Morning session would be crucial
This habit of the Indian team never ceases to amaze me. Someone (in the recent past, mostly Sehwag) would take the game totally away from the opposition and then the rest of the team would concentrate on giving it back to the opposition. Sehwag's blitzkreig in the first innings chasing the total it was would guarantee a win for the team in most cases, except when the team in question is India. Tendulkar and Ganguly didn't really have to do anything special ... they didn't have to be brutal like Sehwag. These players have the required class to just push things along without any undue fuss ... but the way they batted yesterday, one wouldn't be faulted to think the bowling attack consisted of Marshall, Holding, Roberts and Garner. I have always maintained that Ganguly's test playing days will continue till he is captain ... I don't dispute that he is the best option for captaincy right now but the day we get another good option and the change is made, Ganguly will struggle to hold onto his place as a batsman ... Note - This is talking about Ganguly in tests and not ODIs. Tendulkar however is a different case. He has been injured and in and out of the team so often in the past year or two that it is difficult to really judge him ... every time he plays it can be said "oh but he is just returning from injury". Frankly, as one guy in my office put it - "Great ... Tendulkar is out ... now maybe we can try to win the match".
Martina Hingis recently played what she called an exhibition match in Thailand. Opinions vary as to the reason for the match ... with many calling it a test of whether she still had it to play at the top level. She lost in the first round and promptly said - "as I said, it was a one off match I played as an exhibition match ... now as planned, I won't play any more". She may have been a good world no. 1 in her heydays and all that ... but if she had come back to tennis and spent the next three years losing in first, second and third rounds, it would really have been giving away all the glory she garnered over the years on top. That is what is happening to SRT at present ... even the papers I read today morning described his innings as "painful .... almost a relief when he got out" ... etc.
Pathan seems to be ready with the pull shot today morning, already having played it 3 times in the short time they have been out there. The need of the hour is really to bat at a fair clip, run up a lead of 300+ before tea and declare. If they bat beyond or if the lead is less than 300, Pakistan will still hope to make a draw of it. Yesterday's play by Ganguly and SRT really has shown Pakistan a glimmer of hope in saving the match and I was so pissed when I heard the "experts" on the various news channels calling SRT's innings a brilliant one .... I hope my boss never calls me brilliant from now on ... I think I would be insulted.
Another statement was funny ... at close of play, Sehwag gave newsbytes to the media in which he said - "it is a pity SRT couldn't make his century and it is really sad he wasn't around at the end of play since tomorrow morning, we would have to score runs quickly" ... what, Sehhwag ... did u eat too many paranthas or what ... u need quick runs and so u want SRT to be around??? Hey, someone please don't give the captaincy to this guy ... he really has lost his marbles.
Chalo cheers, here is wishing god speed to the Indian batsmen ... if they score at 4 per over in the morning session, the match is ours.