Friday, November 30, 2007

Jaffa calls the shots at Eden

from 22/175, Bazaar Road, Mumbai to taking centrestage at arguably the greatest cricket ground in the world, it has been a long and bumpy ride for the elegant wasim jaffer. we hope, after this trip to the eden gardens, he'll stay on track and finally give india the great opening batsman she has so long craved for. the determination and perseverance that wasim jaffer has shown in weathering the ups and downs of his career so far make us think we might have found one of the two men we'll so desperately need to compete against australia in australia. now if only we can somehow locate the old virendar sehwag, life would be truly beautiful. that said, wasim jaffer in full flow does make for some very comely viewing.

on a day when half the pakistani team was indisposed with some ailment or the other and the rest that were on the field going through their shambolic motions rather than trying to play a competitive game of test cricket, the indian batsmen must have felt like kids given a free reign in a candy-laden store. that a radar-less sohail tanvir was forced to bowl a spell of leg spin and the peerless shoaib akhtar managed only 9 overs...yes, 9 overs of impotent fast-medium on this the first day of a most important test match for pakistan is a sad reflection of the mismatch this series is fast turning out into and, if we may be forward enough to add, the sad state of this lawson-coached, leaderless pakistani team. rahul and sachin must be kicking themselves for not going on and doing a jaffer, while dinesh kartik will hope his generosity for taking on the much avoided make-shift opener's job is rewarded with an equal, if not greater, dose of selectorial largesse while picking the team for the tour of australia.

while a contest more one-sided than admiral horatio nelson is not quite our cup of see, tpr is certainly over-the-top of cloud 9 to note that wasim jaffer is finally turning into the batsman he has long threatened to be - in, of course, the characteristically non-threatening manner he goes about conducting all his business. after the pretty little 50 he stroked his way to in the last test at kotla, this was, indeed, the main course we were hungrily waiting to dig into.'s not over. it is our heartfelt hope that he will not do a sourav on us tomorrow morning by getting himself out without making a big, big one. it's high time the blue-in-the-face billion got itself another triple centurion in tests. no? yes. (sigh, where oh where is that sehwag?)

tpr hopes that these pakistanis quickly find their mojo and come to the party - fact is, this indian team desperately needs a fosters-like wake-up call prior to the series of much sterner tests that await them down under. unfortunately, as is often the case with pakistan, in the absence of a strong leader they look quite incapable of playing a sound, consistent game. then again, as the mother of all cliches with respect to pakistani cricket go, they're most dangerous when down...but not quite out. and on that optimistic note, tpr - in a flash of utterly un-tpr-like initiative - is off to find the lost sehwag. lagey raho, jaffer!

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