Pakistan afraid of losing?
When Ganguly talks to curators, it always makes the news headlines and a lot of people criticize him and some even go to the extent of giving it a mention in their autobiographies. But, there was hardly any shout against Inzamam when he openly wanted bouncy tracks
for this series against India. Having seen the wicket at Lahore, now everyone wants better wickets for the next 2 Tests.
What surprises me more is that none of these so-called analysts and experts predicted that this wicket was such a lifeless batting wicket until Pakistan finished their first innings. Everyone kept saying that if the batsman can play himself in for a few overs, this wicket is his and would even assist the spinners later on. If they are experts, can't they talk about it before the toss or atleast at the end of day 1
, when everyone were just praising Younis & Yousuf? Yes, they batted very well and put up huge scores, but where was all this criticism about the wicket on the first day. When India started to bat brightly, all the criticism started. Does this convey that all those experts expected only Pakistan to fare well. It might probably take all of the year 2006 to dismiss both sides twice on this wicket. As Zainub
has pointed out, there have been flatter batting tracks, but my concern is that we are not hearing the real "experts".
To me, such a pitch shows only Pakistan's fear of losing, especially in the first Test of a series. Though Inzamam talked about good bouncy bowling wickets to the press, I am pretty convinced that a lot of people (including Inzamam) had a say in this flat wicket, as they were a bit scared of giving a green top to Pathan and an improved Agarkar and even a rejuvenated Zaheer.
This said, I have just been spellbound by Nasser Hussain behind the microphone. This is not the Nasser whom I have hated in front of the wickets. I have just heard a lot of good things about cricket from him in the last 3 days and I really look forward to this series with him. In fact, I am fairly sure that he would be even more delightful in better company than the two at present.