Second ODI: Pak vs. India

India won in style. A terrific batting performance by the Indians. With a score of 100+ for no loss I thought India would experiment and send in Kaif or Raina at number three. But Dravid wasn’t taking any chances and wanted to square the series I guess before experimenting further. Viru was run out to a freak through that landed on the stumps. Viru had only himself to blame for not running fast enough. He ran the third run slowly not expecting a direct hit. He was batting at his best and seemed set for a century. Sachin looked to be in very touch until succumbing to his nemesis Adur Razzack (I can’t understand why Sachin gets out to this guy so often).

Pathan continues to be “happening player” contributing with the bat or the ball or both. He gave India a fine start by taking a wicket of the second ball of the match and then followed up with two more wickets later. The rest of the bowling was good in patches. India made up for it bowling deficiencies by effecting as many as four run outs.

If India have to fancy themselves of a chance in the next world cup the field and bowling has to improve significantly. Viru’s fielding is very suspect. Zaheer and Sreesanth are weak links in India’s fielding. Both of them throw extremely well but aren’t the best when it comes to pick up and making diving stops. While Viru’s batting is a huge asset, these two might find themsleves out of the World Cup team if they don’t tighten their fielding or dramatically improve their bowling. Strangely, Agarkar had a bad day in the field though in general he is an excellent fielder. Yuvraj, Kaif and Raina are simply electric in the field and truly exciting to watch.

With the series squared the next ODI should be more interesting. Pak was completely outplayed in this one. Without Shoaib Akthar to provide the sizzle, Pak’s bowling appears very weak.

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