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If I can just give to the world more than I take from it, I will be a very happy man. For there is no greater joy in life than to give. Motto : Live, Laugh and Love. You can follow me on Twitter too . My handle is @Raja_Sw.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Mohali : Day 2 : Uphill task for Pakistan

It must be a sobering thought for Bob Woolmer that after a tough tour to Australia his players still have no respite unless they play close to their best.
It is just two days into the series and while the honours had been pretty even at the end of the first day, the game seems to have tilted quite pronouncedly towards India by the end of the second.

Much of this turn of events can be attributed to the Pakistani showing on the field rather than any superlative performance by the Indians out there in the middle. This is not to take anything away from Sehwag but the chances he offered should have been taken by any team keen to make a statement and prove their detractors wrong. You let Sehwag off at your own peril – everybody knows (and none better than Pakistan) that he does give you chances and you have got to grab the first one that comes your way. From an opposition and match situation point of view, the biggest danger of Sehwag being around is not just that he tends to score big but the rate at which the runs come often take the game away from his opposition.

If the Pakistani players look at themselves in the mirror, they will admit that they could and should have put up a much better showing. It cannot be a particularly heartening thought to go out there to do battle with Sehwag and Dravid, knowing that there is still plenty to come from where these guys leave off.

Having said this, the game is still far from over – and even if a Pakistani victory seems rather remote at this stage, a rejuvenated performance from the Pakistanis (or a collapse by the Indians) can get the match back on even keel. Even otherwise, with rain already robbing India of a few precious hours and some more rain forecast on other days, it may be the rain gods who have the last laugh here.

As for me, while many have already written off this Pakistani side as the worst ever to tour India and a few observers have even predicted a clean sweep for the Indians, I have always considered Pakistan as the most unpredictable side in world cricket and would not be surprised if they come out today as if yesterday never happened.

For the sake of Mr. Woolmer - and many of our Pakistani fans here, I hope we see Pakistan playing to their potential. For they are much better than what they showed us on this second day of this game.

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