January 25, 2006

Batman return

As Younis Khan and the batsman-once-known-as-Yousuf-Youhana pile on another huge partnership against India, and this one utterly meaningless because there's no result possible, I'm wondering what's happening on this cricket tour. Specifically, what's happening to the bowling? Specifically, is it dull or is it dull for batsmen to pile up record after record, inflate their averages with no end in sight?

Consider: as I write this, the best bowling average on either side is by the impressive young RP Singh, and that's a miserable 40.25. Consider: the man on either side with the most wickets taken is the impressive sort-of-old Anil Kumble, and he has 6 wickets at 69.16. Consider: Harbhajan Singh is yet to get a wicket; Shoaib Akhtar has one. That's arguably the two best bowlers on either side.

Consider: during his ongoing innings, Mohammed Yousuf's average has crept over the 50 mark for only the second time in his career; the first time was during the Tests against India two years ago. Consider: during his ongoing innings, Younis Khan's average has crept to within touching distance of 50 (it's just below 49 as I write this); the first time it's been so high since he finished his first Test with an average of 59.5. Consider: the only frontline Indian batsman whose average has actually fallen during this series is, yes, Sachin Tendulkar -- and that, for the crime of batting just once for 14 runs. (Yuvraj Singh's average has fallen too, for the crime of batting just once for 4 runs, but perhaps it's a little premature to call him a frontline batsman).

Who prepared such pitches? What has happened to the electrifying cricket these two teams played two years ago and one year ago? Are we returning to the old days of India-Pakistan cricket, when neither side would take the slightest risk, so playing out draw after stultifying draw?

And this question that nags at me whenever I think of Indian cricket: when will we find a really fast bowler who will take wickets irrespective of the condition of the pitch?

1 comment:

zap said...

i know, i know! all my stocked up beer went flat:(
Lets hope Karachi has more fizz to offer.