Australia, deservingly, won the Test series in Pakistan. The Pakistanis prepared tracks to negate Australia's strength and the strategy remained the same throughout the series whereas, Australia kept on pushing hard and maintained their attacking intent and when a team shuns their defensive mindset, they are bound to reap a rich harvest.
The loyalty of the Tigers towards Bangladesh had paid off and let's hope, this loyalty doesn't lose its way in the coming days.
196 runs off 425 balls are just numbers that can't justify the resolve, guts and technical efficiencies Babar displayed for two days amid the hot and humid conditions at Karachi. Numbers cannot judge a Tiger – numbers cannot measure the sacrifice during the battle between bat and ball, numbers become irrelevant in front of a leader. Babar’s epic vigil is not just all about numbers, rather, it’s a tribute o the warriors, who rise above the rest and let everyone know, the Baburs still exist.
After 21 wickets had fallen on the first four days of the match, the likelihood of England forcing victory on an unforgiving surface at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium had always been slim. And slim seemed to have left town when it was confirmed that Wood - who had been withdrawn from the attack before lunch on day three - would play no further part in the match, after reporting "acute pain" in his injured right elbow during a nets session before the start of play on the final day.
The good thing was, finally, the Test series between Pakistan and Australia went ahead after 24 years on Pakistani soil and the frustrating matter was the way the highly anticipated Test ended – the dead deck really spoiled all the excitement where the bowlers toiled hard and bat dominated as if cricket is just a batsman’s world.
It was a forgone conclusion at Mohali and it was not unexpected. Even the best sides from Sri Lanka struggled to win a Test match in India and thus, the expectation with the current Sri Lankan unit was low – but still, the optimists thought, a miracle might happen. Well, the ending was a bitter one from Sri Lanka’s point of view.
Ottis Gibson was creating an impact, but, ultimately, he was shown the door in a quite insulting manner and now BCB have appointed Donald who is a hard taskmaster, habituated to raise the game of the bowlers that are promising enough and spot new talents rather than listening to those people who rely more on nepotism. It would have been better if the BCB think of a long-term plan regarding Donald and for that, they need to give him enough freedom.
On Friday, world cricket was shattered to know about the loss of two of the most iconic cricketers in the history of the game. At first, the news of the sad demise of Rodney Marsh left everyone heavy-hearted and when the news of Shane Warne's death broke out, everyone was stunned.
Warnie – suited Warne and made him someone companionable for us who could not get in touch with him or watch him live in action. He became that boy for the world, who is reckless, but still gentle and playful, flawed and still charismatic, a genius in action, but still, the boy next door always coming close to say Hi and run to the field for doing things that the ordinary could only think of. Warnie flirted with unpredictability and unpredictability has always been his closest mate since that Colombo epic in 1992.
If the great Dennis Lillee had his cutters and outswingers working against the batters, then, certainly, Marsh played a big role in guiding the tearaway fast bowler of pitching it on the right area – and to do such things in crunch situations, a keeper is always needed to be at his smartest and bear clear knowledge of the game. Guess what, Marsh was a cocktail of both
The Indo-Sri Lankan cricketing bonhomie has traversed a glorious journey of more than a hundred years. It is the embodiment of mutual respect and admiration. May it strengthen the cricketing ties and bring forth the beauty of the fascinating contests in the years to come.
After a horrendous performance in the first Test, South Africa put up a great show in Christchurch to level the series. The South Africans have started to fight back and this would help them to flourish in the coming days. Meanwhile, a Test series win against South Africa still remains a dream for the Kiwis.