India v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Kolkata, 2nd day March 18, 2005

Striking the perfect balance

On the Ball with S Rajesh and Arun Gopalakrishnan

If Rahul Dravid strutted his stuff on the first day, then it was the turn of Younis Khan and Yousuf Youhana to show just what they were capable of on the second. Dravid was rarely troubled during his knock, and today it was the same story with Youhana and Younis ­ both achieved in-control percentages of more than 80, with Youhana¹s (86) being marginally higher than Younis¹s (82.24).

They complemented each other wonderfully too ­ if Younis favoured the off side, getting 77 of his runs on that side of the wicket, then Youhana¹s preferred zone was the leg side, which fetched him 67 out of his 101 runs. Both picked on a region behind the stumps to score the majority of their runs ­ for Younis it was third man, while Youhana chose fine leg.

Running them ragged
The other feature of their stand was their outstanding running between the wickets ­ 62 out of their 203 runs were scored in singles, and 18 of them came in the arc between backward point and extra cover, most of them the result of soft hands, excellent placement and fine judgement. A wicket early on the third day, and the Indians can at least be sure that the next pair will be unlikely to steal these cheeky singles.