires and covers are off too.
05:55 GMT : Ok we are starting again Asif to Johnson.
06:30 GMT : Kaneria introduced to attack for the first time in this test and the series, when Australians are trying to score some runs on the board. Highest partnership by Johnson and Haurtiz of the inning 27, 7 for 89 Australia.
06:40 GMT : Mitch just had a real go at Kaneria as he hit him two fours and a huge six in an over so he is keeping his good record in batting at SCG up while Kaneria has leaked 18 runs in his first two overs.
06:43 GMT : Asif got his first five for against Austrlia as he rattled Hauritz off stump by another very good ball. So a good inning building partnership ends here.
07:00 GMT : Asif got his sixth,Mitch finally got out trying to hit one over again. Nice little inning by Mitch. Johnson to bring this score little bit count able. Will he take seventh too? Umar Gul is pretty ordinary at the other end.
23:00 GMT : Start of second day play, Bollinger to Salman Butt.
23:20 GMT : Imran Farhat dropped at first slip by North in Pakistani way as said by dear Tony.
23:30 GMT : Pakistani openers learning the art of staying in middle and ridding a little bit of luck meanwhile commentators can’t believe they are 36 for no loss.
23:45 GMT : Mitchell Johnson is into the attack for the first time, interesting time when openers have done some good work to survive.
00:00 GMT : 50 runs opening partnership in trying conditions of a good straight drive to an over pitched Watson delivery by Imran Farhat. This is probably a very good opening partnership by Pakistani standards.
00:45 GMT : Nothing much happening out there just some oos and aas from Australians, they had dried up runs and waiting for anything outrageous and stupid but openers are still pretty determined to stay in middle, nothing silly done except a couple of shots may be.
01:30 GMT : Its lunch and Pakistan is 84 for no loss, it is slow going but it was Pakistan session, openers denied to give it away. They have some luck and avoided couple of silly moments, a drop chance, couple of possible run out chances but they survived.
There was some lost of concentration in last hour when pressure was on and they tried some different things specially Imran Farhat walking down the pitch to Watson missing it by miles and then forgot to get back to his crease thanks to Haddin he wasn’t able to hit the stumps otherwise it might have been a stupid wicket after such a hard work.
Australian bowled very well, conditions are still there with seam and movement so battle will be on. So let see how they get their concentration back after lunch.
Moment of this Session : North dropping Imran at 11 probably little off balanced at first slip and Imran Farhat’s wild swing while walking down half of the pitch and then losing complete concentration to get back to crease, that was ugly believe me.
02:12 GMT : Start after lunch, Imran had his fifty with a single a well earned and well palyed fifty when needed despite some nervy silly moments. Good fight. Tense test cricket.
02:20 GMT : Salman Butt has enough of it so he is cutting lose against Hauritz, 10 runs in last over with two cut shot boundaries and a lofted shot over long off.
02:25 GMT : 100 runs opening partnership, well done guys this is second 100+ runs partnership in their four last four test matches if I am right, so some opening partnership patteren developing for Pakistan?
13 runs of Mitch’s over two very good boundaries again, so they are pushing the paddles now.
02:27 GMT : Ok they carried away little bit more, Imran caught by Haddin trying to sweep away Hauritz, there was no need for that and spinner is also getting some turn and bounce. Faisal Iqbal in.
02:42 GMT : Faisal struggling against spinner Hauritz and putting some pressure on the other end too, testing time.
Openers have done their job very well, yes they could have capitalize it but it was already good in such conditions now its up to rest to capitalize on it and build up a good lead.
02:57 GMT : The runs are even now, its 127 for 1. Pakistan will build up some lead now. Salman Butt is on 62 how I missed his fifty mark when did that happen, he was stuck in 20s and 30s forever and all of a sudden he is on 62, hmmmmm.
03:30 GMT : oh Salman Butt is out, when he was looking very good and pretty set for a century a good opportunity went away, he already had a century here at SCG. He edged a good delivery which had a little away movement and he went for a drive. Yousuf is in. They need to put up at least 250 or with such good start more then that.
Pakistan 145 for 2.
03:45 GMT : 150 up for 2 with a good looking pull shot by Yousuf after a desperate review of caught behind by acting Captain Clark. Its 154 for 2 and Yousuf is looking good.
03:58 GMT : Yousuf is having a go just before tea, 13 runs of Bollinger over with two fours one inside edge of pull shot and other beautiful straight off drive, best shot of the day so far.
04:00 GMT : 50 is the lead now. Yousuf is scoring boundaries now but little risky some of those, edges and pre-meditated sweep. Its 185 for 2 now. Yousuf 23 of 26.
