March 30, 2006

India-Pakistan

Learn from thy neighbours...

ESPNcricinfo staff

I am quite an Afridi with the 'remote' in hand, checking out on every channel once every 15 minutes so as not to miss out on this great movie or that NatGeo / Discovery program or a cricket match that suddenly turned into a thrill-a-minute affair. You'll probably agree that it always is a sick feeling to learn next day from mocking pals with wide grins that you were in front of the television and yet missed out on 'the' event.

Not that the just-finished Pak-SL match turned any such brilliant corner at any stage on this 5th day. Yet my fingers insisted on taking a break every time I passed by it. It sure is a pleasure to see any cricket team, even your rivals, getting it right under pressure as the Pakistanis did today.

Former Indian Test cricketer and fielding great Yajurvindra Singh was asked to remove butter from fingers of our Test fielders in the pre-Test preparation camp. Surely neither Singh nor the person who thought of the idea is to be blamed for the catastrophic Indian fielding that followed in the Test matches. Maybe it is time for Dravid, Greg Chappell and BCCI to put on their 'constructive thinking' caps once again and summon Messrs. Inzy and co. to share a few words of wisdom with their Indian counterparts on the right mix of aggression and defence that constitutes fourth innings batting.

If you think of it, this Test match at Colombo's SSC ground went exactly the way of the Karachi Test a few months back. That is, till Pakistan showed why they are the best Test team in the sub-continent at the moment.

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Posted by Angshuman hazra on (April 10, 2006, 6:27 GMT)

Now Bangladesh go past 400 against Australia with a few wickets to spare, and they do it thru genuine Test class batting. India apparently have a problem of plenty as far as batting consultancy options are concerned.

Posted by Zainub on (April 6, 2006, 15:36 GMT)

Its probably come to that stage now Feroz where it would be pointless for me to even try and get my message across to you, let alone clear my position on Inzi's captaincy, the strength of our batting and bowling, and the future of Pakistan cricket, your "jump up to convinient self serving conclusion" window would probably filter out everything I say. So we'll leave it at that.

Posted by Feroz Faisal Dawson on (April 5, 2006, 8:55 GMT)

Oh my, oh dear, Pakistan wins yet another Test Series, according to your resident expert, the plague still continues to haunt the Pakistani Team! According to her, only Australia can play Superb Cricket and the rest of the World can only dream of matching the magnificent and almighty Australians. True, Pak beat Eng 2-0 and Ind 1-0 and S. Lanka 1-0(away) but don't let that fool you, there are thousands of problems with Pakistan, so much so that they cannot and must not be mentioned in the same breath as Australia, the only country that truly knows how to play cricket. The Captaincy of Inzy is a disaster, our batting is woeful and bowling cannot hope to match the great heights heretofore only occupied by the Aussies. If we are lucky the Aussies will give us 2 ODI's in the TelstraDome and a picnic basket because surely we do not deserve anything more;heaven forbid a Test at the WACA , how dare we even suggest such a thing , we Pakistan , who are weak and useless and oh so lucky to have fans like Zainub. Hey Zainub, long may our "plague" continue. By the way Zainub, some people see life as a glass half full, some as half empty, your glass is totally empty and that's ok, that's your choice, but some of us remember when Pakistan Test Cricket was really down in the dumps-at least we can tell the difference-we know what rock bottom feels like. And give us a rest on how great Australia are-stating the obvious is usually the preserve of third rate commentators. Are you looking for a job?

Posted by Angshuman hazra on (April 4, 2006, 7:43 GMT)

Do you want a Test at Perth? We in India would say "time time ki baat hai pyare" (it all varies with the phase you are going thru). West Indies had a home away from home there till the 90's but their players would probably not go on strike if Perth does not feature on their next itinerary Down Under.

Posted by Zainub on (April 3, 2006, 22:15 GMT)

My God Feroz (to use your style) you really do jump up to some convinient conclusions of your own. When and where did I ever deny the performances you mentioned? Did I say Pakistani bowlers have never ever done respectably on Australian soil? No. Did I merely highlight the fact, and please do note that it is fact and not my opinion, about our statistical win-loss record at the Western Australia Cricket Academy Ground? Yes, I did. Did I mean to imply Pakistan teams - and not specific individuals but teams as a whole - tend to struggle in the conditions in Perth? Yes. I did veru much so. If you could prove otherwise, please go ahead and do so. I'll gladly be stand corrected. As a guide, here is our record at the WACA:

Played: 5 Won: 0 Lost: 5 Tied: 0 Drawn: 0 Win/Loss Ratio: 0.00 Highest Score for a complete or non-reduced innings: 298 Lowest Score for a completed or non-reduced innings: 62 Highest conceded score for a complete or non-reduced innings: 451 Lowest conceded score for a complete or non-reduced innings: 180 Batting average of runs per wicket: 19.8 Bowling average of runs conceded per wicket taken: 43.0 Runs scored per six balls faced: 2.91 Runs conceded per six balls bowled: 3.38

