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    January 23, 2006


    India have finished day three at Faisalabad quite comfortably with the match poised for another draw. It was Dhoni, along with Pathan, who pulled them out of trouble when they had lost 5 wickets with 108 more runs to get to avoid the follow-on. Happy and out of trouble in this Test, the Indian think-tank really has to re-work their strategies and come out with better planning. But for Dravid, Dhoni & Pathan, the Indian team was certainly facing defeat here especially after the madness in the post-lunch session when they 4 of their batsmen between Gavaskar's top score and Laxman's top score. All four can be blamed for one thing or the other. I would pardon the skipper as he has been out only to Imran Farhat, once off his bowling and once off his fielding & throwing, since he landed in Pakistan this time after making small matters of 63, 128* and 103. The other three men deserve a kick on their backside for not giving their best.

    Laxman, spoilt the morning today by patting numerous full-tosses back to the bowler or to any of the fielders nearby. When Dravid wasn't allowing any bowler to settle into a rhythm, Laxman helped them greatly by unnecessarily defending ordinary deliveries. True, Laxman and Dravid kept India happy at lunch time by adding 55 and 51 respectively. But, for the offerings Laxman got, he should have added atleast 25-30 runs more. I was happy the he got out at 90, as he clearly did NOT deserve a hundred. Obviously, it was great work by Dravid to add 51 when he faced most of the best deliveries from all bowlers.

    The great talent from Punjab still is not 100% fit for Test cricket. I would no way play him ahead of Ganguly in the Test team. It was such a horrible hook to play when you had lost two well set batsmen in quick succession. Again, I am fed-up of hearing excuses like -"if only that ball had gone the distance, everyone would be praising Yuvraj". To me, if that ball had cleared the ropes, he would have been dismissed in some other fashion or even in a similar way very shortly. Even a non-bengali would agree that Ganguly would have scored a few more (if not a lot) runs at that position today.

    Last, but not the least, is the greatest ever cricketer to have walked this planet. What is it that makes him score runs in one innings per series? He keeps repeating this sublime act every series and its so irritating. Now, I believe that he would get runs, may be even a hundred, in a slightly green wicket in Karachi and everyone would talk highly of that innings and forget that a batsman of his calibre let the team down very badly in Faisalabad, when the team desperately needed him to score runs.

    All these three men would be thanking Dhoni greatly as he was the one who made everyone forget and forgive their crimes. Not me..oh..uhh!
    Thus spake Ganesh @ 9:06 PM |
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