Stories about Test cricket

Pakistan’s imperfect cricket team

Not taking anything away from Pakistan’s victory, the fact that the win in the Hamilton Test came under slightly fortuitous circumstances (some freak dismissals and the condition of the pitch), cannot be and, perhaps more importantly, should not be ignored. To keep up the good work that was undeniably done by an at-last-united looking Pakistan team, and to ensure a series win, the management and the players need to take care of some issues very quickly, before the second test at the Basin Reserve, Wellington, starts on Saturday. The favourable pitch The first and foremost factor that went in favour of Pakistan ...

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South Africa vs India: Battle for supremacy

If India had won, lost or even drawn the series there would have been no change in the ICC Test Ranking. It would remain on top and South Africa would be number two. However, since India has never won a series in Australia, England or South Africa, the team could not truly call itself the ‘best Test side’ in the world. Hence, this series in South Africa was the unofficial Test Championship for the best test side. The series lived up to the expectations with some exhilarating cricket being played by both sides. It will be remembered for Sachin Tendulkar scoring ...

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Australia’s top-order rattled again on rain-shortened day

Opinions and reports that the Ashes series of 2010/11 is an encounter that is heavily lopsided in favor of the visiting English team are certainly justified. But, be that as it may, the series has at least retained one of its key traits in its latest edition. From the first draw, to England’s mauling of hosts in the second test, to Australia returning the favor in the third and then to England’s crushing/ashes-retaining victory in the last test at Melbourne, the series has had more than its fair share of twists and turns. For England, the final test at the ...

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Australia’s selection woes mount as England shines

The mauling Australia had to endure at the hands of England in the second Test of the Ashes at Adelaide has prompted wholesale changes in the squad. If Australia’s batting was a worrying sight, their bowling was lamentable to put it mildly. In fact, such is their plight in the spin department that there have been numerous calls for a comeback from legendary leg spinner Shane Warne, who is 40 years old now. England on the other hand won the Test match firing on all cylinders, and it would not be surprising if they go into the third Test, which start ...

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Test cricket: In danger from its own protectors

While the International Cricket Council (ICC) ponders over ways to make Test cricket more attractive in competition with the electrifying (and lucrative) Twenty20 format, it continues to do more harm than good to the purest form of the sport. Was there a Test series in Sri Lanka, really? Who knows what the ICC was thinking when it decided to have a Test series in Sri Lanka during the monsoon season. The rain had the final say in the first Test at Galle, which ended up in a draw. Unfortunately, Chris Gayle’s second triple century could not receive the fan viewing it ...

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Pakistan’s victory, worth the wait

When I was eight, I hadn’t thought I would have to wait 15 years to witness this moment again: Pakistan beating Australia in a Test match. Hence, the celebration, the happiness, the dancing is all justified. If it wasn’t for work, I would probably be at Sea View right now, where, I am sure, some Team Pakistan jiyalas must have blocked traffic to dance to “Jazba Junoon” blaring from their cars’ woofers. The victory has been defined as dramatic and rare, adjectives that aptly explain losing five wickets in the course of 40 runs. What the win can’t be called, ...

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An Indian look at Pakistani cricket

Let me try to do something most Pakistanis would think twice about – make sense of Pakistan cricket, as it stands today. You are justified to ask me as to why someone like me, sitting here in Mumbai is trying his level best to try and see through the muck that people at the PCB’s HQ in Lahore aren’t quite able to. There is a reason. And as a promise, I shall try and keep my nationality aside throughout this post, just to try and put things in much-needed perspective. The mood in India towards Pakistan cricket has somewhat changed, and ...

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Adios, Murali!

One of the greatest stories of this generation might be coming to an epic end. It’s not just a story of a sportsman’s ability or the undisputed talent that a man can possess, but one which epitomises the triumph of strong human character. It is also a story of a man who knew he was past his peak, his body had gone through 18 years of wear and tear and he was honest enough to decide to walk away from the game, rather than be pushed or even nudged to do so. Muttiah Muralitharan’s illustrious career was one of undisputed talent, unconventional genius, and some wickets to ...

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Pakistan are Afridi

Whisper it silently, and look around for some wood just for good luck, because it seems that Pakistan may finally have a captain. For the first time since Inzamam departed, the team really has someone in charge. This is clearly Afridi’s team – unlike the shaky Shoaib Malik era and the now-I’m-in-now-I’m-out Younis Khan tenures. (No one really expected Muhammad Yousuf to last more than a few months, did they?) The importance of a good captain cannot be overstated – unlike other popular team sports like football and basketball, the captain is a pivotal figure in cricket. Often it’s not ...

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