Books, Lit Fests, News, Movies, Art, Fashion and TV of course... "I must say that I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a book." - GROUCHO MARX

My Photo

I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Nothing is more painful than defeat. While it is alright to lose, failing to put up a decent fight is inexplicable. That's just what Team India did yesterday in the dismal encounter in Karachi.

Just look at Pakistan. 245 all out in the first innings. And how do we respond to that? By getting bowled out as well for an even more dismal 238 runs. At one point, the difference between victory and defeat was a mere 7 sevens.

Then in the second innings, Pakistan simply put the past behind them and surged ahead with an enviable 599 runs. In all, India was looking at a seemingly improbable task of chasing 607 runs for victory. I say improbable because we are not known to be fighters on the cricket pitch and the first innings had already set us back.

First to collapse on Day Four was the top order. In the very first over, the Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar had Indian skipper Rahul Dravid caught by Man of the Match Kamran Akmal. Dravid's score just two runs. The next over, simply wanted me to move away from the television screen. Mohammad Asif sent the middle stump of vice-captain Virender Sehwag, flying. His score, double that of Dravid's - four runs. With India tottering at eight for the loss of two wickets, all hopes were pinned on master blaster Sachin Tendulkar. Among other things, this was the same venue where he had made his debut in 1989. And he was only playing his second Test here.

Much was expected from Sachin Tendulkar who was playing only his second Test at the venue where he had made his debut in 1989. And all we got between him and VVS Laxman were 55 runs. That was before Asif baffled them with perfect inswingers and knocked back the stumps to leave India struggling at 74-4.

Beleaguered former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh then came to the fore. Never mind all the controversy around hi, at least Ganguly kept the score board ticking in both innings, taking India's total to a mildly respectable total. He fell to the first ball after tea trapped by none other than the tireless Razzaq.

The only glimmer of hope in this entirely dismal run came from Yuvraj, who played a brilliant knock despite getting absolutely no support from his other team mates. One only needs to look at the way Dhoni gifted his wicket away, when one was pining for something longer on the crease. What was even more surprising was how Yuvraj managed to keep all the bowlers at bay, the same bowlers who had unsettled all our so-called stars. So are there some batting lessons to be learnt from him?

Even as the wickets around him kept tumbling, Yuvraj continued with his effortless yet responsible batting. Despite that, we couldn't even manage to take the match on to Day 5. At the end of the fourth day's play, we were bowled out for 265 in just 58.4 overs.

With that we pretty much gifted Pakistan their first series win over India since 1987 - now, that's another record.

Sure, the victory looked improbable from the start, but surely we could have been valiant in defeat.