The Indian batting, supposed to be the best in the
world, folded like a pack of cards on the final day
of the last Test at Bangalore and lost the match to
draw the series one-all.
It was a memorable Test for Pakistani captain
Inzamam-ul-Haq, whose 100th Test it was. He
received two gifts; a trophy from the BCCI, and an
entire Test from the Indian team! He will cherish
the Indian team's gift for the rest of his life!
Inzy scored a hundred and above all, led his team
to victory in his 100th Test. The result would have
boosted the morale of the visiting side that was
being considered one of the worst teams to tour
India. The pundits had predicted that this team
would not do well against the Indians, but the way
they fought from the very first Test showed their
character and will-power to succeed despite all the
John Wright (left) with Sourav Ganguly during
the recent Test series against Pakistan
The Pakistan team never had the flamboyance of
Shoaib Akhtar or the aggressive batting of Shoaib
Malik, but it definitely had a passion for
collective effort. Everybody knew what role he has
supposed to play, and the players performed to
their potential. Credit should be given to their
coach Bob Woolmer for getting everyone together and
creating a cohesive unit. The way the team
responded to him was a delight to behold. The
Indian batting was put under a lot of pressure and
Inzamam was right in deploying so many fielders
close to the batsmen on the last day of the
Bangalore Test. It was a do-or-die effort, as this
was their only chance of squaring the series. The
way the Indians batted was shocking. Nobody wanted
to be positive and they went into a shell and
allowed the bowlers to dominate. After Sehwag was
run out and the wall (Rahul) collapsed, it became
difficult to save the game. Ganguly played a
terrible shot to be bowled by Afridi; his dismissal
clearly showed that he was struggling for form.
Only Kumble showed some application and a "khadoos"
attitude to remain unbeaten on 37.
Now that the Test series is over and the Pakistanis
are high in confidence, it will be interesting to
see how they fare in the one-day series starting on
the 2nd of April. On the other hand, the Indian
team must want to bounce back and win the one-day
series. This will not be easy. Both the teams are
evenly balanced, and whichever side plays better on
the given day and hold its nerve will have the
Ganguly has been in the news for the wrong reasons
as the media and the public are gunning for him,
but the selectors are backing him. Though he is not
in the best of form, his leadership qualities are a
class apart. He is a very tough character and
doesn't crack up easily. He always leads from the
front and I am sure he will come back in the
one-day series with a bang.
Another set back for India is 'Mr. Right'. John
Wright has indicated that he may not continue after
the Pakistan series and if that does happen, India
will have to look for a new coach. There are three
frontrunners for this top post; Greg Chappell, Dean
Jones and Dave Whatmore. It has to be seen whom the
BCCI decides upon, but the players' favourite seems
to be Greg Chappell. Whoever is appointed, should
make the players as aggressive as the Australians.
Remember, all the three contenders are Aussies!
Good luck India, Good luck Ganguly!