This was as comprehensive series win, as any one will wish to see. The one against Sri Lanka was a bit one sided. Pakistan in Pakistan is a different story. The Pakistan team toured India in 2005; they managed to drawn the test series. In the O.D.I.s India won the first two matches and Pakistan came back from behind to clinch the series. We know Pakistanis are good host. India after losing the Karachi Test and first ODI came back from behind to clinch the series 4-1.
It was a weird day of cricket. I thought India did miss a few tricks by starting with Zaheer and Agarkar. I don’t thing Agarkar prefers the white new ball much. He is a very good first change bowler and I have seen him controlling the scoring rate whenever he is bought on as a first change. Zaheer looks out of thoughts and out of sorts. I would like to seem him charge towards the crease and attack stumps. He has the uncanny ability to generate bounce from seemingly nowhere. I think he has to borrow a leaf from Tendulkar. He asked ESPN STAR after the Karachi Test to give him tapes of the innings he played between 1996 and 1998. We all know what happened in the innings that followed. I think he also do the same and get tapes when he was at his best. I think that will help a lot. He seems very cautious while coming into bowl. I think he was a bit unlucky today. Sree Santh did well to cleanup the top order. Ramesh Powar did well to nip Inzamam. He looks threatening even he doesn’t has a bat in his hand. Younis Khan and Mohd. Younis did well to strike a chord and make some runs. Better late then never. There is a very good use of the short ball which cleaned up Razzaq and other Pakistani batsmen. India fielded brilliantly and took whatever came there way. India for know seem to be have specialist fielders like Yuvraj, Kaif, Raina, Agarkar. These guys are very swift and very good.
I must say that the start of Indian innings was as soporific as any one would imagine. But what it did was to provide a very good platform to attack a daunting total like 287. No, mean task this. India was neck to neck with Pakistanis score at most junctures. How successful is, Dravid as a captain is shall be seen but he is a very brave captain. I think people should not only learn from own mistake but they should take lessons from others mistake too. Ganguly seemed wanting here often. Dravid is different though. He did put on a valiant effort on opening in all the test series as well as the last O.D.I. It is a decisive statement which makes it clear that who is the captain. He is not only leading the front by leading the front from the front. This is a striking feature.
In absence of Tendulkar and Sehwag both very attacking players, Dravid opted to open. He stood there like a wall blunted Pakistani bowling. He along with Gambhir also played some scintillating shots. Gambhir still has to be more Gambhir about his shot selection. The shot on which he was dismissed was a very forgettable one. India managed to cross the hundred-run mark some where between the 22nd and 24th over. Then Dravid was dismissed with more than half the runs still required to be score. The Dhoni show was still to start. The Indians where never too bothered to keep a tab on the required run rate. When the Indians entered into slog overs, the wickets in hand were 8 so was the required run rate. Then the Dhoni show started. There was some brilliant hitting. They also took on the fielders by virtually placing shots straight into their hands and stealing singles and twos on will. The Pakistani fielding was deplorable and seemed to have slipped into chaos mode. There were miss fields for fours, over throws and catches were spilled. India wasn’t complaing as the required run rate began descending after Dhoni and Yuvraj put the Pakistan bowling to sword. The inexperience showed and India never ever looked out of contention. There was only one way this match was going. It was nice to seeing some attacking fielding and running. I think the only bone of contention is quality in the fast bowling department. Which might be under a hammer if and when we have to defend a target?
India managed a run chase successfully for 13th time on a row. Impressive I must say. It was fun to see Tendulkar getting drinks for Dhoni and Yuvraj. Rameez Raja dubbed him as the most successful twelfth man. Pakistan was BLUE washed. The friendship series ended with Pakistan winning the Test series and India winning the O.D.I.s.