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Sight Screen

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The final round(-worma)

Meanwhile their male counterparts are struggling to have a graceful finish to the *difficult* tour, as Mr Berry says in his latest column.
But then this is the most oppressive tour England have known, more so than the tour of India immediately after 9/11. In nine days at Faisalabad England were allowed to pay one brief visit to a garment factory: that was the only place they could go to other than the ground. Even in Multan they were able to go down the road to a reasonable restaurant; in Faisalabad they were under hotel arrest.
But I'm sure the English team had an inkling of what to expect in the tour. And they would put their present backs-to-the-wall situation in the series to failure to grab the chances, as they presented themselves(especially at Multan, but also at Faisalabad on final morning), rather than factors outside the field of play. Although Berry has a different opinion
There can be no normal sport in an abnormal society, as the ANC said; and England could claim that the edge has been taken from their game by their extremely comfortable but deadening surroundings.

Meahwhile, changes are likely to happen in both the squads. Pakistan would be missing Afridi due to his 'dirty-dancing' moves, and also now Younis Khan due to personal reasons. And the clearcut option seems to be to get a couple of middle order batsmen in their place, especially if team management has no qualms in using Malik as a bowler
"One option is to bring in Asim Kamal at number three and Hasan Raza bats at number six to fill the two vacant places," said coach Bob Woolmer.

For England Strauss would be replaced, in all likelihood, by Vaughan at the top and Collingwood coming into the middle order for probably his last test chance in a while. Although there are hints that Bell can be made to open with Vaughan playing at his regular number 3 position. Probably not a good idea, since Bell is one of the few English batsmen managing to get some runs regularly in this series.

The other likely change is Anderson coming in place of the totally ineffective(and an inexplicably strange selection)Udal.


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