Results Summary:

Match 1: Pakistan lose by 7 wickets, 2nd Test 1978/79 series

Match 2: Pakistan lose by 286 runs, 1st Test 1981/82 series

Match 3: Pakistan lose by an innings & 9 runs, 1st Test 1983/84 series

Match 4: Pakistan lose by an innings & 20 runs 3rd Test in 1999/00 series

Match 5: Pakistan lose by 491 runs 1st Test in 2004/05 series

You and indeed others are on their own descretion to decide if this is worth being described as "appaling" or not, but could I request (politely i.e. although not for the first time) that my family and background be left out of this discussion. I conceed I was wrong about one thing that being the fact that all our losses at the WACA are not by innings plus margins as I originally speculated they might have been, indeed as a quick Stats Guru search proved, only two of the five defeats are by innings plus margins. However, given I was right about us having lost all our tests played on this venue (and some of the other stats, like the low batting average and low high score and high average runs conceeded etc) my argument still stands very much intact. The "one has to be brave to ask for a test at Perth" comment was meant to be used a sarcastive figure of speech (which you probably didn't notice) but five losses in five games played, with 2 defeats by more then an innings does qualify as appalling in my books. May be our definitions of appalling differ.

Posted by Feroz Faisal Dawson on (April 2, 2006, 15:07 GMT)

My God, Zainub, you talk as though Test cricket only started in 1995 and Australia have been the one and only Champions of the World? I thought you came from a family that was cricket mad from Karachi? Since you don't talk to your elders may I remind you that Imran and and Sarfraz took 12 and 6 in Sydney in Jan 77 in Pak's first win on Aussie soil, and in March 79, Sarfraz, in 33 deliveries, took 7-1( that's 7 wickets for one run, girl) to lead Pak to a 71 run win at the MCG. In 81 at the same MCG Pak won a test by an innings and 82 runs with Sarfraz and Imran again. We drew 3 Tests in Oz in 83-84 and drew 2 Tests in 89-90; and then we won (Pakistan) a minor tournament called the World Cup in 92 with Imran, Aaqib and Wasim ( with the injured Waqar missing out) and the final was at the MCG. Too bad all that happened before our record became "appaling" at the WACA....

One has to be very brave to ask for a Test at Perth? I think not.

Posted by Zainub on (April 2, 2006, 11:11 GMT)

Credit coming Pakistan's way for securing the draw from a tough position against Sri Lanka is all well deserved, but not with standing the fact that having to end up saving a test after having the opposition at 35-5 after the first session on the first playing day of cricket is not exactly what you'd expect of a very good team. Pakistan ATM are a good team, only good, not very good, let alone great, and at times prone to be fairly mediocre as well. We need to step up the next level and do it quickly.The progres, in some areas, isn't as fast paced as I'd like, particularly our fielding and Inzi's captaincy for large parts, and even some areas of our batting. But I'm telling my self at least we're doing OK over all, and if not quickly enough, then at least slowly, but we are improving.

How quickly we reach the level of Australia will no doubt in part depend on our test scheduling. We've got England to go to later this summer and we play four tests against them so perhaps that will be a good start for Australia to emmulate in future tours when we go down under. Or perhaps the PCB could take lead and give Australia five tests when they come over to play in Pakistan, if and when this ever happens (given you'd expect Australians to make an extensive though probably understable fuss about security issues).I agree that we probably don't play the better teams around enough but I'm not so sure I'm that keen on playing regularly at the WACA. Our record their is nothing short of appauling, we've never even maninged to make Australia bat twice there if I'm not wrong, with all our defeats being by innings plus margins. With this sort of record, one has to be very brave to ask for a test in Perth. But then, may be you're right. How possibly can we get better at playing WACA like wickets if we never play on them...

Posted by Feroz Faisal Dawson on (March 31, 2006, 10:50 GMT)

May the Gods Above shorten my life so that they may extend yours Angs, at least by 10 years.)

Reading that Scoreboard again gave me chills, like the Kim Hughes-Lillee 10-4 on a late afternoon a thousand Summers ago.

For Pakistan, Captain, Coach and convert, there is only one Yellow Brick Road and no matter how long it takes they will get there. No matter what the English do, it was India's 1-1 that pulled down that bridge and crossed the moat and hammered those old doors with rusty hinges and battered bolts. If the Aussies had any guts and believed in fair Dinkum they would give India and Pakistan 5 tests each just like old friends England. Waqar Younis never bowled in a Test at Perth. They gave Zimbabwe a Test at Perth though..apparently Pakistan is very popular in Tasmania, Darwin and Cairns..

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