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Sight Screen

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

India-Lanka Test day 4

The Cricinfo report, and the bulletin, give you the storyline.
What do you pick out as the most significant moment -- the runs scored by Yuvraj at Test level, given the questions asked about his suitability for the long form of the game, or the cameo from Dhoni?
It's very, very early to judge -- but in this innings, what he delivered is precisely what the team would want from him. At 271/6 in 85.5 overs, India was doing okay, but the game could still swing; a collapse as in the first innings, and Lanka would not have been behind the eight ball, target-wise.
The 104-run unbroken partnership in as many deliveries cracked the game wide open; it put the ask beyond reach of the side batting last; and by putting the runs up at rapid pace, it bought for the Indian bowlers that much more time to work on the batting side. Couldn't have gone to script more -- the question that remains is if Dhoni can play this role against more daunting attacks, on more challenging (okay, this pitch was challenging too, but in a different way) tracks.
Still on the game, and Greg Chappell tells Lokendra Pratap Sahi the Irfan Pathan promotion was more tactical ploy than crap shoot.
“We wanted Sri Lanka to deviate from their game plan… Wanted them to do things they hadn’t anticipated… We were confident positives would emerge and the decision worked,” coach Greg Chappell told The Telegraph....
"Look, I’ve always regarded Irfan as an allrounder and I’ve been impressed at the pace at which he’s getting mentally tougher… He keeps giving us options,” he said in a tone which suggested plenty of affection for the Vadodara ka sher.
Asked whether Pathan was advised to bat in a particular manner, Chappell replied: “Not really… However, I reminded he must keep out the good balls and hit the bad ones… In any case, that comes pretty naturally to him and that’s how he’d batted in the recent ODIs.”

And while on Pathan, it is interesting, even amusing, to see how consistently he repudiates the all-rounder tag that has been repeatedly thrust on him in recent times; shades of 'I thrice offered him a kingly crown which he did thrice refuse' about his comments:
“Becoming an allrounder doesn’t happen in two-three years, it takes more time. A 90-plus knock in a match can’t make me an allrounder. I have my limitations and I play within those limitations,” Pathan, who opened India’s second innings against Sri Lanka with Gautam Gambhir, said after the Day III action of the ongoing second Test.

Not complaining, mind -- it really is refreshing to see the lad keep his head on his shoulders despite recent successes.

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