Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pakistan hang on

The one thing I like better than a gritty forward defensive played to a rank half-volley is seeing a team play for draw on day one. Like watching Michael Atherton hang on against Allen Donald, I enjoy seeing batsman sweat it out and fight for priceless runs.

This is what Misbah-ul-Haq, ably supported by Mohammad Sami, is doing in his excellent rear-guard against India. With his 71 off 204 balls, Misbuh showed immense mental strength and stature in moving Pakistan from certain disaster to probable defeat. And, to be honest, losing like an Englishman, is all I expect from an international cricketer.

The Indian dominance is due to one factor: the simply out-standing captaincy of Anil Kumble. Understanding the innate genius of spin bowlers, he quickly brought himself on as first-change bowler. After 15 overs of Pakistani ascendancy, and powerfully positioned on 45/2 it was clear that something needed to be done.

Sure enough, after four overs, the man delivered. Overall he returned figures of 3-38 off his 20 overs. Excellent work Anil.

He also brought the best out of the usually hopeless Munaf Patel. This is the sort of radical turn-around that only a bowler-captain can achieve. Whereas under Rahul Dravid he was told to “take some bloody wickets and stop bowling wides, what’s the matter with you?” Whereas Kumble simply gave him the ball, a steely nod and told “I want to get back in for some tea. Take a wicket you muppet.” And so he did.

Anyway, Anil Kumble is great, even if Ramiz Raja thought he was “prosaic”.

4 comments:

John said...

Did you manage to catch how Misbah got out today? Quite funny.

Suave said...

if there's one thing Misbah Cricket (see www.kingcricket.co.uk) can do, it's getting out funny!!

So smoothly has he moved in to his name sakes role, all he needs to do now, is to increase his girth ten fold, grow a beard and smack someone in the crowd with a bat, and it'll be like Inzi had never retired!

Miriam said...

I really wanted Misbah to hang on for longer today, but I'll take a ridiculously funny dismissal over that.

Uncle J rod said...

In the words of an 80's rock band "you might as well jump".