Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Pakistan DON'T earn moral victory, but do pretty well anyway, I suppose. It could have been worse

No. I don’t want to talk about England. I pretty much summed it all up yesterday and, as Tim pointed out, it has just got worse since then.

Today we’re going to look at India and Pakistan – sides that know how to play cricket. Their recent test match in Kolkata had everything. Huge scores, squash-buckling innings, defiant stands and a spin bowling taking the new ball – all that we want to see. Others didn't appreciate the subtler sides of this match - but, then again, I am a purist.

What I liked most about this match is that you had a winning and losing team throughout the course of the game, both trying to pursue divergent objectives. From day one, India were never going to lose, and Pakistan had to fight hard to earn a draw. This was the story of the whole match: one attempting a ruthless victory another belligerently standing their own.

Pakistan pulled together some unlikely partnerships (heck, even Kamran Akmal got some runs) and defied Indian pressure as a team. It is a wonder that the Pakistan line-up don’t do this every match and wipe the floor with everyone.

India played handsomely and were probably denied their victory by the uncooperative pitch. Anil Kumble captained like James Tiberius Kirk and showed his inferior colleagues the way forward. He even inspired the will-he-won’t-he Harbhajan Singh into a five-for in the first innings. Impressive.

There is nothing to question in Kumble’s timing of the declaration, and he was very magnanimous in scoffing at the idea of Pakistan’s moral victory in their brave rear-guard in the face of relentless attack:

"I don't believe in moral victories. It's really crazy; I don't know why people talk about moral victories. When you struggle to pick up five wickets in both innings, that's no moral victory to me. To me what matters is the result and I think overall we dominated the match over the five days."
Anil Kumble: he may be angry, but he’s still GOD. Watch out in the next test, he’ll be wrathful then.


Uncle J rod said...

To me what matters is the result, oh, and that we dominated for 5 days.

You can't have it both ways Anil, either the result matters, or the fact you dominated and Pakistan stole a draw matters.

But we still love you, even if your no Bryce McGain.

Samir Chopra said...

Sure it matters; it just doesn't add up to a moral victory. What does the word "moral" mean in this context anyway?