Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Going for the Kill!

Day 5 - India go for lunch at 221/5 . The scoring rater this morning has been 3.6!!!

One basic quality required for a winning captain is to go in for the kill when the opposite team is down on their knees - Time and again, we have seen that Indian captains completely lack the same with notable exception of Sourav Ganguly.

With Kumble, I had high expectations and they stemmed from the fact that he is a warhorse. But I was wrong, a captain has to have different skills than a good player. Kumble is an excellent player but that does not make him a good captain. While he marshaled his resources well, I do not see why a team on verge of a victory decides to bat slow enough to leave its bowlers very little time to get the opposition out - and that too when a bowler is a captain!

It happened in the last test and there is no difference in this test, the way Dravid batted was as if he is batting in the fourth innings to save the test match! Forget yesterday, even today the run rate was around 3.6!!! When all that was required was T20 batting! I don't know that in absence of a quality coach and presence of a captain who is happy with a 1-0 series win, what else should I have expected?

Yes, the batsmen and the bowlers - both let victory slip away but there is no bigger culprit than the captain who did not simply force the run-scoring yesterday and today morning on his players.

"Mr. Anil Kumble, if you are not able to bundle out the Pakistan team (which incidentally has the un-dodgable Misbah in the middle of it ) in the last 2 sessions, I will place the blame of lacklustre and non-aggressive captaincy on you and bestow the award of 'snatching a draw out of victory's jaws' on your able shoulders. You disappoint me!"

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Lord of Rings!

The Lord of Rings is here!

Take a bow, Yuvraj Singh!

(Pic Courtesy: Cricinfo)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Decision Time

Updates at the bottom of this post

India (1st innings) - 616/5 decl
Pak (1st innings) - 456
Only 1 and 1/2 days play remaining in the match.

If you are Anil Kumble - what would you do?

Option A) Play safe - Give the batsmen batting practice for 1 and 1/2 days and tire the Pakistan bowlers
Option B) Go for a result - Bat today, score quick runs and declare by end of the day to set a target for Pakistan tomorrow - Let the team that plays well win.

I would go for option B, I am sure so would Ponting and Smith. I just hope that Kumble too would opt for Option B - what about you?

Update: India lost first wicket and Kumble sent in Dhoni. I like it. Yunis, the stand in captain, asks Salman Butt to bowl, I like it all the more. Excellent Captaincy from both sides. Tomorrow will be Paisa Vasool.
Update 2: India lost the plot when they batted quite slowly on 4th evening and also on 5th morning. And giving Yunis the credit of a great knock, the bowling unfortunately didn't click because we were as usual not aggressive - same story of a tireless Kumble bowling on 5th day and yet unable to win! Sigh!