Monday, January 23, 2006

Pakistan vs. India: T2D1-D3 (Dhoni proves me wrong)

I was worried when this match started. Naturally, I was thrilled that Ganguly was dropped, but my elation was short-lived when I saw that he was replaced by a bowler. From the get-go, it was clear that this wicket, whilst not bowler-friendly, was not a 400 for no loss pitch either. I feared that if Dravid was ever dismissed, early or otherwise, a collapse would ensue. I didn't have much faith in Dhoni or Pathan delivering.

I guess I couldn't have been more wrong, and I'm quite thankful for that. I know that both were dropped, and had Pakistan held on, India would have been staring defeat in the face, but that's part and parcel of cricket. Instead we got to see some brilliant counter-attacking cricket, with a hook for six from a 93mph Akhtar bouncer standing out amongst everything else.

That said, there's a long way to go in this match. An early wicket this morning, and Pakistan could easily restrict India to 500, and set a 5th day target of 350. Should the pitch get trickier, then India would have to battle to save the match. An Indian victory is next to impossible, barring a generous declaration from Younis Khan, or a Dhoni triple century. So the advantage is truly with the home side, with the odds pointing to another draw, leaving it all to play for in Karachi.

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