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
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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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 :)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 ....

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • sailor on September 26, 2008, 9:48 GMT

    keep fighting man........

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 :)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 ....

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • sailor on September 26, 2008, 9:48 GMT

    keep fighting man........

  • Ananthasubramanian on September 26, 2008, 9:40 GMT

    How is your injury? Are you ok?

  • Kaushik on September 26, 2008, 9:02 GMT

    Akash, Please ensure that you give a sterling performance in the seconds innings. A score of 130 + scored at a decent pace should get you back into the Indian side. I am of the view that great first class cricket results help in getting an Irani cup berth. However a great Irani Cup performance can propel you to the test level. All said and done I feel you are the best equipped opener in the country today. So please make your presence felt. Kaushik ( A well wisher)

  • Onkar Nath on September 26, 2008, 8:32 GMT

    Aakash, What's going wrong with you ?????????? You are the best opener, cash this opportunity, show your temperaments, don't loose your patience PLEASE....................

  • anonymous on September 26, 2008, 7:57 GMT

    Aakash,

    Ive written to you many times, including on orkut. Like many others here, im a big fan of your batting. you're by far the best opener in India at the moment. 3 Double hundreds and a 182 speak for themselves. As i write, ROI is 7 wickets down and its your time to bat soon. Please play a good knock with a 100 or so and hopefully (now that the selection committee is being changed), you shall be back in the reckoning. Good Luck. See you in the Indian Jersey soon.

  • bhaliya loka on September 26, 2008, 7:52 GMT

    Aakash, Good to see you batting aggressively, picking the balls towards the end of Day 1 to be hit. I could not see the begining of day 2.

    I agree with some other readers that you are technically the best opener since Gavaskar by a country mile. I hope you have developed forgettery (opposite of memory) that allows you to forget the disappointment of yesterday - when you bat today. All the very best.

    WE WANT TO SEE YOU IN TEAM INDIA.

  • kk on September 26, 2008, 6:55 GMT

    dear akash what happend with u and munaf and u all r indian so pls don't do like that

  • Anonymous on September 26, 2008, 6:36 GMT

    Hard luck yesterday, but no one's gonna doubt your perseverance and determination. Its good to see people like Sangwan and Nanda coming onto their own. With Rahul, Badri and Dhoni playing as they are- it augurs nothing but good for India. and last but not the least good going on those 150 plus catches. Keep up the good work. Best wishes..

  • Sid on September 26, 2008, 5:37 GMT

    Thanks for the post Aakash, after an ordinary day for Delhi. As I write this, Ishant has brought you guys back in the match by taking out Badri and Kaif. Go well in the IINd knock Aakash, get a hundred and take the fight to ROI. India needs you at the top with Viru.

    Cheers

  • Alex Paul k on September 26, 2008, 5:22 GMT

    Hi Akash Its been a pleasure reading your posts.I was watching you after such a long time.It was refreshing to see your aggressive style though i use to admire the old Akash Chopra.Once again i guess you are falling in that old trap of 40's & 50's which paved your way out of the national team.Though i am a big fan of Sehwag & Gambhir i would still love to see you in the reckoning for a place.Lately after reading a lot of articles about you i am just feeling some sort of admiration for you

    wishing you the very best

  • vikranth on September 26, 2008, 5:09 GMT

    hi akash i appreciate you for your respectable knock for delhi.your batting style is good dont change it take a little care of spinners hope your door will knocked soon by bcci

  • vivek on September 26, 2008, 5:06 GMT

    dont worry aakash, just keep your chin up... as an old dilliwalla, i hope you guys put it past the rest of india team!

  • Ravi on September 26, 2008, 5:03 GMT

    Dear Akash, does BCCI know you Blog? They may not have a website of their own but will definitely have an opinion (mostly against) on whether players should Blog or not. I read your recent interview in cricinfo and it appeared to come straight from the heart. It would be good if you, Viru and Gambhir can all be part of the Indian XI with retirements and injuries to the senior players. I have not lost hope and I hope you would not either!!

    All the best Ravi

  • Goutham Chakravarthi LS on September 26, 2008, 4:40 GMT

    Your catching will be crucial today. Personally I feel that you have lost the initiative and don't see how you can come back. ROI will win even if they add only a 100 more today. I don't see you guys chasing down 275-300 batting last against Harbhajan and Anil. But, still, all the best!

