Should We Still Be Afraid?

What a boring match this has turned out to be. Despite the high scoring, only 7 wickets have fallen so far and we are already at the end of the fourth day. So much for the fast green tracks that were being predicted by Javed Miandad, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, and all the retired Pakistan players.

Be that as it may, I fail to understand why none of them are ready to give the Indian pace attack its due. And I'm not referring only to records here. Sure Shoaib Akhtar has more pace but against India, so far, he has had more bark than bite. Ditto for Mohd Sami. Perhaps Naved Rana has been the one somewhat successful bowler for Pak against India. Let's not even get to Afridi and Malik.
Which brings us to Danish Kaneria. What, for the life of me, I cannot understand is how he can compare the English and Indian batting line-ups. If he is intelligent (as spinners are rumoured to be), he should realise that the Indians against spin have marauded even Shane Warne and M Murali (not as much as Warnie though). More than anything else, though, I don't know why he shoots his mouth off without any backing—statistically or otherwise—to support his claims.

Some recent quotes by former Pak players are also interesting. Pakistan scored 679. Good. In fact, great for them. And then, the Indian bowling attack was lambasted. "They're doomed to lose" seemed to be the conclusion. Then came the declaration.
Enter Messrs. Sehwag and Dravid. The smiles on the Pak bowlers faces waned with every passing over and the coach seemed to slip farther and farther into the dressing room. And why not? Day 2 ended with India on some 65/0. Day 3 (for what it was worth) ended with India on 145/0. And the fourth day has ended with India on 403/0.

Despite this, warnings are being issued to the Indian batsmen about the 'might' of the Pak bowling. At the same score in their innings, Pak were at least 2 down. India does not even look like remotely losing a wicket anytime this Test. Maybe there's a case for someone to retire so the others get a bat!

All in all, I think it's time the Pak critics/past players/experts reined in their mouths. For India is no pushover like it was in their time. And fast or slow pitch, India has a bowling line-up that can go through the best of the lot.
Also posted on Jiyo Cricket.

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