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Sight Screen

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Warm up in Pakistan Vs Ranji matches

Here is the scorecard after the first day's play. 298/4 in 77 overs at a run rate of 3.87 doesnt exactly show a struggle on hands. Tendulkar and Dravid seemed to be in excellent touch and Jaffer and Gambhir both showed intent with their half centuries. Laxman and Yuvraj, unbeaten at the end of day's play werent in any serious trouble either. The cricinfo bulletin rates the pitch to be a flat and slow one, not the hard, bouncy kind of wickets which Imran proposed and Inzy seconded.
This reminds me of our 1996 tour of England. India did very well in each of the first class matches which were played on batting beauties. Barring one 4 day match where Tom Moody took Kumble and company apart, the matches ended up as tame draws. But come the first match at Edgbaston and we have a greener pitch, with variable bounce. The Indians with the notable exception of Tendulkar in the second innings surrendered meekly. Perhaps, here too, we'll have more result oriented pitches for the tests. But hopefully, that doesnt prove a surprise to the Indians, like in 1996.
This match will, in all likelihood end up as another one of those tame draws. So, even if a few conspiracy theorists would like to believe that Ganguly was made to stay back to further keep him out of the test team, he, along with Sehwag and Kumble might have got better practice in more meaningful Ranji cricket. Ganguly's Bengal opted for a greener wicket at Eden Gardens and Ganguly did well, with both bat and ball, in conditions that were much more challenging. It seems, things worked out well for everyone in the end.


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