Faisalabad Test: Stumps, Day 2
There were 7 wickets lost toda
y in the entire day’s play, one less then the 8 that fell throughout the course of the entire test in Lahore, one of many indicators that this pitch is more result oriented then the last one.
Given one or two umpiring decisions went this way or that way, or inside edges went through the stumps (like they ought to), the visible double pace in this Faisalabad surface, might have accounted for fewer runs and more wickets. Despite Jagadish’s criticism
of the Indian bowling, I felt R P Singh persevered admirably in what was only his first test on a largely unresponsive pitch, and Zaheer Khan too bowled exceptionally well in the later part of the Pakistan innings, and probably deserved more for his efforts then his figures would suggest. Exactly the same could have been said of all of our bowlers.
Shoaib Akhtar should have got Sehwag when he was on 15, but Imran Farhat dropped a chance from the bottom edge of Sehwag’s bat, low on the left of first slip. At this point in time, I was angry enough to knock down Farhat if he was in front of me in real. But thankfully Abdul Razzaq, of all people, got one to bounce a bit awkwardly on him, and he edged it again, and Farhat, this time made amends by plucking one from over his head, again at first slip. God, I was so relieved, I must have drunk 2 full glasses of water straight after!
And yes, we should definitely consider doing an-England and recruit specialist sub fielders for home games, given Inzi’s back problems having become quite frequent off late, we almost always need a sub on, and if we can stretch the rules a bit and get one less un-athletic fielder on the park, then we certainly should avail this opportunity.
Otherwise, I don’t really know what to say of Pakistan’s batting. It’s amazing isn’t it how we keep on putting one mammoth score on the board after another, or how Afridi keeps improving more and more as a test batsman, or how Inzi keeps scoring yet another century, or how Shoaib Akhtar continues to show his potential with the bat…it’s amazing that the series has gone almost half way through and yet I haven’t felt the need to mass murder with my imaginary cricket gun (which in case you don’t know is used to have a dig at batsmen involved in a sudden batting collapse). This gun was quite busy at times against England, not so long ago.
Flat pitches notwithstanding, this type of consistency (twelve more runs today would have meant a third successive 600-plus total) is totally atypical of Pakistan. And I’m so utterly pleased, long may it continue.Cross posted on Sundries