  • Anonymous on September 26, 2008, 4:40 GMT

    I wateched few clippings and closly followed the match in cricinfo... Akash you should have kept your cool and concentrated your batting. I believe by responding to Munaf you lost concentration.... best wishes for your second innings and hope you will play well and get a ton... NEVER GIVE UP...YOU CAN DO IT Majeed

  • Yogesh on September 26, 2008, 4:15 GMT

    Hi Aakash, Definitely. I can see the reason for disappointment. Delhi could have easily end 2nd Day at 400-2 or something like that (considering Viru, Gambhir and you are in real good touch). But thats ok. As I said, in my earlier comment, looking forward to see you in India's playing 11 soon. Dont feel bad. You are going to be back in playing 11. Best Luck. Do you Best. (However, I'm still praying for ROI to win :) ) Regards, #! /Yogesh. PS: Keep bloging. It helps people like us to know more abt whats going on there (on and off the field)

  • Ananthasubramanian on September 26, 2008, 4:08 GMT

    It is not at all easy to accept that you have squandered a big advantage after gaining a lot on Day 1. But, that's how good the opposition is. Dravid and Badrinath would hold the key today. If you get past them, Kaif, Dhoni and Laxman could be tested as it takes time for the new batsmen to settle in.

    As things are on, I expect Dravid-Badri partnership to flourish and see ROI taking a big lead. But, you need not lose heart out of that. How many times have you folks come back into the match after batting poorly in the 1st innings?

    Remember, Qaid-E-Azam trophy? ???

  • ashutosh kumar on September 26, 2008, 4:06 GMT

    hey one interesting thing I saw in the highlight was your chit chat with Munaf .It would be interesting to know ,what exactly happened there.I think Viru also got exited.It would be interesting to see how Munaf manages to share dressing room ,once they are together on national duty.talking about the match,I think Indians are bussy in entertaining and giving world class facilities to Australian side,rather than preparing sporting wicket for the match,which involves best in the country.It was completely horrible to see the condition of the pitch.I think curator wanted to finish this match in 3 days.Hope the management see it and do something for the coming engagements.

  • Balaji on September 26, 2008, 4:01 GMT

    Hi Aakash, You did a fine job yesterday. Sometimes odd things happen on the field and in life. Keep up the good work and keep fighting.

    My firm belief is that you have been the best (technically equipped) opening batsman after Sunil Gavaskar. This was well proven through your performances in Australia when you played for India.

    Fight on. You WILL get back in to the team. All the best.

  • Shaan on September 26, 2008, 2:56 GMT

    I wish on the day three Dravid and Laxman will play will and give a solid lead to ROI. Both of these players are not in good form these days, but you can't write up these two because of one bad innings. The selectors are doing partiality by everytiome pressuring on Laxman, but wat abt tendulkar. We know he is the greatest batsman but everything behind his past, its better to retire him from international cricket for the sake of country.

  • Srinivas.K on September 26, 2008, 1:40 GMT

    this is getting boring mate. Come on make it interesting by telling us what happened between you and Munaf and Viru. Did you guys make up after the days play?

  • Harsha on September 26, 2008, 0:54 GMT

    I hope you are not right and ROI makes some runs :-))...Our guys need to be in form for the bigger test that lies ahead.Good luck for the 2nd innings and rest of the season...

  • Dhanu on September 26, 2008, 0:26 GMT

    I actually think the most important day is already over. It was the second day and Delhi was battered by ROI. With a 170 odd run lead and 9 wickets in the bank, ROI has basically won the game already (remember Delhi couldn't get past 177 in their first innings). On another note, doesn't Kumble look rather ineffective? Agreed he got Sehwag but that was more because Sehwag got himself out. So much effort from him going into each ball but negotiated rather easily by all the batsman.

  • V Prabhu on September 25, 2008, 23:24 GMT

    Dear Aakash,

    I am mad at you for giving away your concentration. I believe that you are our best opener. A double hundred in this match would had done you and India a lot good. It is hard to see how a bowler can disturb a level headed person like you. Anyway, I am sure that you must be thinking the same, so no point in preaching to the preached. Once again, this is a good post, so keep up the great work. Another thing I feel is that Sehwag would be a better test captain than Dhoni. First, his place is guaranteed. Second, the way he convinced Kumble to keep on Ishant when Ishant took the famous Ponting wicket shows that he understands about more bowling rhythm than Kumble, the best bowler of all time. He is aggressive yet levelheaded. What are your views on this? Do you feel more comfortable when Sehwag leads for Delhi? Dhoni being a wicketkeeper will have too much to look after as a captain.

  • Said Chaudhry on September 25, 2008, 20:45 GMT

    If only your aggression could match your skill, you could've scored big :) Sehwag is no doubt a great batsman so please dont blame him for the downfall.

  • sam on September 25, 2008, 20:14 GMT

    it shows that you r not in mood to write, i was looking foreward to today's post but was thoroughly disappointed, no mention about what happened with munaf or the game as whole, i usually enjoy your posts but not today. but keep fighting ; it's cricket things can happen.