04:10 GMT : Its Tea now. Pakistan 190 for 2 with 64 runs lead with 8 wickets in hand pretty much on top. Another session for Pakistan and its fourth consecutive one nice going boys. There is no look back now at least in this match, go ahead and make the impression its all set to make one which will last for a while.
04:45 GMT : 200 up, since play has resumed after tea there were couple of maiden but now Yousuf is again getting going 12 of Hauritz over.
04:49 GMT : Faisal out, a great catch by Watson running backward and judging it to perfection, a very important break through. Faisal was trying to hit it over cover but it went toward Watson.
Kid of the talk Umar Akmal came in and smashed two consecutive boundaries on his first two balls. And an almost six on fourth ball woho and once bounce again on fifth ball …… calm down kid.
04:56 GMT : 16 runs of Hauritz over by Umar Akmal with four boundries. Don’t get carry away Umar!
05:00 GMT : 103 is the lead now, Umar is only coming in boundries 20 on 7 balls. Some quick fire in SCG.
05:10 GMT : Yousuf out, that is a big wicket he was in great touch but fell for his cut shot on a ball which angles away and bounce little more, Haddin took a great diving catch from front of first slip’s face. Its all happening here.
Misbah in and now these two need to calm down and build up a partnership as Aussies are pumping up now by those great catches. Misbah need 3 more to complete 1000 test runs.
05:22 GMT : 1000 runs for Misbah in test cricket, and that come in style with a six over his favorite area midwicket fence.
05:36 GMT : New ball taken, Pakistan 266 for 4 after 80 overs, Umar Akmal is playing his own inning of firing shots upishly all around the ground with aggression and risk invloved, sometimes some silly shots too. But now he needs to be little careful for next half or full hour with new ball.
06:00 GMT : Umar Akmal out, oh dear dear this boy doesn’t like to contain on 49 or 99 he was trying to smash it when he reached at his 49 missed one and next hit him on pads right in front, umpire gave him not out Aussies reviewed and it given. Big big wicket.
06:01 GMT : Another brother another first ball drive for four, Kamran Akmal into the action now. If he put a firing 50 here like his younger brother Pakistan will be up there with 200+ lead.
Lead is 159 now, Pakistan 286 for 5.
06:10 GMT : Misbah out, well he always has something cheeky to get out, this time it was an unneseccary hook shot to rising moving delivery. Tail is out now Sami in will he do something with bat too?.
So there were talks about slow going earlier and now this session had all runs in it but with wickets going rapidly too, so now their will be talks about rash T20 batting, so what you think how it should have been?
06:23 GMT : Kamran out, rightly so that agression is turning a good batting performance into little bit of slugish, they had to cross 200 mark for the lead at least. Karman played his trade mark shot over cover where Watson was placed perfectly.
300 up for Pakistan 7 wickets down. New ball doing the damage, still some swing and seam something encouraging for Pakistani bowlers.
06:26 GMT : Review against Sami but unsuccessful.
06:35 GMT : Two good cover drives from Gul in an over by Bollinger. 13 from it very value able runs as they are approaching 200 lead.
06:55 GMT : Gul and Sami out trying to play their shots, two wickets for Watson.
07:00 GMT : Stumps Day 2, Pakistan 331 for 9 with a lead of 204, good batting effort on a pitch which is still doing something but Australian did well to restrict Pakistan this lead could have been more devastating if haven’t picked wickets at regular intervals in last session with the help of some aggression by Pakistani middle and lower middle order. But they managed to put some quick runs on the board and made more then 300 runs in a day.
Australia will have to bowel a little tomorow for that last wicket which will be frustrating a bit. Aussies have quite some time to fight back and build some target but pitch is doing it yet little bit and if Pakistan bowel well again like fist inning it will be an interesting day tomorrow.
23:15 GMT : Pakistan started with very defensive field setting for Hussey all saving boundaries no one saving single, thats no positive they can be more attacking specially first half an hour.
23:30 GMT : Nothing happening except commentators having a go at defensive tactics, they just can’t believe. Yea right Yousuf and Pakistan should show Aussies they are here to go after them and they are on top but I don’t what is going through Yousuf and team, body language is just not what a team with such position should be.
23:45 GMT : Aussies are slowly going where they want to, my fear anything 120+ and they look like reaching there or more as no pressure so far not even on Siddle.
00:00 GMT : Lead 100+ and Hussey had a century very well played but had many lives in it, dropped thrice by Kamran Akmal but no danger this morning so far. One review we had against Hussey for caught behind but bat hit pad not bat.
00:15 GMT : 333 for 8, so lead is 127 and both batsmen are playing comfortably one edge so far falling short of Faisal at second slip. Field placing has started to get back to some sensible positions.
Siddle is playing incredibly easily both pacers and Kaneria and he has no pressure whatsoever, I feel like pulling my hairs of knocking my head some where, whats going on?
