September 25, 2008

Irani Trophy

Disappointed to fall to the quicks

Aakash Chopra

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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Posted by Ananth on (September 27, 2008, 14:38 GMT)

I can just sense how bad your ankle would be right now. I had got injured very badly on my foot while trying to stop a ball straight driven at me. I was out of action for more than three weeks. Ankle is even sensitive. Take care as you have a very big season of domestic action coming up.

You folks, Kolkata Knight Riders are playing in Australia. Aren't you playing there?

Posted by NS on (September 27, 2008, 9:33 GMT)

What do you mean "cheap wickets to quickies" ? They were all excellently bowled deliveries which the Delhi batsmen couldn't handle. Anybody watching could tell that Munaf really put in a lot of effort in his bowling. Anybody except you that is.

Posted by Aakash on (September 26, 2008, 17:04 GMT)

Hi guys, Firstly, thanks for following the blog and for your feedback.....really appreciated. :) It's wasn't a happy day for us, once again. Not only the ROI have enough runs on the board on this wearing pitch but also we've already lost 3 wickets in our reply. To make matters worse, I twisted my ankle while fielding and that prevented me from opening the innings. I've spent most of the evening in icing the ankle (now I sympathize with the poor quick bowlers) and hoping that the swelling goes down. I'll try to bat tomorrow with a runner and would try to make a contribution. I've been wondering that why it (twisting my ankle) happened at such a crucial juncture but then something that my folks tell me made me feel better. They say if things aren't happening the way we want then they're happening the the way God wants. :) And I'm pretty sure He'll take care of me. So pls accept my apologies today and many thanks for reading the blog. God bless.

Posted by Raghu on (September 26, 2008, 15:03 GMT)

Hey Akash, hope u make a lot of runs tomorrow cause your inning tomorrow will be really important for you personally more than anything.I know you've been knocking on the door for quite a while now and if you put in a good performance tomorrow it will definitely help you a lot!

All D very Best! hope you do well :)

Posted by chewing gum on (September 26, 2008, 14:04 GMT)

very sad you got out and missed out on your half century...keep blogging and keep making those runs.

Posted by Ravi Kumar VP on (September 26, 2008, 12:05 GMT)

How you feel about badri.I think he is technically good batsmen with right technique.But every time his effort goes in vain.Last 3 to 4 ranji seasons he is one of top performer in INDIA.But 1 who is hitting 1 century they are getting into national team.Why his efforts are not taken up by selectors upto this time.Every human should have feeling at this time we need to perform this time so we will get into the team this creates automatically over concentration and losing the wicket.So we need to give badri more chance then he would became a star middle order batsman like Dravid.I think Badri is the right person to replace saurav in test arena.Please don't waste the age of badri...Still we are not ready to loose badri talent then it is a great loss to India.It is missing the batsman with a hipe like dravid.

Posted by Piyush on (September 26, 2008, 11:48 GMT)

Hi akash , Whats the strategy behind coming down the order .... I think you would have given us a solid positive start as you were looking in nice form in the first innings ....

Posted by Santosh Kumar on (September 26, 2008, 10:24 GMT)

Hi Akash, I appreciate your level of concentration maintained while you bat. The technique to leave the away going deliveries is simply superb. But most notable thing I have found in your game now and four years ago is that you play more positively than what you used to. In 2003-04 down under you were successful when a bowler of Mcgrawth calibre was injured. But when they travelled with their spearhead then you struggled in Bangalore n dropped for other matches. In Pakistan also you were dropped in Rawalpindi test. So, for player of your calibre who is a run accumulator rather than a strokeplayer coming back into team is very difficult once you go out. And that is what has happened. So whatever opportunities comes your way take it with your both hands and there should not be any complacency. Even to drop Sachin like voice is murmured sometimes. So you can understand the level of competition. Yesterday you were well settled and I was assured that a big hundred was their 4 u.

Posted by Gopal on (September 26, 2008, 10:04 GMT)

Hi Aakash, I have been a keen follower of the game for 30 years. I had appreciated your ability to blunt the pace attack at Australia a fe wyears ago. the only thing i thought you were over defensive. But the first innings I thought you played positively. You will have your chances to play for the country and when you get it you need to seal the opportunity. 50's are not good enough. The great guys go on to make a 150 or 200 once they get a start. Look at ur colleague and team mate Sehwag. His test knocks have bracjketed him with the best. Wish you the best to go on and make a mark.

Posted by sailor on (September 26, 2008, 9:48 GMT)

keep fighting man........

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Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra is the 245th Indian to represent India in Test cricket. A batsman in the traditional mould, he played 10 Tests for India in 2003-04, and has played over 120 first-class matches. He currently plays for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy; his book Beyond the Blues was an account of the 2007-08 season. Chopra made a formidable opening combination with Virender Sehwag, which was believed to be one of the reasons for India's success in Australia and Pakistan in 2003-04. He is considered one of the best close-in fielders India has produced after Eknath Solkar.

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