Greatest Indo-Pak series: Kumble

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:06 IST

The Samsung Cup between India and Pakistan has turned out to be one of the greatest one-day series between the arch-rivals in the recent past.

Greatest Indo-Pak series: Kumble

New Delhi:

The Samsung Cup between India and Pakistan has turned out to be one of the greatest one-day series between the arch-rivals in the recent past.Inzamam must be ruing his decision of inviting India to bat first after winning the toss. In any final, one always bats first unless the pitch conditions dictate otherwise. They say it is easy to be wise after the event, but I had this over-riding feeling that Inzamam was better off in electing to bat on a placid pitch and a lightning quick outfield.India started well again with Sachin and Sehwag settling nerves in the dressing room with their brief innings. Laxman looked very comfortable from the start and stamped his class with a brilliant century. India managed to reach an identical score to that of Pakistan in the previous match.Valuable findIrfan Pathan, in his short career so far, has proved to be a utility cricketer. He batted sensibly in the final overs and when given the new ball, he did not disappoint the skipper for showing faith in him. He swung the ball both ways and his normal pitching length was fuller than the other bowlers. But it was Balaji who provided the ideal start by removing the in-form Yasir Hameed. India, flexible in their bowling strategy, persevered with Irfan Pathan after his usual first six-over spell that got rid of Younis Khan. In between he accounted for Yousuf Youhana also.Brilliant catchingIt always helps a spinner when the fast bowlers make early inroads and Kartik responded by sending back danger man Inzamam, caught brilliantly by Sachin in the deep. It was an outstanding effort and Tendulkar made sure he did not trip on the rope or beyond it. Inzy has been a class act in this series and Pakistan has relied heavily on him to deliver goods. I guess Indians must have started to breathe easy after they were able to take out the Pakistan captain from the middle. Moin Khan along with Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Sami managed to rattle the Indians with some hard hitting, but the asking rate by then was too high.Eventually it turned out to be a perfect finale to the Samsung Cup with the host nation displaying true spirit and fireworks lighting up the Lahore sky after India's historic victory. This triumph will certainly give us the psychological advantage going into the Test series, which will now be followed closely with renewed interest. (PTI)



Topics : Cricket
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