00:30 GMT : Lead is 133 for 8, can’t believe it. Not getting a wicket is different but they don’t look like getting a wicket. Nothing has gone Pakistan way so far some couple of edges over slips by Hussey, one edge short by Siddle and couple not so good shouts.
01:00 GMT : Siddle dropped once again by Kamran Akmal, dear me he is having a nightmare behind the stumps. Lead is 148 now.
01:08 GMT : Last review wasted by Pakistan against Hussey for a caught be behind, they better had took those which actually nicked. Lead is 150+ and partnership is 100+ now.
01:30 GMT : 373 for 8, lead is 167. Aussies have added 86 runs without loosing a wicket what a session it was for them. Match is live and heading towards an even condition or may be upper hand for Aussies.
Its LUNCH day 4.
02:45 GMT : Siddle out, Bollinger out, Asif got Siddle with a short delivery which caught Siddle by surprise. Brilliant partnership ended as Siddle got standing avation from Sydney crowed not much today.
Kaneria got Bollinger first with a cheeky dismisal, ball turns sharply into left hander who got it in his pads body and it rolled into stumps while he was just watching whats happening should have knocked it somewhere if had a little presence of mind.
Hussey not out 134, jem of an inning might be match winning, but he gave Aussies something to fight with. But don’t forget three straight forward catches dropped by keeper of Hussey.
176 is the target now more then many expected, its a tricky target they have to go after if positively scoring runs whenever the opportunity is but should minimize the risk and doesn’t carried away with there shots.
03:15 GMT : Pakistan of to a flyer Imran Farhat and Butt are playing there shots very well, intent is looking positive and they middling it well. They also survived and left some very good deliveries.
Farhat out, he played his drive one too many, it was just short of the perfect driveable length he was driving earlier, he realized it checked his drive but it was too late ball went upishly and flat to Johnson who took a low catch inches of the ground.
Pakistan 34 for 1.
Butt reviwed a LBW shout and he was right it got the inside edge before hitting the pad. Butt is still playing well his shots.
Pakistan 46 for 1.
Faisal Iqbal out, a tentive Mitch delivery which pitches up and moves away a llittle, Faisal was squared up with it got and outside edge to Haddin. Yousuf the captain in.
Butt out, oh dear that was a hell of a catch by Haddin, it was down the legside and pitched up near pads, Butt tried to flick it and got it fine, it flying past right of keeper but he took one little step towards it went air born and took a thrilling one handed catch. Perfect, it was catch which could turn the match, it will remain in cricket highlights for a long time.
Pakistan lost it, don’t ask anything it is just not answerable, doesn’t make sense, please.
Thanks to all those being optimistic about Pakistan, and to others please being optimistic within a close circle of reality doesn’t hurt guys!.
Are you effected by the overall negativity surrounding Pakistan?
Pakistan’s first inning looks like effected by that negativity but again we got rid of it in second inning somewhat, so I will stay optimistic and positive about Pakistan and Pakistan cricket as far as a drop of belief or blood stays in me.
For those who are afraid of being optimistic, you might see something special on last cricketing day of 2000s, a Pakistan victory (although highly unlikely) but then don’t give me this and that and early declaring shit, it is the willingness to fight which bring Pakistan this far.
For me, I already have seen a glimpse of what I want to see from this Pakistan side, so whatever the result is on 30th December 2009 I am fine with it as far as I am seeing the fight they put up in second inning so far.
Many people at some places thrashed me and many like me who were little optimistic about Pakistan’s tour to Australia. They argued with statistics, history and current state of the team that Pakistan will again produce same result as before 0-3 against Aussies in Australia. As the first test progressed from the word go or even from toss and team selection their point of view was getting stronger and stronger till first inning of both teams concluded.
In second inning we saw fear making his way out and natural instincts getting out of them with some determination to get back into this. They did get back into the skin of Aussies in their second inning and then Pakistan started their second inning batting in contrast to first, we saw positive intent, willing to put runs on board, willing to put bad balls away and occasionally risky silly shots. Still they keep tumbling when there was a hint of a partnership even the last pair of the day Yousaf and young Umar had some luck with them and came back un-beaten unlike first inning’s second day’s stumps.
After all this they put themselves in a position where they could sense an outside chance of pulling off a historical run chase and victory from a position where they were looking to lose it by an inning or so and this is what I am being optimistic of. This happened twice or thrice in last 4 test matches they came back from behind and nearly catch up. If Pakistan can keep this habit soon they will start and learn to dominate provided no spectacular disaster from no where and non-cricketing issues.
Well back to reality, Yousuf is looking good and Umar is in his usual self, Yousuf has a big role to play not only to stay there as long as possible but also to calm down his ever aggressive partner time to time. But Pakistan had an immense task ahead of them and all this could happen tomorrow.
