Irani Trophy September 25, 2008

Disappointed to fall to the quicks

Both Viru and I are to be blamed for our downfall today as we were the only ones who got starts





Playing with Sehwag is always a pleasure because of our understanding of each other's games which makes things that much easier in the middle © AFP
Hi fellows

I'm not really in a mood to write today but a man's got to do what a man's got to do. So here we go. The first session of the day was the most crucial and we lost it comprehensively. The worst bit is that we only have ourselves to blame. We lost Gautam Gambhir in the second over of the day but then Virender Sehwag and I managed to string together a partnership. On this track the key is to score as many as you can against the new ball and the quicks. We did exactly that and maintained a healthy run-rate throughout.

Playing with Viru is always a pleasure not just because of his wonderful strokeplay but also because of our understanding of each other's games which makes things that much easier in the middle. With him at the other end, I could be assured of not having to play six balls in an over. We would pinch almost non-existent singles with ease. We did that today as well, while we lasted. Both Viru and I are to be blamed for our downfall today as we were the only ones who got starts. It's imperative for the people who get a good start to make it into something big, more so against a quality opposition like the Rest of India. On a personal note, I was happy to get my 150th first-class catch, when I caught Wasim Jaffer off Pradeep Sangwan at second slip.

One thing that disappointed us the most was the fact that we lost too many wickets to the quick bowlers. The track is looking too worn-out for a day-two wicket and with the ball turning and bouncing, it may have been acceptable had we lost wickets to the spin bowlers. Giving away too many cheap wickets to the quicks hurt our chances big time. We not only surrendered the advantage we enjoyed at the end of day one but now we are also up against a stiff challenge.

I have always believed the third day of a match is the most crucial and it is no different in this match. The first session will set the tone for the rest of the match and probably even decide the outcome of the match. We must pull our socks up and get ready to reclaim the initiative.

Good Night.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

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