|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
Shahid Afridi steamrolled the Indian bowlers for the second time in as many Tests
January 22, 2006
Shahid Afridi steamrolled the Indian bowlers for the second time in as many Tests and the fact that India were playing five bowlers and that Pakistan were not in as commanding a position as in Lahore, only made him play a more responsible and marginally less destructive innings.
While the spinners bore the brunt at Lahore (89 runs off 69 balls), in Faisalabad the fast bowlers came under Afridi's hammer, going for 111 runs off 84 balls. In the wake of the 57 runs that Afridi clobbered off 6.3 overs from Harbhajan Singh at Lahore, Rahul Dravid didn't bowl him at Afridi on the second day at Faisalabad. In fact, only 12 off the 128 balls faced by Afridi were bowled by Harbhajan.
Pace in the mid-120 kmph range was never going to fluster Afridi and when the ball was pitched up, he clouted down the ground and when it was short he hoicked over midwicket with ease. Irfan Pathan was listless, lacking in pace and swing, and no matter where he bowled Afridi went after him. Twenty two runs were scored of four short deliveries and even the 20 balls Pathan pitched on a good length cost 25 runs.
What Australia have not done since returning a fractured unit from India is head back to Asia to play an Asian team. Two of their major weaknesses - handling spin and reverse swing - will be tested in the UAE by Pakistan
The WICB statement should cool down emotions and allow all parties involved to take the next step forward
Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala
The gap between the haves and the have-nots is growing wider, and the disenchantment is forcing a devaluation of Test cricket among weaker teams
Players demanding that home pitches should be prepared to favour them don't realise it's a retaliatory business
ESPNcricinfo runs the rule over the preparation of all 16 Australia players ahead of the first Test, which starts in Dubai on Wednesday