.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sight Screen

Monday, November 28, 2005

Subcontinental battle - last chance for Eng(-worma)

Osman Samiuddin again takes an interesting look at the crossroads at which the Pakistan team stands prior to the Multan match.
England last lost a Test series in December 2003, in Sri Lanka. Pakistan won their last Test series one month later, in New Zealand. Something, you feel, has got to give
And Pakistan go into the match with Kamal replacing Younis at 3, and Raza getting Afridi's place at 6...with Inzy ruling out a promotion for himself, something which has been criticized at various points of time.Osman doesn't lay the blame on him though, given the situation the less than impressive showing of the team in recent times. But in the long run, to me, it seems like an inevitable move.
The approach is revealing of his captaincy; he is more willing to crisis-manage from lower down than perhaps imposing himself from one down. That delicate balance, between first ensuring safety before even thinking of attacking surfaced most apparently in Faisalabad and has marked his time as leader. It's difficult to assess given the personnel Pakistan has, but also difficult to argue against given how his batting has flourished.

England meanwhile go into the game with the pressure of their first potential series loss after 6 wins in a row. And with the additional burden of playing without Strauss (who is not in best of form, but still has been one of the stronger pillars in their successful run) and with a struggling Giles (who again is off-colour this time around, but cannot be underestimated for his significance in the winning formula of Eng).

Meanwhile a friendlier pitch and conditions seems to be in store for the English pacemen, although playing Anderson/Plunkett instead of Udal was a decision likely to be taken in any case. Although the helpful conditions are likely to pose an additional question for England, should Vaughan win the toss(for a change!)
But it will be interesting to see what Michael Vaughan does if he wins his first toss of the series.

A strengthened pace attack on a damp pitch points to fielding first, but any serious worries about the deterioration of the pitch should always make you bat when it is at its best.

And unlike Inzy, Vaughan is ready to lead from the front...typifying the front-on approach that has been the hallmark of this English team in recent times..although not always for its best.

Tresco is impressed with Akhtar's showing in this series.
There was a lot of talk about Shoaib's fitness but he's impressed me during the series. He's kept running in and has put in good spells at crucial times. He's mixed it up well, bowling yorkers and bouncers, as well as that outrageous slower ball that makes tail-enders freeze because they think it's a beamer. He's very effective in these conditions and stands out in their attack.
And understandably so since Akhtar, along with Inzy, has made the difference between a potentially good Pakistan side(like WIndies is showing in Australia) and a match-winning one. Interesting snippet about fighting boredom Killing the hours when you are not playing or practicing can be a problem.
My computer's been taking the brunt, especially the web cam, which allows me to speak to my wife and baby.

I've never been much of a book man, but I've got a Playstation and loads of DVDs. Between us, we've got about 300 different films and documentaries, so there's no need to watch any repeats.
Hopefully in India they would have more to do...and see..what with BCCI ensuring they travel to all corners of the country ;-)


Post a Comment

<< Home