Sorry, this is highly delayed, but I have been busy of late. But nevertheless, here are my thoughts on the third test between India and Pakistan.
I thought India had a dream start to the series-deciding match with Pathan taking an incredible hat trick. I think the best wicket was of course the hat trick taking wicket. Getting a clean bowled is so satisfying in general, but it was basically a cherry on top for Pathan because it was a hat trick.
Anyway, after that, there were a few more blows and Pakistan at some point was reeling at 37 for 6! And then Kamran Akmal put up the fight that I am afraid makes Pakistan a team like India was at some point in the past few years. Never-say-die attitude is important and to come up with an innings like his, gives a lot of confidence to the team overall. At the end, Pakistan could score almost 250 whereas it seemed like it should not have been any more than 150 (from India’s point of view of course).
Then, it was up to India to create a huge advantage for themselves and virtually bat themselves to a safe position. If India was able to get about 450 or so, it would have shut the door on Pakistan and it would have made it very difficult for them to score freely in the second innings. But what happened was quite a pathetic display of batting by the Indian top and middle order. India ended at 70-something for 4.
The next day, India was all out and gave a 7 run lead. What happened next was unbelievable. Pakistan’s second innings was a superb execution of cool and collected batting. Pretty much everyone had a good knock and as usual Yousuf and Younis harrowed the bowling. What India did not know was that after those two were gone, there were more fireworks coming. At points, the bowling looked quite ordinary and it seemed like India was just waiting for a declaration. But what ended up happening is Pakistan scored so quickly that it ended up giving them almost 2 days to get India’s 10 wickets and gave India 600+ to win.
The second innings started badly for India and without much on the board, Dravid and Sehwag were gone. After some promising strokes, Sachin was gone and then VVS. And after that, despite Yuvraj’s century, it was only a matter of time before India were all out.
And so it ends a bizarre series. First two matches were quite boring with only batsmen enjoying their time on the pitch and the final one saw a spineless India batting give up and lose the series.
A lot of nonsense has since started coming out in the media and all I can say is that Saurav should stay and Sachin should stay. Stop the crying and just assume that this was a one-test series. Don’t say the series average is x or y because it is only one match that we should look at.
Now it is on to the one dayers and I am scared for the bowlers. With the kind of wickets they have in Pakistan, I am sure that 300 is going to be easy to score and 340-350 could be gettable. Oh well.