- Pakistan survives first session without any loss of wicket with +100 runs and all set to chase 150+ runs in last two sessions with 7 wickets in hand. Can’t predict beyond this, its crazy.
- Australia gets couple of wickets in first session specially if these two and are on there heels to get others in last two.
- Pakistan collapse as unexpectedly as they do.
- Pardon me I am not playing at MCG, wait for the day dude.
Australia still has an edge and could rap this up tomorrow without any trouble but if Pakistan in determined and willing to pull up something astonishing they have a difficult chance.
So both teams are lining up for series decider in Napier, this is surely an exciting moment for both teams as well as fans, as there has been quite a while since both teams have found themself in such situation. Yes, the situation of winning a test series home or away, quite ironically both claims it their home series, Pakistan being the original host and New Zealand being the real host. But I guess New Zealand should be called host as they are actually hosting the series in their own country.
Lets look at the match with different angles:
We had a delayed start of second test between Pakistan and New Zealand in 2009 series due to wet out field specially near bowling run up. News is New Zealand has won the toss and decided to bowl.
Team news are not surprising from New Zealand side they have a forced change as their spear head Shane Bond is injured and is replaced by Tuffey nothing else even they might have got Southee in but they kept Elliot in to strengthen or deepen their batting.
In Pakistani line up there are some changes and surprises too. Misbah-ul-Haq is in as expected as he was sent to New Zealand on Captain Yousuf request after Younis opted to stay away from the series, so it is the time for him to keep promise and deliver as well as revive his career as it might be a last season or chance for him. Misbah got it in him, he just need to apply it which Pakistan needs a lot specially in this test when they are 1 down in series and playing at a cracker of a pitch with that inexperienced batting line up.
Then Salman Butt is in for Khurram Manzoor as he didn’t impressed much in first test. Khurram also doesn’t posses enough good technique to play as an opener in such conditions. But Imran Farhat is still in after a disastrous performance in first test, failing as opener and also as a slip fielder dropping three crucial catches which might have the reason to loss with others. But I think he has been given a chance so he will be under some pressure to prove worth it. Hey and also Misbah’s safe hands are back in slips which might also release him a bit from that duty.
Danish Kaneria is in for Saeed Ajmal, well this is interesting as there was no apparent need for that. Saeed Ajmal bowled well in first test but as conditions were not favoring spinners but he still kept things tight to maintain pressure. This might be another revolving policy of spinners which I think is unnecessary. But it might also be to get some wickets by Kaneria but he is also little expensive at same time. So it will be interesting to compare his performance with Ajmal’s in almost same conditions or even faster bowler friendly at Basen Reserve.
Another important development and talking point this morning is he number 3rd position in Pakistani line up which looks like is given to Umar Akmal. Commentators has already started a small debate on it. I think this is like asking too much from your youngest in form almost match saving or match winning batsman in a such over cast conditions while you are also batting first. Specially when you have options, I mean what is Malik doing so down the order, isn’t he ready to put his hands up and face the music then he should have been given some rest to get ready. Really this is his role, Misbah is back in middle order and that is his specialized position, Malik is used to play at top order. But I think he is just playing for his place in team and get some from and runs while the ball is little old and is not doing that much. On second thought Misbah could be sent at number three but that will kill the reason why he is in the side to strengthen middle order. Even Umar could hold middle order with Kamran and Malik but that will again like asking too much from a kid playing his second test. So this will be tester for Umar Akmal to live up to expectations in such situation at number three. Interesting all over.
Match in under way and there is some movement of the pitch that Vettori was expecting and the ball has beaten the edge some times in first 5 overs but Pakistani openers survived. So game ON guys have fun! and don’t forget your input.
[UPDATE] Sorry I forgot about Fawad Alam as he is out of second test giving way to Misbah-ul-Haq. Fawad is a strange guy, he is in the scenes for quite some time now, he has been in the squad for many tours but haven’t got enough chances regularly to play. He showed a lot of promise at limited occasions but not enough to recon him as a great future. There is always a lot of praise for him in local circuits for his all round nature as batsman, fielder and bowler. Lot of people saying lot of things about him specially after his debut test hundred against Sri Lanka back in July 2009. But he hasn’t performed consistently whenever given a chance and he is mostly used for his batting that also at different positions in his short career. His batting technique is also under microscope as he has that very unique stance well outside leg stump and then he shuffles in towards his off stump right before the delivery is bowled largely compared with Chanderpaul’s technique but it is a risky one as he very vulnerable to balls on his pads and drifting down the leg side. I personally think he is the guy who has cricketing thing in him so he must be given a proper little long chance to settle in mentally as well.