It must be hard to be an aspiring wicket keeper in Australia. Mostly owing to the fact that you have to stand up to fit into the shoes of Adam Gichrist. Gilchrist is what makes australia, what it is - world champions - u could atleast credit him with shouldering half of australia's might. Be it coming in lower in the order in tests or opening the one day game - he is one of the most exciting batsman in the world. And to add to it - he is damn good with the gloves too.
He is the complete sportsman - the future captain of the world champion team - i guess.
Well. The new zealanders seemed to have for once come up with some teeth - Putting up a more than decent total in their first innings (433) & having the australians by their necks at (201/6)! And then what happens - a much too common sight after an australian upper order collapse - the onslaught of gilli. The scoreboard tells the story:
JL Langer b Franklin 23 53 28 4 0
ML Hayden c Astle b O'Brien 35 94 74 6 0
*RT Ponting c McCullum b Martin 46 121 104 6 1
DR Martyn lbw b Vettori 32 69 62 4 0
JN Gillespie c Cumming b Vettori 12 108 73 2 0
MJ Clarke c McCullum b Franklin 8 11 8 2 0
SM Katich c Vincent b Astle 118 273 229 20 1
+AC Gilchrist c O'Brien b Vettori 121 183 126 12 6
SK Warne c Astle b Vettori 2 32 20 0 0
MS Kasprowicz not out 13 15 16 2 0
GD McGrath lbw b Vettori 0 6 4 0 0
Extras (b 2, lb 13, w 3, nb 4) 22
Total (all out, 123.2 overs, 496 mins) 432
A century in almost a run-a-ball for the umpteenth time in his career. This guy is worth the watch - my favorite (sachin has been out for a while now - wonder if we r gonna see another sandstorm innings ever from the little blaster)
And while we are talkin about wicketkeepers - One just made the day for pakistan. Pakistan - as history has shown - has never had a dearth in talent. From the three W's to Shoaib to batsmen like saeed anwar, inzamam-ul-haq, javed miandad, and a lot more ....not to forget raw talent like that of moin khan's (man i 've seen him hit some amazing sixes). But i guess, egoists rule the roost in a country where the game is more political than anywhere else. From the team of captains - to a totally young team - pakistan spends too much time evolving and that shows in its performances. They appear a deeply sentimental team - melodramatic at times. Its been to our advantage at times, and thats nothing i am going to complaint about.
Well. too much cricket. And It makes me sad that we let go of a chance to win an important test, one we had a real good chance with. Well thanks to akmal and razzaq, and of course, as usual, the indian bowling. I am not ridiculing our bowling. We sure have improved a lot over times when our fast bowling dept constituted of the venkatesh prasads and salil ankolas - medium pace at best. But we sure have ways to go.As a rule of thumb - A good international fast bowling team should have no trouble cleaning up the tail. and we are gonna b a while getting there.
Till then, the akmals and razzaqs shall prosper. peace now.