The final test between India and Pakistan at Bangalore witnessed a display of immense talent and sportsmanship. These guys turned the shape of the match. Man of the Day for:
Day 1: Yuvraj Singh made a sizzling statement with the bat which drew comparisons to West Indies batting genius Brian Lara.
Day 2: Sourav Ganguly broke a few barriers, some physical and some mental while carving a fluent knock that ranked high in tenacity.
Day 3: Younis Khan once again put his hands up when the chips were down. He loves a fight with India as his 1321 runs in 9 Tests suggests.
Day 4: Misbah-ul-Haq continued to be India’s nemesis as Kumble & Co found it impossible to dismiss him. As his wont, he batted with panache.
Day 5: He might have delayed the declaration, but Anil Kumble took it upon himself to unsettle the rivals for his fifth five-wicket(5/60) haul against Pakistan.
The efforts of Yasir Arafat and Ishant Sharma were also commendable. The former had a five wicket haul on debut and also played some courageous shots in the second innings. Ishant bowled brilliant line and length on the fourth day and bagged five wickets in only his second test. The comeback man Irfan Pathan also added 102 runs to the team’s total and this was his maiden test century.
Whatever!!! But we defeated the arch rivals on Indian soil after 27 years and that’s it. The concluding hours of the final test at Bangalore packed a lot of exciting moments for the Indians though, but for the bad light we lost the chance to capitalise on 1-0 lead. This has fired up a debate on Kumble’s decision to declare 90 minutes after lunch. Here are a few reasons at what makes Kumble a villain and a hero at the same time.
What makes Kumble an antagonist?
Bad lights cut short what could have been a 2-0 lead. Team India still had 12 overs to bowl and only 3 Pak wickets were intact. Win was in definite sight. But overcast conditions forced the umpires to call it a day, as the floodlights also did not help. Had Kumble not waited for Dinesh Karthik’s half-century, India would have had enough overs to bowl Pakistan out. Moreover, India had a lead of 310 runs at lunch. On the fifth day the pitch supported spinners. So the stakes for a comprehensive win over Pakistan would have been higher had Kumble declared the innings after lunch. Moreover, the opponents could not have, under any condition, scored more than 250 in two sessions.
What makes Kumble a protagonist?
He gave Dinesh Karthik a chance to regain his lost confidence by giving him enough time to score his maiden 50 in this series. This will definitely do some damage control for the wicket-keeper batsman. Kumble did not want to do anything silly since the series was already in India’s pocket. He wanted to put enough runs on the board so that the bowlers did not come under any kind of pressure. Had Kumble known that the sky would be overcast, he would have declared early.
So, we can’t really put any blame on Kumble for late declaration. As I’ve said earlier, had it not for the bad light, India would have bowled 12 overs more. All praise to Kumble and his boys. Instead of grimacing over the Kumble’s decision on declaration, we must celebrate our victory over Pakistan.
The final test match between India and Pakistan, underway in Bangalore, has witnessed some great temperament and show of character. The three comeback men, Sourav, Yuvraj and Irfan, had a point to prove and they did it in style.
Sourav was once sidelined from the side for almost 8 months for the only reason that he was out of form. Guru Greg did not at all take his past record into account. He was recalled in the team in the December of 2006 and after that he did not look back. In the series against England in May this year, he proved to be the backbone of Indian batting lineup. He scored a ton and a double ton in his 98th(Kolkata ’07) and 99th(Bangalore ’07) respectively. What more can one ask for from the legendary southpaw?! It Dada’s sheer grit and determination that saw him don the Indian colours once again. Hope he carries the same form to his 100th test at Melbourne. Hats off to his winning ego and temperament.
We see the tables turned in the final test. Pakistan was finding it difficult to field 11 players during the second one at Kolkata, but now India is facing the same problem. The recent blow, apart from the injuries to the pace men, is bad knee of Sachin Tendulkar and sore ankle of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Here’s the list of injuries that plague India ahead of the final test at Bangalore:
- Zaheer Khan – Ankle
- Munaf Patel -Back
- RP Singh – Rib muscle
- Sreesanth – Shoulder
- Sachin Tendulkar – Knee
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni – Ankle
Hope these guys recover before the tour Down Under.
Teams India’s pace brigade is down with injuries and this is not at all good news at a time when the team is scheduled to travel Down Under and take on the world’s best side.
Zaheer Khan’s old injury has started to trouble him again after he twisted his ankle during the Kolkata test. Munaf Patel also recalled his old back injury. This has brought John Gloster’s role under scanner who declared Munaf fit before the match. Sreesanth will join Team India only after the latter has played two test matches Down Under. His bowling is tailor made for Australian conditions as he uses pace and bounce very deftly. RP Singh’s injury also poses a lot of questions before the team management.
Punjab paceman VRV Singh and Baroda medium pacer Irfan Pathan have been called for the final test against Pakistan at Bangalore. The former went wicketless in the Bengal-Punjab Ranji match but he was given preference over Pankaj Singh! This raises many fingers at the selectors. Ishant Sharma also finds a place in the list of 24 probables to tour Australia this month.
Peter Young of Cricket Australia holds up the ball that Adam Gilchrist hit for his 100th Test six, a world record. Gilchrist hit the ball out of the Bellerive Oval in Hobart to bring up the milestone but a fan stole it causing a nationwide ‘man-and-ball’ hunt before he was recognised as a hospital worker. After negotiations, the ball was returned. (Photo Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle)
Misbah, Kamran, Younis and Sami snatched what seemed to be a definite win from India. The Indian captain was quick to put the blame of the result on Eden Gardens’ wicket which, according to him, was virtually dead. India did draw the match by some puerile bowling by Harbhajan Singh and lack of effort by the pace department.
True, the wicket had nothing to offer to the spinners but it had enough for the likes of Zaheer and Munaf. The pace duo should have mixed sheer pace with off-and leg-cutter deliveries instead of trying swingers. The latter failed because the wicket was too slow and did not offer much bounce. The visiting batsmen stood a chance of getting intimidated by pace when they were under pressure at five down in the first innings. On the other hand, Pakistan had one spinner short and Danish Kaneria could not perform at his best as compared to Kumble and Harbhajan. I liked Kumble’s thinking of rotating the bowlers and trying them from both ends. As always, seeing Jumbo bowl was a delight. He dexterously mixed pace with flight and took many batsmen off-guard by his straight deliveries. Shoail Tanvir is a great talent but needs to polish his bowling a bit. Batsmen read him quite easily. Shoaib Aktar needs to first get his fitness back and then his urge to get more wickets; nevertheless, he was impressive but not his usual ‘Rawalpindi Express’ self.