Stories about Test cricket

Team Pakistan: Back with a bang!

Can anything taste sweeter than victory? If you are a Pakistani fan who has gone through the spot-fixing case, the ensuing talks of banishing Pakistan from world cricket, the semi-final losses in the World T20 and World Cup 2011, clearly not. And what if that victory is against the number one side in the world? It just makes it all the more sweet. It might take a couple of days for this to settle in. Consider this- in 2010, the cricketing world was so irritated with a particular team and the board’s chairman that there were talks of throwing them ...

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David Warner: A true cricketing metamorphosis

David Warner’s scintillating debut against South Africa in a T20 fixture, where he scored 89 off 43 balls, told cricketing fans that maybe they were not going to miss the mighty Mathew Hayden that much after all. The stark contrast in the frames of the two left-handers is more than compensated by their consubstantial batting styles – belligerent and disheartening for the bowler. Many players phase out after such breathtaking debuts and are unable to carry on the high of their initial promise. Warner, however, proved to the world that he was ...

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The outrageous cricket that Pakistan played

Outrageous would be an apt term to describe Pakistan’s show on the fourth afternoon in Abu Dhabi. How the team produces such cricket when you least expect them to is beyond belief. Pakistan were expected to stir up a few surprises – on the cricket field this time – against England but a series-win, despite the home-like conditions, remained a hope rather than an aim. Die-hard optimism notwithstanding, it was always a push from God that the team management and the captain sought considering the gulf that existed between the two sides prior to the series. Pakistan’s batting line-up remained meek – ...

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Pakistan cricket, soaring through the ranks

It wasn’t a very long time ago that words such as ‘stability’, ‘consistency’ and ‘Pakistan’ were never used in the same sentence. However, since the spot-fixing trial, it seems that the Pakistan players and the incumbents at the board have finally grown out of their primitive mind set and realised what needs to be done. The emphasis displayed on consistency in selection and backing of players has been crucial to Pakistan’s success in the one dayers and Test matches. And, of course, the fear of real jail time and extended bans seems to have worked in favour of Pakistan.  Pakistan now sits comfortably ...

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Grooming batsmen for all conditions

Our think-tank in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should analyse the needs of the different formats of the game. The Pakistan cricket team shouldn’t just be a side that can play a good T20 match or an ODI – they should be prepared to play all the different versions of cricket, and the PCB  should prepare them accordingly. I am glad that under Misbahul Haq the team is finally learning the essentials of Test cricket. They are spending time in the middle and accumulating runs rather than treating it like a one-day match. The results are obvious; the team has started to perform consistently, and the ...

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Pakistan’s Test side shows promise

Last year when that dreadful News of the World (NoTW) sting named some players in a fixing scandal, many feared the death of Pakistani cricket. With international teams already refraining from touring Pakistan, allegations of corruptions almost completely isolated Pakistani cricket. As this year ends, we find Pakistan slowly, but surely, roaring its way back into the cricketing world. All credit must be given to the players who have somewhat managed to recreate the market value that was once associated with this brand of cricket. Pakistan’s form in ODIs this year has been nothing short of spectacular. With 24 wins and ...

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Test cricket: Pakistan, five for five

With the third Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka ending in a draw, Pakistan managed to win yet another Test series under the captaincy of Misbah-ul-Haq.  This is now the fifth consecutive Test series that Pakistan has played under Misbah’s leadership. This is also the fifth consecutive Test series that Pakistan has not lost. That surely must be some sort of a record. When was the last time Pakistan played five Test series without losing even a single one? With draws against South Africa and the West Indies, and wins over Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe, Pakistan’s Test outfit is looking quite strong. These results ...

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Has Dhoni lost the Midas touch?

The same captain who inspired India to a World Cup win not long ago followed by the IPL trophy for his franchise. He was the captain magnificent, leading from the front and was always calm in the face of the storm, thwarting it to achieve sometimes improbable wins.  However, those days seems to be long gone. Six months after what were surely the best moments of his life, his world has come apart. Once the euphoria of the trophies wore off and Dhoni and his team came up against test champions England, they were crushed! Dhoni’s own form with the gloves and ...

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Indian team in England: Disappointing!

When Parveen Kumar is your go to bowler, you know trouble is brewing. This is something India and Dhoni will never forget! A series that was billed as the clash of the titans, and was hyped up as a marquee series for months, has unfolded to be truly one sided, as the former number one team in the world spiraled down in style. Virender Sehwag, who was touted as India’s great savior after defeats in the first two tests, lasted only eight minutes at the crease and recorded his first ever king pair for his efforts, as India surrendered ...

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Is Test cricket dead? Not by a long shot

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is desperately looking for ways to reignite interest in Test cricket. With the advent of Twenty20 cricket, which captured the fancy of cricket enthusiasts around the world, Test cricket is in danger of extinction. Ideas are aplenty including the introduction of a World Test Championship and holding day and night Test matches. It appears as if administrators have lost faith in the traditional game’s ability to remain contemporary and feel that changes are necessary to keep it relevant. However, on closer scrutiny the game with all its nuances and idiosyncrasies is still loved by the ...

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