India vs. Pakistan A, Stumps, Day 1, Bagh-e-Jinnah, Lahore
India 298/4 (Laxman 25*, Yuvraj Singh 11*; 77 overs)
Full bulletin here
and scorecard here
India got their tour to Pakistan off to a propitious start as day one of their soul three day warm up game saw Tendulkar, Dravid, Ghambir and Jaffar all weigh in with half centuries. These were important runs for Ghambir and Jaffar in particular since both are fighting for a spot in the final Indian XI.
I suspect tomorrow Dravid will allow Laxman, Yuvraj and Dhoni some time for batting practice before declaring to give his bowlers a chance to get some rhythm going. From the Pakistani perspective, I'm just a bit dissapointed to find out that Umar Gul was bowling too short.
He's the kind of bowler you would expect will rely solely on accuracy, but no, the 'must-bowl-short' bug just has to spread. He will have to make his performance tomorrow and that in the 2nd innings (if he gets that chance) count if he is to push Mohammad Sami all the way for that third seamers' spot in the Pakistan XI.
Sami's performance in test arena have long been found wanting, but such has been the eternal love between him and the team management that other promising quick bowlers waiting in wings have found in next to impossible to dislodge him from the team. On the day though, the pacy Mohammad Irshad, who in the past I've personally thought of as a slightly hit-and-miss kind of bowler (in the sense that he's either very good or very poor) was more threatening then Gul .
Mansoor Amjad, the emerging leg-spinner also had a day to forget, as he was spanked around at five an over. In the conditions there are at Lahore now-a-days (cold and foggy), there is always bound to be a bit of help for the seamers, but it seems like the wicket was fairly flat. Either way, India have done really well to be in the position they are now, and they will look to continue this tomorrow.
I'm just wondering though, if the PCB's tactic of giving touring teams exactly the opposite kind of pitches in warm up games for what they have prepared for the tests is applied here too, then should we should expect fairly lively surfaces in Lahore come the first test on January 13th? I suppose only time will tell.