Cricket Uncut

A group blog run by professional cricket writers from across the world

Friday, March 25, 2005

Two plans

As I type this, Pakistan are 519 for 7, at about 3.25 in the afternoon, and the last two overs they have played have been maidens. So what's going on? Well, there are two possible plans they can have at this stage.

Plan one: declare after a few overs, and give India about 40 minutes, or ten overs, to survive till close of play. That plan would require them to attack the bowling now. They are not doing that.

Plan two: Bat out today, and perhaps even a bit of tomorrow. The idea would be to bat only once in the match, and to hope to make India follow on. Sometimes this strategy can backfire, because even if they got the Indians out once, their bowlers might not have the energy to take 20 wickets. But Inzamam-ul-Haq has three spinners at his disposal in Danish Kaneria, Shahid Afridi and Arshad Khan, and all of them can bowl for hours at a time, even 35 overs a day. As Harbhajan Singh is demonstrating – see the ball with which he bowled Kamran Akmal – there's plenty of spin in the pitch, and though it is good for batting now, it will spin more and more as the game progresses.

Going by the languid pace at which Pakistan are playing, they seem to be following the second strategy. That might also enable Younis Khan to get a triple-century. What an achievement that would be.
amit varma, 3:27 PM| email this to a friend | permalink | homepage