हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Lahore could provide another run feast

Written by: Anil Kumble
Published: Saturday, March 20, 2004, 15:39 [IST]
 
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It is a do or die situation for the Indian team in the Samsung Cup after Pakistan moved ahead with a four-wicket victory at Peshawar. One certainly cannot count this Indian team out as we have lived up to the challenges before when faced with similar situations.

Pakistani bowlers especially Shabbir Ahmed made use of the early morning conditions pegging back our batsmen. Yuvraj Singh played a matured knock well supported by the lower order batsmen. L Balaji was a revelation with the bat in the final overs and every time I see Irfan Pathan at the crease, he looks an improved batsman.

Pathan started off successfully by bringing one back into Afridi and celebrated a well-planned Yousuf Youhana's dismissal. The other Pakistani opener Yasir Hameed looks a class act, he played some delectable cover drives often coming at the bowler.

I thought Balaji and Zaheer Khan, who bowled a well-disguised slower ball, could have used it to good effect against Yasir early in his innings. The experienced duo of Moin Khan and Abdul Razzaq took the Pakistanis home to register a comfortable victory in the end.

The contests so far in this series have been well-fought and have been really close and considering the fact that the earlier tour match with Pakistan 'A' at Lahore was a high-scoring drama, one can look forward to another run-feast.

One aspect our batsmen should address would be to go after Pakistani spinners in the middle overs. Our batsmen have not been able to spoil the bowling patterns of Inzamam-ul-Haq in the middle overs, more so in the last two matches.

The other area of concern would be to come up with a plan to restrict Razzaq. He has been in great form since his devastation of the Kiwis in the final overs during their tour of Pakistan recently. His batting revolves mainly around creating enough room to get the bat swing.

With the exception of Inzamam and Youhana, the rest of the batsmen love to play inside out and I believe if our bowlers bowl consistently in areas to cramp them for room, we would have a better chance of restricting their batsmen.

The ideal result would be 2-2 going into a grand finale at Lahore. One hopes that the Indians would be able to raise their game and provide entertainment and joy to millions of followers.

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