Day 1, Hobart

I wondered why Mohammad Sami was left out of the side after that majestic  performance in Sydney. Leaving out Gul would have been unfair. Sami should always remain in the scheme of things for Pakistan. Their fast bowling department looks in great shape now.

There was help for the bowlers early in the morning and Pakistan picked up three wickets in the first session which is a very good start. Things could have been much better for the visitors had Aameer not dropped a sitter off Ponting when he was on a duck. I mentioned at the start of the summer that this season could be crucial in deciding Ponting’s future and had that catch been held, Ponting’s position would have come under some scrutiny. An Indian batsman with that kind of experience is allowed more space to come back to form by the selectors but in Australia, the player himself and the selectors realise the urgent need for performance. Also, in India, the media gets to the player before anything.

Asif, as usual, was really good in pitching the ball up and finding movement. Katich was beaten by an inswinger and was caught plumb in front but Asoka De Silva declared it not out. The decision was referred and the umpire did not know the signal to be used to reverse a decision. I think he was unaware and not absent minded. He signalled not out and then immediately raised his finger. So that was two howlers for one appeal.

Watson looked chancy with some uncertain pull shots. He looked a little over confident and cut one straight to gully. An opener should never get out in such a fashion and that shot showed he’s not a regular opener. Every test opener needs to respect opponents and conditions every single match day. Watson was trying to carry over previous form into this innings and paid the price.

Yousuf’s field to the openers in the little overcast morning was a little disappointing. There were just 2 slips and 4 men were trying to save a single on the off side.

Mohammad Aameer was pacey and it was good to watch that amount of pace on good tight lines. He’s kept up his good form from New Zealand and I once again hope he’s not spoilt by ‘fast bowling coaches’. He was rewarded with Hussey’s wicket . Such an experienced batsman can still nick a 17 year old and get out for a low score. Again goes to show you need to pay due respects to the opponents and the conditions every time you get into the middle.

Ponting’s elbow is the reason why he’s struggling with his pull shots. He looked vulnerable, yet wanted to play the shot at every opportunity. He did struggle to get set but Pakistan had to pay the price for that drop catch. Ponting’s effort to fight it out and play a long knock has to be applauded.

Micheal Clarke got beaten regularly early in his innings as Asif proved too good for him. Even in such times, Yousuf employed just two slips. Sure, his captaincy is not attracting too many fans now. Later on as the Sun came out, both these batsmen managed to survive and develop a good run rate with their shot making abilities.

Clarke, apart from struggling with that initial movement, played a very tidy innings. He provided very good support to Ponting when the captain was struggling. Kaneria was good while he strayed on the leg side a bit, but he had the two best players of spin bowling in the host team to cope with. His ploy of inviting the drive from wide outside the off stump didn’t work. Both batsmen negotiated him with ease.

Punter and Pup made it Australia’s day in the end but it could very easily have been Pakistan’s.

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One Comment on “Day 1, Hobart”

  1. vishwanath Says:

    Ponting’s elbow is the problem for his pull shots?? wat makes you say that?? the last time he kept his eyes on the ball playing the pull was before perth. n ponting is certainly not one of australia’s best players of spin. Clarke is the best. Katich n hussey r surely better than ricky. records will also vouch for that.


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