India v Pakistan, 1st Test, Mohali, 4th day

A captain at ease

On the Ball with S Rajesh and Arun Gopalakrishnan

March 12, 2005

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When all appeared lost for Pakistan, Inzamam-ul-Haq came out and played a gem of an innings. His 86 came off a mere 105 balls, and the outstanding feature of his innings was the ease with which he played all the Indian bowlers. As the graphic below shows, he was merciless against anything that was even marginally off target, but very often he didn't even spare the good balls - his scoring rate against good-length deliveries was nearly 60. His comfort levels can also be gauged by his phenomenal in-control percent of 82.86. Lakshmipathy Balaji may have troubled most of the Pakistan batsmen, but he was powerless against Inzamam - he leaked 27 runs from 17 balls, while Inzamam had a 94% in-control factor against him. Anil Kumble, who nailed him for the sixth time in Tests, fared better - Inzamam could only manage a 78.79% in-control factor against him.

Batman and Robin
A striking feature of Inzamam's 139-run partnership with Yousuf Youhana was the manner in which they complemented each other. Inzamam was slightly more circumspect against Irfan Pathan and Zaheer Khan, scoring at only around 60 runs per 100 balls against them, but Youhana was there to make up: his scoring rate was 81 against Pathan and 130 against Zaheer. Similarly, Youhana was kept in check by Balaji and Kumble, but against those two bowlers, Inzamam took over, scoring at a healthy rate.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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