Saturday, January 14, 2006

Pakistan vs. India: T1D2 (aka: Why Australia are a step ahead)

There's so much I could write about the 2nd day's play. I could wax lyrical about:

  1. Chappell cracking up when Ganguly made a complete hash of that catch, but still clung on one-handed
  2. Agarkar claiming a brace of undeserved wickets right at the end of the game
  3. Afridi's nonchalant striking of 4 sixes in succession off Harbhajan
  4. The sense, or lack thereof, in playing the world's best #3 as an opener - however benign the pitch may be
  5. Sehwag's continued poor technique against the short ball - specifically the periscoped bat which got him off the mark, or would have had the umpire not called leg byes
  6. Rameez Raja's stupendous end of day proclamation that "India are in a good position"
However, the issue that really caught my attention was the reaction of the commentators to Younis Khan's dismissal for 199. It said everything anyone needs to understand about the difference between Australian and Indian cricket. The difference between being #1 and being #2.

Arun Lal could not stop talking about how tragic it was, what a sad moment we had just witnessed, and how life and the world were completely unjust.

Dean Jones was in a different place altogether. He launched into Shahid Afridi, and bemoaned the pathetic technique employed by the Pakistanis when running between the wickets - particularly as a non-striker, and particularly when your partner is on the verge of a major milestone. Afridi was backing up like a schoolboy cricketer, and that's what cost Younis his wicket, and his double century.

And that's what makes all the difference. Nobody suggests taking the heart and soul out of the game - but to get to #1, it's the little things, and the professionalism, that make the difference. I hope a few people were taking note.

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