  • Srinu on September 25, 2008, 19:29 GMT

    Appreciate your writings even on the day you felt bad for your play.It's a relief for you too.I know you guys will not give up and try tomorrow hard to take wickets and take back the game to Delhi.Very good contest is ahead and I would love to see Delhi fightback..Best of luck to you guys and also hope you will make a big hundred in the 2nd innings and fight for your test return..I like you solid play and brilliant and smart fielding at close-in.

  • Amit on September 25, 2008, 19:24 GMT

    Aakash, what happened between you and Viru, and Munaf?

    Please spill the beans! Nobody will think less of you or Munaf, it's rare to get such a perspective.

    Thanks

    amit

  • Rahul Mittal on September 25, 2008, 18:57 GMT

    I was watching some of the clips of the match. It was nice to see positive batting from your side. I have read your past interviews where you mentioned the change in your batting style as you are now more attacking and always looking to score runs. Bowling out ROI will be the main issue for Delhi. I dont think other Ishant, any1 is threating to ROI. Nehra is gone and old while Sangwan is a new kid without any experience.

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  • Rahul Mittal on September 25, 2008, 18:57 GMT

    I was watching some of the clips of the match. It was nice to see positive batting from your side. I have read your past interviews where you mentioned the change in your batting style as you are now more attacking and always looking to score runs. Bowling out ROI will be the main issue for Delhi. I dont think other Ishant, any1 is threating to ROI. Nehra is gone and old while Sangwan is a new kid without any experience.

  • Amit on September 25, 2008, 19:24 GMT

    Aakash, what happened between you and Viru, and Munaf?

    Please spill the beans! Nobody will think less of you or Munaf, it's rare to get such a perspective.

    Thanks

    amit

  • Srinu on September 25, 2008, 19:29 GMT

    Appreciate your writings even on the day you felt bad for your play.It's a relief for you too.I know you guys will not give up and try tomorrow hard to take wickets and take back the game to Delhi.Very good contest is ahead and I would love to see Delhi fightback..Best of luck to you guys and also hope you will make a big hundred in the 2nd innings and fight for your test return..I like you solid play and brilliant and smart fielding at close-in.

  • sam on September 25, 2008, 20:14 GMT

    it shows that you r not in mood to write, i was looking foreward to today's post but was thoroughly disappointed, no mention about what happened with munaf or the game as whole, i usually enjoy your posts but not today. but keep fighting ; it's cricket things can happen.

  • Said Chaudhry on September 25, 2008, 20:45 GMT

    If only your aggression could match your skill, you could've scored big :) Sehwag is no doubt a great batsman so please dont blame him for the downfall.

  • V Prabhu on September 25, 2008, 23:24 GMT

    Dear Aakash,

    I am mad at you for giving away your concentration. I believe that you are our best opener. A double hundred in this match would had done you and India a lot good. It is hard to see how a bowler can disturb a level headed person like you. Anyway, I am sure that you must be thinking the same, so no point in preaching to the preached. Once again, this is a good post, so keep up the great work. Another thing I feel is that Sehwag would be a better test captain than Dhoni. First, his place is guaranteed. Second, the way he convinced Kumble to keep on Ishant when Ishant took the famous Ponting wicket shows that he understands about more bowling rhythm than Kumble, the best bowler of all time. He is aggressive yet levelheaded. What are your views on this? Do you feel more comfortable when Sehwag leads for Delhi? Dhoni being a wicketkeeper will have too much to look after as a captain.

  • Dhanu on September 26, 2008, 0:26 GMT

    I actually think the most important day is already over. It was the second day and Delhi was battered by ROI. With a 170 odd run lead and 9 wickets in the bank, ROI has basically won the game already (remember Delhi couldn't get past 177 in their first innings). On another note, doesn't Kumble look rather ineffective? Agreed he got Sehwag but that was more because Sehwag got himself out. So much effort from him going into each ball but negotiated rather easily by all the batsman.

  • Harsha on September 26, 2008, 0:54 GMT

    I hope you are not right and ROI makes some runs :-))...Our guys need to be in form for the bigger test that lies ahead.Good luck for the 2nd innings and rest of the season...

  • Srinivas.K on September 26, 2008, 1:40 GMT

    this is getting boring mate. Come on make it interesting by telling us what happened between you and Munaf and Viru. Did you guys make up after the days play?

  • Shaan on September 26, 2008, 2:56 GMT

    I wish on the day three Dravid and Laxman will play will and give a solid lead to ROI. Both of these players are not in good form these days, but you can't write up these two because of one bad innings. The selectors are doing partiality by everytiome pressuring on Laxman, but wat abt tendulkar. We know he is the greatest batsman but everything behind his past, its better to retire him from international cricket for the sake of country.